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June 30, 2005

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Fred Schoeneman

Mark,

This is a national security issue. I know that Plame was semi-retired from undercover operations, but if someone is leaking that information -- perhaps for partisan political purposes -- then no, The Times shouldn't be above the law.

f

TEV

Come on, Fred. With all due respect to a frequent TEV commentor, that's a load of sheer balls. If it's national security, put the screws to the man who actually ran the story - Herr Novak. This is intimidation pure and simple - they get to kill two birds with one stone. It's vile and incredibly disturbing.

Fred Schoeneman

Dude,

Interesting that you mentioned balls. One thing I've noticed lately is that if you write "db" and then forget about the letters and just look at the actual image sitting there, side by side, it looks like a pair of balls.

Where were we?

Oh yeah. Dude, I support the war on terror. I think Bush has the right idea. And I think that there's a relationship between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. I think Dick Durbin is a jackoff. But I want to know who the fucker is in the White House who leaks stuff like this, during a war, for partisan political purposes.

If journalists want to hold back information to protect a source as disgusting as this one most likely is, they deserve to go to jail. That they don't see jail as a worthy price to pay speaks volumes to me.

Also, I don't think this is a first amendment issue. This is about forcing a witness to testify about a crime. I have respect for a journalist who goes to jail rather than reveal his sources in certain situations, but this one isn't very ambiguous to me. This isn't an example of a journalist protecting a whistleblower, this is an example of a journalist protecting a traitor.

To me.

Also, I dunno if calling these journalists cowards is super appropriate; if they're cowards for knuckling under, then that sort of implies that people who go to jail to protect sources are heroes. Well, they may be within the journalist community but come on -- it's nothing like the bravery we're seeing every day in Afghanistan & Iraq.

db

TEV

Actually, I was calling Pearlstine a coward. The inside word (unconfirmed) is that he's doing this over Cooper's objections.

And you are free, of course, to support to President even though you probably know that I'm diametrically opposed to that position. That's one of the key differences here, by the way - you have an administration seeking to stifle and punish its dissenters. No such behavior here at TEV, even when we think you're dead wrong.

It's not a national security issue, pure and simple. It's a witch hunt, and to assume differently is to swallow the administration's okey-doke hook, line and sinker. And you still haven't answered my question - if you REALLY want to know who outed Plame, my not put Novak on the rack? Can it be coincidental that the one "journalist" not being persecuted here is a noted conservative mouthpiece?

Sorry Fred, this one flunks the duck test with quacking colors.

Fred Schoeneman

Mark,

I'm not sure of the facts here and neither are you, as far as what Novak said to The Man or didn't say. I think what probably happened is that Novak got his information from one of the other two reporters, and or they need those two for corroboration about the leak.

But I don't know.

Anyways, I'm not being partisan here. But think about it. Do you really think the Administration is behind this? I doubt it. If it was the administration's call, would they want to find out who the leak is? Is it in their interest? Fuck no. Because the leak, my friend, is a REPUBLICAN PARTY HACK.

So. Personal politics aside, don't be looking for a conspiracy theory against journalists. Most of them are lazy, self-aggrandizing pieces of shit anyway.

f

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TEV DEFINED


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."

SECOND LOOK

  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

    Bs

    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe

    Rider_4

    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."