November 04, 2005

New Republic Takes Credit for Libby Indictment

I received this e-mail from The New Republic:


The New Republic makes history all the time, important history. Last week was a case in point. The indictment by the special counsel, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, on five counts--one for obstruction of justice, two for lying to the FBI and two for lying to a grand jury--that could land him 30 years in jail, itself traces the charges to an article in The New Republic two years ago. Click here for the full background on the article's development. It was, according to the indictment, apparently the article in TNR that put Libby on to his dash to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, the now outed covert CIA agent. Shouldn't you have read this article? Well, Scooter Libby did and Fitzgerald did, too.

But, while they were reading us, you couldn't have if you didn't have a subscription to The New Republic. And our records tell us that, while you sometimes visit our website, you don't have a subscription and are therefore denied access to the most significant material we publish. You can remedy this by taking up one of our deeply discounted offers either for a hard copy plus digital subscription for $19.97 or for a digital-only subscription for only $9.97. These are crisis times in America, and many of our most connected readers feel that they can't do without us. Should you?

I really respect Martin Peretz and I find The New Republic to be a pretty good publication (although, no doubt, a very liberal publication). However, this just seems strange to me.
Certainly, a news publication can take credit for publishing a story that influenced events. However, Scooter Libby is in trouble because he lied under oath - not because he leaked Ms. Plame's identity. Did the New Republic forget this one salient fact?
I guess that most readers of The New Republic are liberals, and as such, may tend to revel in the fact that Scooter Libby was indicted (as Republicans surely did when Clinton associates were jailed during the Whitewater investigations). A fact that The New Republic is counting on - no doubt to raise money.
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