ZAHN: I want you to respond to that very specific allegation in the addendum to the Senate report, which basically says that your public comments not only are incorrect, but have no basis in fact.
WILSON: Well, I'm not exactly sure what public comments they're referring to. If they're referring to leaks or sources, unidentified government sources in articles that appeared before my article in "The New York Times" appeared, those are either misquotes or misattributions if they're attributed to me.
The Weekly Standard has the roster of misquotes and misattributions from the NY Times, the Washington Post, and the New Republic:
I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.
The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade.
...the CIA in early February 2002 dispatched a retired U.S. ambassador to the country to investigate the claims, according to the senior U.S. officials and the former government official, who is familiar with the event. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity and on condition that the name of the former ambassador not be disclosed.
During his trip, the CIA's envoy spoke with the president of Niger and other Niger officials mentioned as being involved in the Iraqi effort, some of whose signatures purportedly appeared on the documents.
After returning to the United States, the envoy reported to the CIA that the uranium-purchase story was false, the sources said. Among the envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong," the former U.S. government official said.
He never said it!
Spencer Ackerman and John B. Judis, TNR, "The First Casualty", June 30, 2003:
Cheney had given the information to the CIA, which in turn asked a prominent diplomat, who had served as ambassador to three African countries, to investigate. He returned after a visit to Niger in February 2002 and reported to the State Department and the CIA that the documents were forgeries. The CIA circulated the ambassador's report to the vice president's office, the ambassador confirms to TNR.
Gentlemen, your readership is deeply concerned about this allegation that you (yes, ALL of you!) engage in substandard journalism. Must we reminisce about Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass, or can we rely on you to address this?
NY Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent: public (at) nytimes.com
Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler: email@example.com
Walter Pincus: firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Republic (Online): email@example.com
MORE: Recent ridicule here, and excerpts from Wilson's slightly less convincing explanation to the Senate investigators here. I am especially concerned that the New Republic just can't shake their old problem.
UPDATE: Nobody makes noise like the Howler, who rips Paula Zahn, and hammers Joe Wilson.
A quick note - I think Bob Somerby underestimates the political significance of the involvement of Wilson's wife, for which we will pass the torch to Jonah Goldberg.