Whose got 'Hubris', the new book by Isikoff and Corn about the intel war between the White House and the CIA?
They broke the "news" that Armitage was Novak's source, but I have been advised that they also confirm the story first reported by Mickey Kaus - when Libby called Tim Russert to complain about Chris Matthews he accused Matthews of anti-semitism. Chris Matthews is currently ducking this story because it is "so complicated", but let's review this under-publicized piece of the puzzle; over to Mickey:
Mystery Solved? kf thinks it has resolved the mystery of what NBC is hiding about the crucial Russert/Libby telephone conversation of July 10, 2003...
Here's one answer: kf hears, through trustworthy and knowledgeable sources, that in his conversation with Russert Libby gave vent to the archetypal (and wrongheaded) charge that Matthews was animated by anti-Semitism--presumably because Matthews talked a lot about "neoconservative" Bush aides and war supporters and interviewed guests (such as Pat Caddell) who did too.
If that was Libby's complaint, it would help explain why NBC wanted to keep quiet about its exact contents. Not only does it potentially bring up a wild, hard-to-refute issue that the network would rather not have to deal with--but Libby's jag is also something you wouldn't forget, or make up, which would make Russert's testimony extremely convincing at trial. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may have wanted to keep it secret so it would have as much of an impact as possible, and Russert may be trying to honor a request from the prosecutor.
Contacted late Sunday night, Matthews said, "I don't know. Tim never told me that. I never heard that. I just don't know. I don't want to be in the position of telling you about a phone conversation I was not a party to. ... You've got your source." He suggested that I call Russert.
Matthews added, however, that Catherine Martin, an aide in the vice president's office, once told him that "Scooter thinks anytime anybody uses the word 'neoconservative' it's anti-Semitic."
"I'm sorry. It's an ideological term," Matthews said.
I called Russert's office this morning. They referred me to an NBC spokeswoman who emailed, "I do not speak for Mr. Libby, therefore I cannot comment on what Mr. Libby may or may not have said." That makes no sense at all, because I was asking about what Russert himself heard from Libby, and Russert could certainly speak for Russert. But that was NBC's response. ...
I had my own heavily caveatted suggestion as to what that might mean - briefly, maybe Libby tabbed both Chris Matthews and Joe Wilson as anti-semites for the same reason, in which case, Libby has a "Get Joe" motive and Cheney might have a "Lone Gunman" alibi.
Justin Raimondo had thoughts as well.
So why do we care today? Well, the book is out, and Chris Matthews himself is in the news with this:
Matthews: Plame Story Too Complicated to Cover Now
...One of the biggest media figures boycotting the Plame story has been MSNBC host Chris Matthews who has yet to mention the scandal at all since the Armitage report broke, a dramatic contrast to the 27 times he mentioned the "scandal" in the five months leading up to it.
Like P.J. Gladnick, I couldn't help but notice Matthews's strange flip. So I decided to ask him about it. His answer revealed an animus toward Vice President Dick Cheney and a fear of being asked to answer tough questions himself.
...Q: ...Why not invite one of [Joe Wilson's] representatives or defenders on the show?
A: Well, the story's just gotten so complicated. I mean, it's just such a mess. Because what if it's true that Armitage was the source, but those other guys [presumably Rove and Scooter Libby], also were leakers, what then?
It's pretty complicated, Chris - maybe more so than you are letting on.