< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Woodward Syndrome All Over Again

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Woodward Syndrome All Over Again

Woodward in the toaster:

As the transcript of his interview on Larry King last night shows, Woodward's not only in the throes of a particularly painful Woodward Syndrome relapse, but also unable to avoid looking pitiful. See below, Nov 19 and 16, for details on the Syndrome and its diagnosis.

In the Syndrome, a speaker or writer follows the Lady Macbeth pattern of "protesting too much" -- revealing a truth by disproportionately emphasizing its opposite. Last night, it was so flagrant as to raise concerns for Woodward's survival as a functioning member of society. For the details, just read the entire transcript upside down--rendering any exaggerated or illogical statements as their opposite, with emphases proportional to the original degree of exaggeration. Here are just two of the most florid, and poignant.

1. The classic "oh by the way," discussed in the previous posts, was used by Woodward himself in his interview with Mr. X.

WOODWARD: ... I guess a few weeks later. So I said to this source, long substantive interview about the road to war. You know, at the end of an interview like this, after you do an interview on television, you might just shoot the breeze for a little while. And so, I asked about Wilson, and he said this. . . [Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, etc.]."
KING: I see.
WOODWARD: Most kind of off-hand.

In truth: "I got a clear and well scripted answer to my main question about Wilsson. But I knew how serious and potentially damaging the revelation about his wife might be, and was afraid to make it public."

See the last paragraph of Tatel's Appeals Court opinion: "Were the leak at issue in this case less harmful to national security . . . I might have supported the motion . . . [i.e., declined to compel testimony from Miller or Cooper ]. " Elsewhere in the LKL interview, Woodward brags on his 30 years experience covering the CIA, claiming that's how he knew this leak was harmless. Off-hand my foot. He knows the harmfulness. He's lying.

2. After King pressed him on whether the coziness with the administration would make him less objective, this sad little show and tell episode transpired:

WOODWARD: But you know, I would never compromise. You know, if I may, I brought some headlines in "The Washington Post." These -- do these make any sense?
KING: Hold them up a little.
KING: So we can read them.
WOODWARD: This is -- yes, OK. This is November 2002 before -- as the Bush -- word came out about the war in Afghanistan. "A Struggle for the President's Heart and Mind." Struggle. It explains in great detail how Powell had different positions, there was a mass tension and difficulties in the war council. Let's see. This is the second part of that series. "Doubts and Debates Before Victory over the Taliban." Doubts and debate. Now, anyone who knows anything about the Bush administration, they'd rather keep doubts and debate off stage. I bring them on stage in this book. I've -- you know, I don't want to go on, but "The New York Times," front page, when the book, "Plan of Attack," came out last year, "Airing of Powell's Misgivings Tests Cabinet Ties" and the book jolted the White House and aggravating long festering tensions in the Bush cabinet. So I'm not comprising anything. And anyone who looks at the books or the coverage will see that it has some pretty tough stuff in it.

In truth: "I know I'm their lapdog."

Like a child with chocolate on his face, Woodward can't understand how pitiful his protestations of innocence (no chocolate on my hands) are--a journalist comes to an interview about his role in a major scandal by bringing his previous headlines to show how truthful he is?

The toast is burning up.