< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: The Viv and Lusk Dialogues

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Viv and Lusk Dialogues

As in Woodward's confessional (see Woodward Syndrome posts, below), so also in Viveca Novak's yesterday in Time: the interesting thing is the last "oh by the way" paragraph (she calls it a "final note"). She defends herself for publishing details of her conversation with Rove's attorney Luskin, and the quaint excess in the argument ("Lusk revealed our conversation to Fitz, so the confidentiality was already broken" and "since my testimony will be used by the grand jury, I have the right to tell about it") flags it as forced, and not altogether frank.

Why this little sore spot in Viv's current feeling space? And why should Lusk care about Viv publishing their conversations? And why should she care that he cares? (Forget "journalist's honor," like unto which the honor among thieves is a veritable monument of rectitude.) Of things he could be embarrassed about, one might be her report of the extent of their dialogues (at least five, beginning with his revelation to her that he was Rove's lawyer); another, her description of his surprise at being told that it was all over Time that Rove was Cooper's source. The former doesn't seem to recommend him to future clients; the latter makes him look lied to and disrespected by his current client.

Seems like everywhere you look in this case some journalist, and now some lawyer, is dissolving into disrepute. "Ordinary" cases or investigations don't do that--which tells us how extra-ordinary this one is. It's maybe less like a cancer on the presidency, and more like, how to say it, an infection that spreads by intimate contact.

Which gives new meaning to the term "source."