Many of those on both the left and right found something to like in the news of Joe and Valerie Wilson’s lawsuit against administration officials they claim outed Mrs. Wilson as a CIA operative. Many on the left loved the idea of Vice President Cheney and Presidential Advisor Karl Rove facing legal headaches and accompanying expenses. Many on the right welcomed the prospect of the Wilsons being deposed under oath with the possible result of them being exposed to the general public as egotistical opportunists and liars.
Those on the right should not expect much. In spite of the facts, the Wilson-Plame story lives on in the mainstream media much the same as it was told in the beginning. The Wilsons won the public relations war and wrote the conventional wisdom on the story at the time Joe Wilson wrote his July 2003 opinion piece in the New York Times, and Robert Novak wrote his column the same month naming Valerie Plame as the probable reason Wilson was sent on the Africa mission. The story has remained largely unchanged in mainstream media outlets since then.
Wilson sat for fawning profiles on 60 Minutes and other network broadcasts in which he was always put forward as the brave whistleblower trying to protect his victim wife from the unwanted media spotlight. It was presented as fact that Wilson had debunked the “16 word” statement in the State of the Union address that British Intelligence sources believed Iraq had sought uranium from Africa. Reporters never pointed to any of the many inconsistencies in Wilson's stories. They fed him softballs and painted a picture of an out-of -control administration that would out a CIA agent, putting her very life in danger, in order to discredit and get revenge on a critic of the President's war policy.
Robert Novak’s revelations last week showed that many of Wilson’s assertions, which had been repeated time and time again as fact, were flat out false. Many of the facts that have come to light over the past three years from other sources are also contrary to Joe Wilson’s very colorful original story.
When Joe and Valerie Wilson announced their lawsuit the day after Novak broke his silence, the obvious question was, why would they choose timing that would surely draw attention to the glaring discrepancies between their claims and the testimony of Novak.
The Wilsons knew what they were doing, though. Just as the tale of Joe Wilson had been spun and regurgitated by reporters over the past three years in spite of contradictory information, reporting on the lawsuit followed the same old script.