December 26, 2005

Government Officials Are Public Servants

Posted by Eric Jaffa
Friday October 21st 2005, 11:55 am
Filed under: Government, Media Watch, TV

Liberal Oasis takes Chris Matthews to task for treating the outing of Valerie Plame “nonchalantly.”

Today’s column quotes this exchange from last night’s “Hardball” between the MSNBC host and Time magazine’s Matt Cooper:

COOPER: You’ve been in politics Chris … You wake up in the morning. You see an op-ed, or before that, you hear whispers of a former Ambassador dissing your guy.

And you wake up and you think, “who is this guy?”

MATTHEWS: And it’s your job to defend him.

COOPER: And it’s your job to pushback, and you know, that’s part of politics.

Liberal Oasis responds:

This is a woefully misguided and inaccurate rendering of what is in the job descriptions of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

They are not campaign operatives. They are taxpayer-funded public servants.

Rove, at the time of the leak, was Senior Adviser to the president (now he’s Deputy Chief of Staff), and Libby was and is Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to the vice president.

While they report to Bush and Cheney, as government officials, their fundamental loyalty is to the people and the law.

To the extent that their jobs involve communicating government info to the public through the media, (which is primarily the Press Secretary’s job) slinging anonymous mud isn’t part of it.

Like any public servant, they have a duty to share relevant facts with the public so the electorate can make informed decisions about their governance.

If Joe Wilson was spreading inaccurate info, they had an obligation to share facts and correct the record.

But that would mean factually challenging Wilson’s charge that he reported to the CIA there was no evidence of a uranium transaction between Niger and Iraq, that the Bush Administration ignored his findings as they painted scary “mushroom cloud” scenarios.

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