Woodward's Post colleagues: conduct in Plame affair has caused "consternation"
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On the November 27 broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press, Washington Post national political correspondent David S. Broder and Post associate editor and opinion columnist Eugene Robinson said that Post assistant managing editor Bob Woodward's conduct in the Valerie Plame controversy has caused "[c]onsternation" at the Post. Woodward waited until October 2005 to disclose to Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. that a senior Bush administration official had told Woodward in June 2003 that Plame, the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, worked at the CIA. In discussing the "consternation" Woodward had caused at the Post, Broder also mentioned media appearances in which Woodward repeatedly criticized special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald and his inquiry into the Plame case, without disclosing his own involvement in the case.
On November 14, Woodward testified under oath that an administration official divulged Plame's identity to him in a conversation a month before syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak reported in his July 14, 2003, column that she was a CIA operative.
From the November 27 broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press:
TIM RUSSERT (host): Let me turn to the CIA leak investigation. Time magazine reports that Viveca Novak of Time magazine has now been subpoenaed to testify. David Broder, Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, as you know, has testified before the, before Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel. What's going on at the Post, in light of that?
BRODER: Consternation, to be honest with you. I think none of us can really understand Bob's silence for two years about his own role in the case. He's explained it by saying he did not want to become involved and did not want to face a subpoena, but he left his editor, our editor, blindsided for two years, and he went out and talked disparagingly about the significance of the investigation without disclosing his role in it. Those are hard things to reconcile.
RUSSERT: Gene Robinson?
ROBINSON: I agree with David. Consternation, a certain amount of embarrassment. And, and, you know, the fact that we can't understand why Bob did what he did. You know, I think that's a very interesting question in this whole incident about confidential sources, about access, about the tradeoffs that we all make for access in granting anonymity to sources. And, you know, I think that's going to continue. I think people are looking at us skeptically.