I don't think reporter Matt Cooper acquitted himself very well. It's obvious he was scared to go to jail. It appears he didn't exactly personally check with his source before cooperating with Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. He took a very broad and general statement from Karl Rove's lawyer to be a blanket release from his vow to protect his confidential source, who it turns out, to nobody's surprise, is Rove himself.
In truth, I don't know that I'd be much braver if I was facing serious jail time. I was when I was much younger (and yes, I actually once did face the possibility, as a reporter, but that was before I was middle aged and comfortable and not very physically fit).
However, Judith Miller is going to come out of this as the only true heroe for standing up for her convictions - convictions about the right to confidential sources, which is so important to all journalists.
However, this, from The Washington Post, claims the source at the center of the whole thing is indeed Karl Rove. And the Post calls him Clintonesque in the hairsplitting over whether he broke the law in outing Valerie Plame. It boils down to whether he actually mentioned her name. Shades of the definition of "is."
Anyway, I'm still confused about why nobody seems to be asking Robert Novak about the source. After all, when all is said and done, he's the one who wrote the original column outing Plame. He's also the conservative with the insider buddies in this White House.
It's not that I particularly dislike Novak or wish him ill. Far from it. He has, in fact, always publicly defended the right of both Cooper and Miller to keep their sources confidential. But it just strikes me as weird that Novak isn't also on the hot spot given that it's his column that started this whole mess.
So, what gives?