Let me concede: I am a friend of Scooter Libby. But I do not like his boss. And I do not like his boss's wife. I know this gets me no credit with the all-or-nothing crowd. Still, I like Scooter, who is quite brilliant, very honest, and brave. Also funny. I've contributed to The Libby Legal Defense Fund and have joined the fund's advisory committee, which is not large because in Washington old pals dessert when even their college roommate gets into trouble. In a time when self-styled civil libertarians are giving money to defend Muslim terrorists, I am happy to help defend an American patriot, some of whose politics I do not share and some of whose politics I do, from a cynical onslaught of the special prosecutor who put journalists into jail for not telling him what he already knew.I'm sure it warms the hearts of TNR readers to know that their money is going to help defend Libby against 5 counts of false statements, perjury, and obstruction of justice rather than, say, reelecting Democrats. But then, we shouldn't forget, Peretz - the man who signs the paychecks of everyone at TNR - hasn't quite decided whether he prefers to have Dems take over the house or senate this year:
HH: Do you want the Democrats to win majorities in the House or the Senate, Martin Peretz?
MP: I'm...I'm appalled by some of the people who would become head of Congressional committees.
HH: Is that a no?
MP: Uh, but I'm also appalled by some of the shenanigans...
HH: But is that...I've got five seconds. Is that a no, Martin Peretz?
MP: It's a cowardly refusal to answer.
HH: (laughing) Okay. We'll carry it on, later. Martin Peretz, thanks
We must accept that either 1. Editorial decisions at TNR - decisions like who gets a blog - are not very well insulated from the whims of those backing the magazine monetarily or 2. Editorial judgments at TNR are poor. Or I suppose both can be true.
Either way it does not speak well to the magazines integrity or savvy.