A conspiracy so lunatic…

The CBS 60 Minutes story on the plot hatched by Karl Rove to bring down Alabama Governor Don Siegelman on bribery charges is an even more absurd concocotion than the 60 Minutes 2 story on President Bush’s allegedly disreputable service in the Texas Air National Guard. Our own John Hinderaker definitively demolished the 60 Minutes story on this site in “Dissecting the 60 Minutes scandal.”

MSNBC’s Dan Abrams followed 60 Minutes into the fever swamps. Last month 60 Minutes revisited the story without a hint of its problematic character.

The mainstream media have taken no interest in delving into the 60 Minutes story. Perhaps this lack of interest is understandable. Looking into the story would of course require reading the entire 143-page deposition transcript of the testimony given by Jill Dana Simpson — the woman on whose word the 60 Minutes story hangs — to the House Judiciary Committee.

Our friends at the Weekly Standard asked John to step back and take another look at the phony 60 Minutes exposé. Alluding to Joe McCarthy’s claim of “a conspiracy so immense,” the Standard titles John’s article “A conspiracy so lunatic…” John’s article concisely summarizes the latent and patent defects of the story. John’s article is a genuine exposé that reveals the dirty little secret driving 60 Minutes when it takes on a public figure such as Karl Rove in the fashion it has:

Karl Rove has become the man who cannot be libeled. Any story that includes his name is treated as self-authenticating, requiring neither supporting evidence nor the barest plausibility. Having committed the unforgivable sin of contributing to two successful Republican presidential campaigns, Rove has become, for American media, the equivalent of an outlaw, possessing no rights that must be respected.

Rove himself has responded to the 60 Minutes story in this Birmingham News article, in a Gentleman’s Quarterly interview, and in a letter to Dan Abrams. The letter to Abrams is particularly devastating.

At the time he hatched the alleged plot against Siegelman, Rove was working a full-time job in the White House for the president of the United States. In the Birmingham News article, Rove comments: “Seeing where I was working at the time, a reasonable person could ask why I would even take an interest in that [Siegelman] case.” As John’s article demonstrates, Rove’s comment considerably understates the matter.

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