Saturday, February 23, 2008
"60 Minutes" a Glutton for Punishment?

Less than four years after getting embroiled in a scandal over their use of forged military records, CBS' "60 Minutes" is attacking Karl Rove with a witness who has already been discredited:

On Thursday, the 60 Minutes web site began hawking a feature to run on its show. This Sunday, an already discredited Alabama attorney named Dana Jill Simpson will claim that Rove asked her to photograph Democratic former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman in a "compromising, sexual position with one of his aides."

Nothing about her story even begins to stand up to scrutiny; indeed all of it fails every basic test of common sense. A former Democratic Alabama Supreme Court justice (and sometime Siegelman adversary) who represented a co-defendant and close ally of Siegelman's in the trial that convicted Siegelman of federal bribery and obstruction charges, said that the previous versions of the woman's oft-changing allegations "must have been created by a drunk fiction writer."

[A] Associated Press report noted Thursday that Simpson "has never before said that Rove pressed her for evidence of marital infidelity -- in spite of testifying to congressional lawyers for hours last year, submitting a sworn affidavit and speaking extensively with reporters."

Numerous Alabama reporters, including a recent Pulitzer Prize winner, have noted a bevy of other changes or additions to Simpson's story over the past year as she has spun one strange tale after another of a supposed Republican conspiracy to destroy Siegelman's career, a conspiracy that she says was responsible for his eventual prosecution on what left-wing activists now charge were trumped-up charges.

Until recently, she had alleged that her knowledge of Rove's involvement (beginning in 2002 -- not, as she now says, in 2001) ... was limited to hearing top state Republicans refer to a "Karl" as the mastermind. Now, suddenly, she says that she met with Rove in person a full year before the later alleged skullduggery and that he "approached her" to ask her to take pictures of Siegelman cheating on his wife.

You'd think, after their shenanigans all but got Dan Rather fired, the producers would be a little more careful when they go "republican hunting" these days.


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