Monday, December 12, 2005
Viveca Novak's Scoop
In January or March or May of 2004, Time's Viveca Novak scored herself a scoop.
But she ignored it.
Toward the end of one of our meetings, I remember Luskin looking at me and saying something to the effect of "Karl doesn't have a Cooper problem. He was not a source for Matt." I responded instinctively, thinking he was trying to spin me, and said something like, "Are you sure about that? That's not what I hear around TIME." He looked surprised and very serious. "There's nothing in the phone logs," he said. In the course of the investigation, the logs of all Rove's calls around the July 2003 time period--when two stories, including Matt's, were published mentioning that Plame was Wilson's wife--had been combed, and Luskin was telling me there were no references to Matt. (Cooper called via the White House switchboard, which may be why there is no record.)
Here's what should have been published:
White House phone logs show no calls with Time reporter, source says
by Viveca Novak (January, March or May, 2004)
A search through White House phone logs reveal there is no record that senior political adviser Karl Rove spoke to Time's Matthew Cooper within the July 2003 time period pertaining to the Plame leak probe, according to a source closely acquainted with the investigation.
But Time lost Viveca Novak's scoop because she knew right away that she said too much to Luskin and that she couldn't very well tell her editors or Matthew Cooper.