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On the Condition of AnonymityUnnamed Sources and the Battle for Journalism$
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Matt Carlson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252035999

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252035999.001.0001

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“Journalism on Trial”: Confidentiality and the Plame Leak Case

“Journalism on Trial”: Confidentiality and the Plame Leak Case

(p.111) 5 “Journalism on Trial”: Confidentiality and the Plame Leak Case
On the Condition of Anonymity

Matt Carlson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the fallout caused by Robert Novak's July 2003 column revealing Valerie Plame, wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, to be a CIA operative. The potential illegality of the leak prompted an inquiry that escalated into a grand jury investigation by a special prosecutor to uncover Novak's two unnamed administration sources. When journalists were subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, Matt Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of the Times resisted vocally and litigiously. Legendary Post reporter Bob Woodward also faced criticism for failing to reveal his knowledge of the Plame leak. The Plame leak case culminated in a parade of elite journalists testifying about their relationships with official sources in the trial of vice presidential aide Scooter Libby.

Keywords:   Plame leak case, Valerie Plame, Robert Novak, Matt Cooper, Bob Woodward, grand jury, confidentiality, Judith Miller

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