The Wag Time Pet Spa Blues
Murray Waas has a piece up at HuffPo, that is a follow-up from some e-mails that were posted earlier in the week by the folks at Wonkette. Suffice it to say that the whole situation is a bit weird — especially the part about the Wag Time Pet Spa and the (literal!) alleged flinging of poo — and I'm feeling the need for some sort of Venn diagram to keep track of the whole thing.
Mercifully, John Amato at Crooks and Liars has put together some links on the whole mess. And, bless him, eRiposte has laid out the portion of this ongoing saga that may — or may not — include his work on the aluminum tubes on The Left Coaster.
Now, I enjoy a mystery and some speculation as much as the next person. But I've also spent a lot of time talking with and e-mailing back and forth with Murray Waas about the Fitzgerald investigation — because, well, as you know, it's been a bit of an obsession of mine to follow that case along its investigative trajectory — and I can personally attest to the fact that Murray is a walking encyclopedia on that case.
When we were at YearlyKos last summer, the Plame panel got together the night before our presentation to hash out who among us was planning to talk about what aspect of the case and the media coverage (or lack thereof, as the case might be), as well as the aspects of media and governmental participation that might be involved. As you might expect, I got to be the "legal" discussion portion — no shocker there — but we all sat around for at least a half an hour as Emptywheel and Murray traded tangential factoids about this or that aspect of the case. Without notes. And without interruption.
(Nothing like a couple of bottles of wine, a fine cigar or two — smoked by Amb. Wilson and Larry Johnson, mind you, not me — and a couple of hours of rampant Plameology discussion for a good time, I always say. But I digress…)
All this to say, anyone who tries to intimate that Murray is a slacker about his work is a moron. And hasn't spoken to Murray about those issues into which he has dug — and deeply — for his articles. His work on the Plame case alone has been brilliant and immensely helpful for those of us who have been digging through the public record trying to read the tea leaves between the spin. (Don't take my word for it, read Jay Rosen's take.)
Whatever comes of this article that is apparently coming out about Murray — I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment that he expresses at the end of his HuffPo piece:
It is from the wellspring of our despair and the places that we are broken that we come to repair the world.
Amen to that one, Murray.
Look, no human being is perfect — that includes me, and Jane, and Murray, and whomever else that you may read or be represented by or whatever in the public sphere. You do the best that you can with the information that you have and, when you have better information, you do better. That is true for reporting, for analysis and, frankly, for life off the page as well.
I honestly have no way of knowing what is or is not in this article, or how far back or how deeply it delves into Murray's life — both professionally or personally — or what these people may or may not have tried to dig up. What I do know, from years and years of working in the criminal justice system, is that everyone — and I do mean EVERYONE — has skeletons that they would never want to see the light of day, and that if you dig around long enough and with enough of a purpose, you can twist anything to the point that it looks bad for the person against whom you hope to use it.
This may or may not turn out to be a tempest in a teapot. But I wanted to be on record as saying that every contact that I have ever had with Murray has been very professional, that he has assiduously protected his sources when we have talked about matters on which he was reporting (even wheedling did me no good — nor did the promise of homemade meals…darn it all!), and that he is one of the hardest working people that I have ever seen as he doggedly pursues leads on stories.