Roger L. Simon

Spending the day pretending to be Dan Rather (updated)

Well, not really, but I thought the reference would get your attention because it has a certain je ne sais blogosphere quoi. What I did do is the spend the day running around Inside the Beltway with a video crew, interviewing newsmakers. It gave me a new found respect for the MSM types who have to do this on a regular basis. [Don’t admit that.-ed. Right. My mistake. ] First it was former DCI James Woolsey in his office close to CIA headquarters in Langley (even closer to the shopping malls in Tysons Corner), then Rep. Tom Lantos in his offices in the Sam Raeburn Building and then fellow scribbler Richard Miniter at his house on Arlington Ridge (not far from the Pentagon). Midway through my interview with Richard I came about as close to freezing up as I ever do. My brain had turned to leftover jello. Thankfully one of our producers, Maura Flynn, pitched in and started asking questions from across the room, saving my bacon in the short run. I’m back at the hotel now, but my work is not over yet. In a few minutes I walk down to Andrew Marcus’ room to pretend to help as he edits all this together on his Mac.

Tomorrow we will be at the Intelligence Summit, which will either be ridiculous folly, brilliant revelation or something in between. The essence of the developing controversy surrounding this Summit is two-fold, whether the information on their new Saddam tapes is genuinely fresh and whether the event itself is tainted by being financed by a man named Michael Cherney who is alleged to have ties to the Russian mafia. Summit organizer John Loftus says Cherney was set up. But James Woolsey and the other former DCI on the Summit’s board, John Deutch, have both pulled out because of Cherney, although it is unclear why it took them so long since the Russian turned Israeli’s involvement with the Summit has been known for some time. Meanwhile, pressure has apparently been put on others to disassociate themselves from the event; some of this pressure, I am told, has been coming from Director of Intelligence John Negroponte’s office. (Are we deep enough into the intercine intelligence wars yet?) Meanwhile, Pajamas Media already has comments from Woolsey and Richard Miniter(who is attending) about this matter on tape and the event hasn’t even started. We will continue to inquire into it tomrrow. Will this experiment in blogosphere video work? You’ll be the judge on the WMDFiles.