Washington Babylon — April 25, 2008, 9:01 am

Hold the Presses! Journalist Challenges Karl Rove for Lying

I missed this when I was traveling, but two weeks back The Week magazine invited journalists, think-tankers and politicos to a Georgetown hotel to hand out its Opinion Awards. For the most part, the affair seems to have been the standard (if repulsive) media-political lovefest that for which Washington is famous. For example, when emcee Margaret Carlson of Time magazine “made a joke about wiretapping abuses, [guest Karl] Rove stage-whispered a joke: ‘Your calls aren’t that interesting, incidentally’.”

But there were a few interesting moments, such as an exchange that took place during a panel that included Rove, former New York Times Editor Howell Raines, and Harold Evans. According to the account in Reason:

Raines challenged Rove on how John McCain had sought the endorsement of fanatics like John Hagee. “That’s not the same as sitting in that church for 20 years as this pastor said the government created crack to kill the black community,” said Rove, “that the CIA created AIDS.” Chris Lehmann, an occasional Reason contributor, piped up from the second row from the stage. “He wasn’t in the pew!” Lehmann said. “He wasn’t in the pew when Wright said that!” Evans tried to quiet the room down. “We’re moving on to another subject,” Evans said. “Then he should stop lying,” Lehmann said.

Which is perhaps the first time during the entire Bush Administration that a journalist has actually called Rove a liar to his face.

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