I awake with the dawn. Being one of the reporters who changed history by breaking the Watergate story, I learned long ago that the early bird gets the scoop. Goddamn Bernstein would stay up till all hours, then sleep in until noon and stroll in with his unironed shirt tails hanging out. Not me, I was always up early, looking sharp in my pleated trousers, tailored shirts and tie. I would get in even before the overnight staff had left, making sure I had a fresh ribbon in my typewriter, going over my notes and brushing the Frito crumbs off my desk that Carl would leave when he was digging through my desk drawers WITHOUT my permission! The industrious habits I developed during the crucible of Watergate have made me the legendary reporter and best selling author I am today!
I cruise pass the White House guards with a salute. As is appropriate for the unofficial national journalist/author laureate of the United States I enjoy unequaled access to the decision makers of the Bush White House. Hardly a day goes by when I do not have a lunch or dinner date with one of the important officials who have steered the helm of the S.S. National Security from the wreckage of port 9/11, through the rocky shoals of the straights of Afghanistan and into the stormy Sea of Iraq. Oh SCORE! Woodward you magnificent bastard, is that an analogy or is that an analogy? My Naval service really pays off sometimes!
I lunch with my source. He knows that unlike a lot of modern day reporters he can trust me to keep his identity secret. Like Deep Throat/Mark Felt I consider the protection of my sources as essential to freedom of the press. More specifically my freedom to write personally enriching best sellers and to not show up for weeks and sometimes months on end at my office at the Washington Post. My source orders a four egg omelet filled with cheese, sausage, bacon and fried lard. Not really the best selection for a man with a pace maker, but I grant him his indulgences as he has had a tough week trying to preserve the important option of genital electrodes in the fight against terror. We again discuss the Valerie Plame affair. “An inconsequential trifle is all this is Bobby,” he says as unchewed omelet, lard and saliva fly from his mouth. I find I agree with him and yet I become thoughtful as I wipe egg from my designer glasses.
What has happened to journalism today? Why all this strum and drang regarding the outing of an undercover CIA operative? Why all this concern about ”untruths” that helped America start a preemptive war? Is it possible my journalistic instincts become so dulled by my relationships with the power elite and my meals with them featuring foie gras on braised spinach leaves (which no one does better than the White House chef, trust me) that I have failed to see the significance of finding absolutely no WMD’s?
I say to you no. I AM Bob Woodward after all. Hello, All the President’s Men ring any bells for you? Although that story was about lies and cover-ups by administration officials, I have been assured by Dick and George....er...wait, I mean my unidentified White House sources (NOT named Dick or George) that they have neither lied or covered up a thing! So the war has cost America nearly 225 billion dollars so far and over 2100 brave young lives. As my source is fond of saying, you can’t make a lard filled omelet without breaking some eggs.
Let the insignificant journalists who sit at the kiddie table of the Washington press corps be jealous of me. Go ahead, write your little stories about that storm in New Orleans or weak poll numbers, whatever the great unwashed care about outside the beltway. Bob Woodward is with the grown ups! Now that Judy Miller is gone (Yippee!) I am the one remaining journalist, not on the government payroll, who has the credentials to be rubbing elbows with the administration elite. To pal around with them. To shop for Christmas gifts for them. To occasionally take out their dry cleaning. Only I have earned the right to swallow hook line and sinker whatever cock and bull story they give me!
My source and I finish our mimosas. He explains to me how waterboarding works and says when he has the time he’ll take me along to a secret torture prison or two. I of course will keep all this to myself. Just as I kept secret that fact I knew about Valerie Plame. Mr. Bob Woodward has many more best sellers to write and a vacation home in Aspen he has his eye on. So when the time is right you’ll know all the facts I decide to tell you about the Plame affair, the Abraham Lincoln clone and that alien spacecraft in area 51.