Monday, June 19, 2006

Pen Pals

Veteran war correspondent Joe Galloway has had a blistering e-mail exchange with Rumsfeld spokesman Larry DiRita, which subsequently appeared in print. I would argue that this story demonstrates yet another instance of how the genre of e-mail becomes associated with scandal, policy mistakes, and controversy. The ruckus was even covered in Editor and Publisher.

Although the sender/receiver pair are ostensibly friends, both Galloway and DiRita resort to name-calling: "Johnny one-note," "curmudgeon," and references to pigs flying "with or without lipstick" appear. At one point Galloway explodes: "all i can say is what the hell are you doing questioning my columns when you ought to be in there at the elbow of your boss reading those columns aloud to him every wednesday afternoon and urging him to pay attention to them."

What is particularly interesting is that retired General Barry McCaffery, now a frequent cable news pundit, urged Galloway to release the emails, calling them "the most powerful stuff hands down I have ever read about this war . . . this exchange ought to be your going away gift to the capital." I, of course, wonder if McCaffery told this to Galloway in an e-mail.



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