Post, Plame, and Woodward

The Washington Post is weighing how to respond to the paper’s newly spotlighted role in the Plame investigation, according to Kit Seelye‘s latest in the New York Times.

Len Downie will not rule out publishing the leak’s name if the paper can come by the information independently, he says. Of course, you might remember that the (previous to this at least) biggest journalism story of the year–the identity of Deep Throat–saw the newspaper “scooped” on a Woodward source story by other news organizations. We’ll see how this one shapes up.

Jeff Leen, the paper’s AME for investigations, gives the internal perspective: “I think some people have been upset and appalled at how the whole thing unfolded and how it affects the paper’s reputation,” Mr. Leen said. “But the hard-core investigative types are completely behind Woodward. When some people say the sky is falling, others are saying, ‘Hold on a minute, this is Bob Woodward, who gave us modern investigative reporting.’ “

Of course Leen was a little more blunt in his internal comments yesterday: “Bob Woodward is the most careful person I know in the use of unnamed sources. Over his more than 30-year career there is no Wen Ho Lee or WMD or anything else like that. The man made a mistake. But he has given this institution far more than he has taken from it.”