Liberal? New York Times buries Rove story on page 23, beneath octuplets
John Byrne
Published: Tuesday January 27, 2009

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Karl Rove has been subpoenaed for a second time -- the first sign that Democrats under President Barack Obama's tenure will boldly go after Bush Administration officials in scandals that outlast his presidency.

You probably wouldn't have known it, though, had you read Tuesday's New York Times. The Times ran the story with a four sentence Associated Press brief on page 19 of the national edition and page 23 in New York City.

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers issued a subpoena Monday ordering Rove to appear before his committee next week to testify about his knowledge in the firing of nine US Attorneys and the alleged political prosecution of an Alabama governor who was jailed for two years pending appeal.

Conyers subpoenaed Rove last year without success; the Bush White House backed up Rove in a claim that the President Bush had "absolute [executive] immunity."

That claim was thrown out by a federal judge and is currently in appeal.

Given the fact Conyers had subpoenaed Rove once previously without success, it was little surprise that news agencies paid the subpoena less attention Monday night. But the Times apparently felt the subpoena was barely worth a mention at all.

The Times' four sentence brief ran after the stories in the National Briefing, "California: Union Local Seeks a Vote," "California: Second Set of Octuplets Born," "Tennessee: Plea Deal in Nuclear Case" and "Guilty Plea in Iran Exporting Case."

"The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Karl Rove, a former top White House aide, to testify about the Bush administration's firing of United States attorneys and prosecution of a former Democratic governor," the Times' AP story said. "The subpoena, by Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, continues a long-running legal battle and directs Mr. Rove to appear for a deposition next Monday. Mr. Rove previously refused to appear before the panel, arguing that former presidential advisers cannot be compelled to testify before Congress. Mr. Conyers said the transfer of power in the White House, with President Obama now in office, could affect the legal arguments available to Mr. Rove."

That was their full report. By contrast, The Washington Post ran a detailed story written by their own reporter on page A8.