Of late The New

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October 23, 2003 11:34 a.m.

Of late, The New York Daily News has become ground-zero for anti-Rumsfeld leaks from the White House. Here’s today’s example: “Rummy’s on Hot Seat: Glum Memo on War Steams White House.”

So why’s all this stuff going to the Daily News?

I suspect there’s a fairly straightforward answer.

It’s not the Daily News. It’s Daily News Washington Bureau Chief Tom DeFrank. All the stories have his byline.

The other big one was from October 10th (“President reportedly unhappy with Rumsfeld, Powell”).

DeFrank has deep ties with various Bush One insiders including the president. (I discussed this in May 2001.) DeFrank even co-wrote James Baker’s Bush years memoir.

Back in early 2001 DeFrank was a major conduit for the later discredited White House vandalism mumbo-jumbo. But that was when the Bush One/Bush Two split wasn’t nearly as salient as it is now.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing necessarily untoward about this. Reporters have to work their sources. But it does seem like DeFrank has become the go-to reporter for some Bush One type at or in the orbit of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Oh, who could that be ….

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