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Valerie Plame grabs the spotlight

By John E. Carey - posted Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson have claimed that their lives and livelihoods were “destroyed” after Robert Novak revealed Ms Plame was employed by the CIA.

Then the couple famously posed in his Jaguar for the January 2004 cover of Vanity Fair magazine. A scarf covered Plame’s blonde hair and dark sunglasses hid her features a LITTLE. But this was hardly the conduct of a couple hiding from the glare of public attention.

Daily Variety reported on March 1, 2007, “Warner Bros is developing a feature on the lives of Valerie Plame and Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the married couple drawn into a D.C. firestorm”.


“…. The film is a co-production between Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman and Jerry and Janet Zucker of Zucker Productions. Jez and John Butterworth are writing the screenplay. WB has secured the life rights of Plame and Wilson. Studio also will use Plame’s memoir, Fair Game, if the CIA permits her to publish it. Plame made a reported publishing deal in the $2.5 million range last year, and Simon & Schuster is expected to publish late this year.”

Conservative blogger Tim Graham got it just about right under the headline, “Libby Verdict Adds Cinematic Appeal to Valerie Plame Movie Deal”.

“Remember how Team Clinton always disparaged their enemies as peddlers of ‘trash for cash’, selling their stories to book publishers and movie studios? The liberal media played along then, but not now. The March 5-11 edition of Variety notes that Warner Bros moved quickly to secure the screen rights to Fair Game, Valerie Plame’s upcoming memoir of her life at the CIA. Michael Fleming sells it: ‘It’s a delicious political thriller of secret government power, covert identity and White House manipulation that would make for a great movie.’ Fleming doesn’t note the tale is much more ‘delicious’ if you hate Team Bush.”

Since the book and the movie deal were announced, Plame-Wilson Inc have been the beneficiaries of even more hype: Scooter Libby was found guilty of perjury and Ms Plame was called before Congressman Waxman’s Congressional committee.

We live in a strange media age where news makes even some questionable people “famous” by bathing them in attention and coverage. One can already imagine Ms Plame and her husband pushing their book and movie on Oprah and other chat shows.

Sometimes, Congressional hearings look a lot more like free advertising or chat shows than oversight or fact finding.


After Ms Plame’s testimony before Mr Waxman’s committee recently, Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College said, “As far as I know, there wasn’t any new information today. But public attention means public pressure, and that’s what Henry Waxman does best.”

Public pressure for what exactly? An early release of the book, film and DVD?

Richard Leiby and Walter Pincus wrote in the March 16, 2007 Washington Post that “Valerie Plame’s testimony will have all the trappings of a ‘Garbo speaks’ moment on Capitol Hill, with cameras and microphones arrayed to capture the voice of Plame, the glamorous but mute star of a compelling political intrigue.”

Sounds like the made for TV movie is already unfolding before our eyes.

Donald Trump, Rosie O’Donnell and Anna Nicole Smith have left the scene for now; Brittney is under wraps and Paris Hilton is no where to be found so Valerie has grabbed the spotlight and directed it upon, naturally, herself.

Her life doesn’t look ruined at all. It looks more like she is getting her Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame. … And enjoying every bit of it.

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First published in Peace and Freedom on March 17, 2007.

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About the Author

John E. Carey has been a military analyst for 30 years.

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All articles by John E. Carey

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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