Heck of a Job, Viveca?

No Russert Watch from me today. I'm leaving that task in the very capable hands of Marty Kaplan and am heading out on a short vacation to Tahiti, where I will attempt to find out if it's possible to "go native" and blog at the same time. So far the jury is out because, despite my island destination, I'm still obsessing on the news. Especially Bush's new nominee to the Federal Election Commission. And particularly his aisle-crossing appointment of Democrat Robert D. Lenhard -- a choice the Washington Post called "controversial."

You see, Lenhard was one of the lawyers who mounted a challenge to the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. As a lawyer, Lenhard wasn't able to overturn McCain-Feingold before it took effect, but, as an FEC commissioner, he'll be able to do the next best thing and try to gut it.

But that's not why I'm obsessing (if I got worked up every time Bush picked a fox to guard a government henhouse, I'd never get anything done!). No, the thing that has my mental wheels in overdrive is the fact that Lenhard is the husband of Viveca Novak -- the Time Magazine journalist whose loose lips may end up saving Karl Rove from joining Scooter Libby on Indictment Row.

Imagine that: Novak provides Bush's Brain with a possible get-out-of-jail-free card and -- just weeks after she tells Fitzgerald things Rove's lawyer desperately wants the special prosecutor to hear -- Bush taps her hubby for the FEC post.

Now I'm not saying that one is payback for the other. But it sure is convenient. It may not be a case of quid pro quo but, if you were to make a list of things that would begin to repair the damage done to the credibility of the media, this sure wouldn't be among them.

This appointment is the nonverbal equivalent of "Heck of a job, Vivie." And it cries out for further investigation.

In the meantime, I'm off to what Gauguin called his "Studio of the Tropics." Maybe the Pacific air will calm my spirit. But I doubt it.

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