There are so many degrees of wrongdoing in the Valarie Plame outing case that I can’t imagine a two hour film doing the subject justice – especially in the hands of Rod Lurie, who’s prepping a fictional account of the scandal with Nothing But the Truth. It’s not just about a covert CIA operative having her cover blown; there’s also the issue of who blew it (the Executive Branch), why they blew it (to get even with said operative’s Op-Ed-writing husband) and how they covered it up (by lying under oath knowing full well they’d have their sentence commuted at a later date).
Not figuring into the larger narrative is the B-story of Judith Miller, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who went to jail rather than reveal her leaky source, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the Chief of Staff to the Vice-President of the United States, Dick Cheney. The more Miller’s recalcitrance is forgotten, the better; and any comparison to Bob Woodward’s and Carl Bernstein’s protection of "Deep Throat" (aka William Mark Felt) is best left to the Fox News hacks. Miller’s reportage had nothing to do with telling the truth and everything to do with staying connected. This is the same woman who used the front page of The New York Times as a paid advertisement for the views of Ahmed Chalabi, whose bogus intel helped unpreparedly hurtle the United States into the Iraq War. Miller’s as much a "reporter" as Hillary Clinton is an "idealist".
Rod Lurie’s obviously a very smart man, but, politically, I always feel like he’s missing the salient point. His most interesting film is The Contender, which centers on a female Vice-President candidate being subjected to salacious charges on the basis of her gender. The picture winds up being about the impropriety of broaching the question; a better film would acknowledge the freaky behavior while asking "What’s this got to do with being a good President?"
Lurie seems a lot smarter than Paul Haggis, but he’s still the latter’s best competition for The New Stanley Kramer crown. If he can somehow work in the suppression of dissent in the months following 9/11, he might have a story. But obsessing on Judith Miller (as played by Kate Beckinsale) is to steer the discourse into a philosophical dead end. The woman abused her position. End of story.