ANOTHER CONSPIRACY THEORY….I’ve been emailing with Tom Maguire quite a bit over the Valerie Plame affair, and he’s made the point to me that perhaps the media isn’t really very excited about looking into the whole thing. After all, what’s in it for them to track down a leaker in the White House?

The media prefers its sources to feel chatty and expansive. If one consequence of the sort of investigation that would resolve this is a silent White House, journalists, at least collectively, may prefer to let this go.

I told him I didn’t think much of this, figuring that the thrill of breaking a good story was more than enough compensation for the temporary chilling effect it might have on off-the-record sources.

Yesterday, however, Mark Kleiman, who’s also been following this story closely, edged toward agreeing with Tom:

I hate to endorse the MinuteMan’s cynical assertion that the story won’t be covered because the people who should be covering it are too busy sucking up to their sources and don’t want to help stir up a leak hunt when they rely on leaks for their livelihood, but that explanation is looking better every day the Times and the Post act as if this story wasn’t there.

Since Josh Marshall is part of the DC journalism community, I think it’s time for him to weigh in with an opinion. My theory is that getting a good story pretty much trumps any other concern, and the relative silence on this one has simply been because no one has managed to track anything down. But it’s been the better part of two weeks now, and it does seem a bit peculiar that the combined forces of American journalism haven’t been able to come up with anything. How about it, Josh?

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