ILLEGIBILITY DEFENSE… Time magazine has agreed to hand over journalist Matt Cooper’s notes from his reporting on the Valerie Plame leak story. Maybe this will keep my friend Matt out of jail. I hope so. Whether it will help the prosecutor’s case is a different question. As Steve Waldman of beliefnet.com just reminded me via IM, Matt’s handwriting is virtually illegible.

By the way, those of you who have written in comments that Matt ought to be in leg irons for protecting White House criminals need to understand that, as Jack Shafer has noted, Matt’s story was expressly written to draw attention to the fact that a crime may have been committed. In my book, that’s good journalism.

Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly. A former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, he is writing a book on America’s involvement in the Greek War of Independence.