It is an interesting experience to be part of a group called out for its ethics by Karl Rove. The entire first half of this year most of the American political world was wondering if Rove would be indicted for his role in the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent. That Rove was involved in that disgusting affair was not in doubt; the only question was whether the prosecutor in the Plame situation could find enough proof to bring charges. The man who is calling journalists out for ethics helped attack the career of a man's wife because the man wrote an article calling attention to the lies of Rove's bosses in the Bush administration. Then Rove and the administration fought a several year battle to keep this all secret. Rove and the administration to which he belongs managed to be cowardly, vindictive and underhanded all at the same time on the same issue.
Rove's political shenanigans extend back through virtually his entire political life starting in 1970, according to this 1999 article by Dan Balz in the Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/rove072399.htm, "Rove acknowledges that, in 1970, he used a false identity to gain entry to the campaign offices of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon, who was running for state treasurer. Once inside, Rove swiped some letterhead stationery and sent out 1,000 bogus invitations to the opening of the candidate's headquarters promising 'free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing.' 'It was a youthful prank at the age of 19 and I regret it,' Rove says."
In 1973, Rove used underhanded methods to try to win the post of the National Chairman of the College Republicans according to this article in Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/karl_rove . The election was thrown into such disarray that both Rove and his opponent were termed winners and gave acceptance speeches. Wikipedia says 'While resolution was pending, [Terry] Dolan [Who has been an erstwhile candidate for the same post] went (anonymously) to the Washington Post with recordings of several training seminars for young Republicans where Rove discussed campaign techniques that included rooting through opponents' garbage cans and other forms of espionage, and stories of derring-do such as the incident at the Dixon headquarters. On August 10, 1973, in the midst of the Watergate scandal, the Post broke the story in an article titled "Republican Party Probes Official as Teacher of Tricks.'" The scandal rose to the point where the FBI became involved and interviewed Rove.
Rove was fired from both the 1980 and 1992 George H. W. Bush Presidential campaigns because of intentional leaking of information. The 1992 leak is covered in this http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/0525nj1.htm May 25, 2006 National Journal article by Murray Waas as the long standing link between Novak and Rove was something investigated in the Plame leak-gate affair.
When one examines Rove's record and then one again considers Rove's recent criticism of journalists' political ethics, the criticism is almost like Stephen Glass accusing someone of making up too many stories or Ted Bundy accusing someone else of being too violent. Rove is a ruthless political operative whose only ethic is to win at any cost and by any method. Any ethical political organization would have banned his participation a long time ago. Fortunately for Rove, and unfortunately for the rest of us, there is the GOP and the Bush administration.