The author of the best-selling book Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security, will be in Los Angeles this weekend to receive an award for outstanding investigative reporting.
We're referring, or course, to Bill Gertz, defense and national security reporter for The Washington Times. Earlier voted as the nation's "favorite reporter" by more than 6,000 readers of the Drudge Report, one of the most widely read media sites on the Internet.
"A reporter that James Bond would love, this Defense Department correspondent has been one of the biggest intrigues going in a city that can't figure out where he gets it all," commented Matt Drudge, author of the daily news summary filed from Los Angeles.
"He has singlehandedly turned The Washington Post into the second read in the halls and stalls of power."
If you don't believe Drudge, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon once revealed that the Defense Department had drafted new procedures for handling classified documents so they're less likely to end up in the press.
They were first applied to contentious ABM Treaty negotiations in Geneva, when all correspondence was transmitted through a special communications channel. Still, one Pentagon official couldn't help but leak the classified code word used by the Clinton administration to flag the information regarding the talks: "No Gertz."
We also had to laugh when Nicholas Burns stepped down as State Department spokesman to become U.S. ambassador to Greece, telling the world from his podium: "I know some people won't be sorry to see me go _ Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi and Bill Gertz."
This weekend's award will be presented at the first conference sponsored by the Internet newspaper WorldNetDaily, brainchild of former Sacramento Union editor in chief Joseph Farah.
The conference is on "The New Media to America's Rescue." The award is for "courage and honesty as an investigative reporter," says a WorldNetDaily spokeswoman.
Among other participants at the conference: Rep. James E. Rogan, California Republican, one of the 13 House prosecutors in the impeachment trial of President Clinton.