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30 October 2005

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Jonah D. Wail

Pat:

Thanks for this absolutely great piece -- and specifically to this:

> > One of the more pathetic spectacles available in today's media is the propensity of the tribe
> > of broadcast journalists to interview each other about events, systems and areas of expertise
> > of which they have only a limited grasp. I suppose that tendency is thought of among them
> > as a sign of confidence in their role as protectors of the public good, but the truth is that the
> > bloviations of a lot of journalists are usually sadly demonstrative of ignorance of anything
> > but their trade.

Over the past 36 years my wife and I have made a game out of watching the Sunday morning gab fests. We don't say anything to each other during the actual shows. We wait till later in the day and then hit each other with questions about what key points were raised during certain segments. This morning we watched big Tim Russert on Face the Nation and the second section was a roundtable with guests, David Broder, David Brooks, Judy Woodruff and William Safire. Now there's a fine tribe of broadcast journalists.

See full transcript: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9851407

After Russert gave a rundown from key points in the Libby indictment by listing seven (7) separate times of conversations that Mr. Libby had with government officials and other journalists before Libby's conversations with Matt Cooper and Russert himself that led to the charges ... the following occurred with first, David Broder and then William Safire :

: : MR. RUSSERT: [Now,] this has resulted in the indictment of Mr. Libby and brought
: : this statement from his attorney Joseph Tate. "We are quite distressed the Special Counsel
: : has now sought to pursue alleged inconsistencies in Mr. Libby's recollection and those of
: : others' and to charge such inconsistencies as false statements. As lawyers, we recognize
: : that a person's recollection and memory of events will not always match those of other people,
: : particularly when they are asked to testify months after the events occurred. This is especially
: : true in the hectic rush of issues and events at a busy time for our government."
: :
: : David Broder, these are allegations, but an indictment has been made. What do you make
: : of it all?
: :
: : MR. DAVID BRODER: It's very hard to imagine that somebody as smart and as organized
: : as Scooter Libby would disremember where he heard that kind of information about a person
: : that he was very much interested in understanding what the background was of this person's
: : trip. He is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but I think his lawyers have a heavy
: : burden to disprove these charges.
: :
: : MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Safire?
: :
: : MR. WILLIAM SAFIRE: I think that was an excellent rundown and time line of a complicated
: : series of accusations of a cover-up, but the most important single fact that emerged from the
: : indictment is what was not in it. This whole thing started as an investigation of the violation of
: : a law. And the law that was violated was you must not deliberately out an agent who is
: : undercover. And what the special counsel found is that law was not broken.
: :
: : MR. RUSSERT: That's a very important point. Let's listen to Patrick Fitzgerald on that very point.
: : Here he is on Friday.
: :
: : (Videotape October 28, 2005):
: :
: : MR. FITZGERALD: We have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly, intentionally,
: : outed a covert agent.
: :
: : (End videotape)
: :
: : MR. RUSSERT: So there been allegation that an agent was knowingly and willingly, intentionally
: : outed by Mr. Libby. We know that Mr. Karl Rove talked to Bob Novak and Matt Cooper but was
: : not charged with knowingly and willingly outing an agent. And we know that the special

: : prosecutor knows who Bob Novak's first source was, and he or she was not charged. So there
: : was no indictment on the fundamental crime that was being investigated.
: :
: : MR. SAFIRE: Exactly.
: :
: : MR. RUSSERT: But, Mr. Fitzgerald, as you well know, went to great lengths to underscore how
: : serious allegations of obstruction of justice and perjury are.
: :
: : MR. SAFIRE: Yeah. But the most important thing is the whole basis of the political charge that
: : came out of the CIA, which was desperate to try to cover up its own mistakes and its own huge
: : failure in this case, this was an attempt by the CIA to get a Justice Department investigation of a
: : law that had not been prosecuted in--once, perhaps in 25 years. And everybody is walking
: : around thinking, "Well, you see? There was a conspiracy to undermine or uncover an agent."
: : Well, there wasn't. It was not. And he said it very clearly. And so I think we ought to keep that
: : in mind. This was a cover-up of a non-crime.
: :
: : }} end snippet {{

So then, I asked my wife this afternoon . . . What do you think about Safire's answer to what Russert asked?

Her answer was, "What a bunch of 'pathetic' crap!"

And then I asked what was the original question that Russert asked?

Result? A 30 second blank stare . . .

But then she pointed out the obvious:

"You can't find out where the truth of a matter is if you have someone lying."

Now mind you ... this is from a mother and a woman who has been a teacher for over 25 years.

She can smell BS from a 100 yards.

What do YOU think of Bill Safire's diversionary remarks?

Jonah --

Jonah

Brooks and Safire are just two more members of the tribe of neocons. Safire is particularly deceptive because he is so good with the language. pl

ked

Hey! Take tomorrow off, too, it's Halloween! In fact, maybe the "journalists" in DC will try out a new costume - I suggest a spine w/ a critical thinking device attached to it.

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