Lynn Sweet wants the Obama team to come clean over its contacts with Blago. David Shuster has a different concern. He's hoping the media won't get "adversarial" once the Obama folks get around to releasing their report about who said what to whom.
Shuster made his pre-emptive plea for good media manners on this evening's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the MSNBC show Shuster has recently begun hosting now that David Gregory has moved on to Meet The Press.
Sweet, of the Chicago Sun-Times, began with a reasonable reporter's take on the pending release by Team Obama of its accounting of contacts between the President-elect's representatives and Blago and his minions: take your time but be complete. In contrast, Shuster's focus was his demand for media decorum and desire to exculpate Rahm Emanuel before even learning the facts.
View video here.
LYNN SWEET: I hope, and I've been reserving judgment, if Obama's team wanted to agree with Fitzgerald's request and give them a few more days [to prepare its report], that's fine with me. I just hope that when we get the report, for the administration that says they want to be transparent, I hope we have a time-line, I hope we have a list of the contacts.
I hope that they omit nothing important, because sometimes some of the people involved in this operation sometimes--maybe we have a difference of opinion--but I think sometimes they omit some things that are kind of, maybe, helpful to know. I hope that they look at the story in context and just state, from the beginning, what happened in a timeline: lay it out neatly, no summary narrative, and just let us know as many facts as they can. That's what I'm hoping. And if they can use this week to take that extra time to make a more detailed report, I'm all for them using the extra time.
DAVID SHUSTER: I'm also hoping that it's not adversarial. Because at this stage there's no reason for them or the press to make it that way. There's no evidence they did anything wrong. And you know, look: of course, Rahm Emanuel and others will have had contacts with Rod Blagojevich. That was essentially his job. There's nothing wrong with that. I think the question is going to be: will Rahm Emanuel just simply come out and say, look, here's what I did, here's what I didn't know, and here's some of the information that maybe we're still trying to figure out what happened.
How ineffably understanding on Shuster's part. And of course we all remember how Shuster urged the MSM not to jump to conclusions about Pres. Bush on any number of matters. Or not. In any case, I don't think David has too much too worry about the MSM getting overly aggressive with their guy.
It's ironic: a few days ago, noting Shuster's ascendancy to Gregory's spot at 1600, I thought of saying that despite Shuster's excesses, I sensed that he actually retained some real reportorial instincts that distinguished him from the likes of Matthews and Olbermann. I'm actually saddened to see this kind of flackery from him.