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Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had a long news conference this afternoon, addressing the end of service of his Grand Jury and the indictments handed down on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Shortly thereafter, the talk station to which I listened after the PC ran a newsbreak at 3:30 PM EST. During that break, they ran the ABC news, and one of the stories was, of course, the indictments.

This is a very curious press conference just conducted by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. With his machine-gun delivery, he repeatedly flopped back and forth between saying that the “outing” of Valerie Plame, wife of discredited Ambassador Joe Wilson was a “serious matter,” and saying that he “reached no conclusion” whether she had been outed, and if so, when and by whom.

Here's how the AP reported today's developments in the Plame case:

"Karl Rove, President Bush's closest adviser, escaped indictment Friday but remained under investigation, his legal status a looming political problem for the White House." [emphasis added]

"Escaped"?  Did he scale the wall at the Big House?  Pull a Shawshank Redemption and slip out through the sewer system?

The excitement and anticipation radiating from the mainstream media, as American deaths in Iraq inched toward the 2,000 mark, has been more than evident. It has also been a time of struggle for those of us who deeply mourn the loss of these heroic young men and women. Now, in addition to the pain and suffering we truly understand, the American public must also endure the pre-planned platitudes of a press strongly opposed to this combat action.

Yesterday, Harriet Miers withdrew as a Supreme Court nominee. Today, Lewis Libby has been indicted by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. So how do Keith Olbermann and Craig Crawford explain the lack of any terror alerts to distract the public from this bad news?

Harriet Miers was the victim of conservative "attacks," according to the lead story and its two headlines in Friday's New York Times, and another story advances a theme of vicious and unfair attacks against Miers.

"Bush's Court Choice Ends Bid After Attack By Conservatives -- Too Many Doubts," is from Elisabeth Bumiller and Carl Hulse.

As ABC, CBS, and NBC all dived into live coverage today to report the indictment of Vice President Cheney's top aide Scooter Libby, this is not at all the way the networks covered indictments of cabinet officers in the Clinton years.

Matthew Mosk of the Washington Post today reports on a racist attack lodged by a liberal blogger on Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele (R), an African-American, who is the front-runner in the Republican primary for US Senate in 2006. Mosk also notes how this controversy has touched a Democrat seeking statewide office in Virginia.

As Brent Baker noted on NewsBusters, last night on Larry King Live Bob Woodward made what amounted to a pro-Bush point regarding an Iraq-Niger uranium deal. In a Thursday piece on the Editor & Publisher web site, however, Woodward's ex-Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein, discussing the Iraq war and Plamegate, sounded anything but pro-Bush. (Hat tip: Romenesko.)

Yesterday's Washington Post takes a stroll through Kim Jong Il's Pyongyang Potemkin Village and finds happy peasants, dazzled visitors, and "public support" (hat-tip MediaCrity).

Cokie Roberts, on ABC's Good Morning America this morning, is accusing the conservative opposition to Harriet Miers of sexism. When asked whether the standards were higher for Miers than they would have been for a man, Roberts replied:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Let's look at the facts:
  • The Miers withdrawal was greeted with widespread approval;
  • Conservatives are already beginning to rally around the president, awaiting what they optimistically expect to be a good replacement nominee.
  • If you believe the NY Times, Karl Rove has dodged the indictment bullet, at least for the time being.

So if you were writing the opening graphic for this morning's Today show,

As we prepare for any Patrick Fitzgerald moves today on Plamegate, and the press gets out its bottle of Clinton's Milk of Amnesia, don't just remember, as Rich Noyes did, that the media yawned when it came out that Robert Ray could have indicted Hillary. From the cobwebs of the April 1999 edition of our old paper newsletter MediaWatch, a reminder that the media also yawned when the grand jury forewoman felt she would have supported indicting President Clinton:

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker released a list today of 2,200 companies that apparently bribed Saddam Hussein for access to contracts related to the United Nations oil-for-food program. Topping the list were such household names as Germany’s Siemens Corporation, Germany’s Daimler Chrysler, and Sweden’s Volvo.

Unlike ABC and CBS, on Thursday night, NBC informed viewers of a report on the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal, as NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams stated that "2,000 companies paid nearly $2 billion in kickbacks directly to Saddam Hussein" and that "the country with the most companies involved in this was Russia, followed by France." A complete transcript of the story from the October 27 NBC Nightly News follows: