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Federal District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled Tuesday that the privacy rights of illegal aliens convicted here of crimes, including the most serious felonies, are more important than the public's right to know data needed to assess how the government is complying with the law that requires such aliens to be escorted out of the country upon their release from jail.

The ruling is in the case of CEI Washington Bureau Inc. v United States of America Department of Justice, Civ. No. 03-2651 (RJL).



Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s “The Situation Room,” had Angelina Jolie on yesterday. After a discussion on the Katrina disaster and her reaction to the newly discovered “poverty” there, the topic shifted to her relief work in Africa and HIV/Aids issues, and eventually, of course -- to funding. Wolf Blitzer, jumping on an opening, had the following line ready to go [emphasis added] - brief disussion followed:



Geoff Dickens reports that on Hardball last night, Chris Matthews was doing a little exaggerating. He asked Norah O'Donnell: "Norah he’s been charged with money laundering involving a Texas, a set of Texas legislative races down there." Wrong, said the Laura Ingraham radio show crew (two law school grads there): they said there's a separate state law for money laundering, and Earle didn't use that.



On this morning's Today show NBC's Chip Reid attempted to play down Tom DeLay's charges of partisanship in Texas Democrat prosecutor Ronnie Earle's indictment:

Chip Reid: "In a blistering attack DeLay called Earle, who is a Democrat a partisan fanatic."

[DeLay: "This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in, in American history. It's a sham and Mr. Earle knows it."]





With a tone and a look on his face suggesting "what have I just done?", Tim Russert let the cat out of the bag this morning about the Dems' political motivations in the prosecution of Tom DeLay.

The context was an otherwise-predictable interview with Katie Couric of the Today show. But toward the end, Russert had this to say: "DeLay is a fierce partisan infighter" then added "and the Democrats realize that and are trying to respond in kind."



The Washington Post Style section this morning runs a goofy Ann Gerhart dispatch from a birthday party for long-time political humorist Art Buchwald at the French Embassy. It was a fundraiser thrown by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.



On Wednesday night, Keith Olbermann, on his Countdown show on MSNBC, delivered his latest attack on Rush Limbaugh, indirectly implying that Limbaugh is a "rude, vile pig." This latest insult came as Olbermann introduced an update on Limbaugh's legal problems while transitioning from a story about entertainer Elton John in which Olbermann poked fun at a clip of John shouting the words "rude, vile pig" at paparazzi photographers.

Olbermann started his "Keeping Tabs" segment by relaying the story of Elton John's offer to perform a private concert for a substantial fee. He then played a clip of John shouting "rude, vile pig" at paparazzi members, and joked that the clip was a preview of one of John's songs. The Countdown host then flamboyantly pretended to be excited that this song might be played at the concert and, in an over-the-top manner, repeatedly shouted, "Rude, vile pig!" as he pumped his fists while the video screen beside him displayed a picture of Limbaugh. After quickly reassembling his composure, Olbermann immediately transitioned into an update on Limbaugh's legal problems by saying, "Which brings us to the latest on the Rush Limbaugh investigation."

A complete transcript of Olbermann's presentation of the Elton John story and the subsequent Rush Limbaugh story follows. Video excerpt: RealPlayer or Windows Media



On this afternoon’s “Live From...”, CNN’s Candy Crowley did a not-so flattering report on the newly indicted House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-Tex). Crowley interviewed a variety of Democratic foes in the report who have some pretty damning words for the embattled Congressman from Texas. Yet, some of the harshest criticisms came from Crowley herself:

“Someone once called him a cross between a concierge and a Mafia don, a guy who delivered.”

“They call him ‘The Hammer,’ pounding money out of donors... pounding votes out of colleagues. Pounding the Democrats.”

What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.



The CBS Evening News, which described Ken Starr as the “Republican” independent counsel, on Wednesday night went out of its way to avoid alerting viewers to how Ronnie Earle, the Texas county prosecutor behind the indictment of Tom DeLay, is a Democrat. Anchor Bob Schieffer twice described DeLay not by his title as House Majority Leader, but as the “House Republican Leader.” While Schieffer relayed how DeLay “says he's the innocent victim of a rogue district attorney,” viewers did not learn of Earle's party affiliation until three-fourths the way through Jim Stewart's story when Stewart related how DeLay believes “the personal vendetta of Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle” is “the real cause of his problems."

ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas teased at the top of World News Tonight how “one of the most powerful men in Washington is facing the prospect of jail time” and she proceeded to identify Earle as simply “a prosecutor.” Reporter Linda Douglass cited “District Attorney Ronnie Earle” before, late in her piece, attributing Earle's partisan status to an assertion by DeLay, as if it's a matter of dispute: “DeLay says the prosecutor is a Democrat on a witch-hunt." (Douglass did note that “the indictment provided no evidence that DeLay knew anything.")

In contrast, by citing a claim by DeLay, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams strongly hinted at Earle's affiliation. He teased: "Tonight, indicted. Tom DeLay, facing criminal conspiracy charges. The House Majority Leader calls the prosecutor 'a partisan fanatic.'" Chip Reid noted how "DeLay today unleashed a bitter attack on Earle, who is a Democrat." But Reid countered with how “in an interview with NBC News earlier this year, Earle vigorously denied his investigation of DeLay was motivated by politics."

Complete transcripts follow, along with quotes of Dan Rather tagging Starr as a “Republican.”



Broadcasters turn news into 24-hour speculation cycle about $5 per gallon post-hurricane gas prices.

Broadcast journalists have been the only ones bidding up gas prices lately. While they foretell a horizon of $4 and $5 gas, consumers on U.S. streets are paying an average of $2.81 – up just 6 cents since hurricane Rita.



A few days ago New York Times writer Ned Martel wrote an article called Manna from Hollywood: Charity Begins on TV about NBC’s new Friday night television show Three Wishes hosted by Grammy award winnin



Shortly after the indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex) was announced, CBS News’ Gloria Borger did a report on the possible impact of this incident on the current and future political landscape. Borger made it quite clear that this was very bad news for George W. Bush as well as House Republicans while suggesting that this will put more seats in play in the upcoming mid-term elections. Borger also referred to questions surrounding Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn), as well as Karl Rove, suggesting that this adds to the Democrat talking point of “Abuse of Power.” And, she managed to bring up the president’s sinking poll numbers as well.

What follows is a full transcript of this report and a video link.



ABC's new Commander in Chief drama, which debuted Tuesday night, clearly intends to make the conservative Republican “House Speaker Nathan Templeton,” played by Donald Sutherland, the foil on the show revolving around Geena Davis as “President Mackenzie Allen.” On the debut, Republican “President Teddy Roosevelt Bridges” dies of an aneurysm, but before he does so he asks VP Allen, an independent with more liberal views, to resign so the Speaker can become President since he "shares my vision." Allen plans to do so, enraging her chief aide who declares of Templeton: “This guy makes Genghis Khan look like Mahatma Gandhi.” And he warns that a Templeton presidency would mean “the return of book-burning, creationism in the classroom, invading every third world country."

During a meeting with Allen, who is on a quest to save a Nigerian woman sentenced to death by stoning for having a baby outside of marriage, Templeton enrages Allen by deriding the woman as “the adulteress” and “a lady who couldn't keep her legs together." (As if that's how conservatives view the plight of women in the world.) Templeton's buffoonery prompts Allen to fold up the draft of her resignation letter -- and thus make the theme of the TV series, a woman President, occur. Sutherland is a leading character on the show and the preview of next week's episode suggests that he will “sabotage” Allen's VP pick.

Fuller transcripts follow.



The Reuters Global Managing Editor, David Schlesinger, sent a letter to Republican Senator John Warner, who chairs the Armed Services Committee.

Reuters reports on its own actions: