On Tuesday, jury selection began in the trial of Lewis Libby. And "Good Morning America" reporter Claire Shipman couldn’t resist spinning this occasion into an attack against President Bush. Libby, the former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. He does not, however, face prosecution for publically outing Wilson's wife, CIA agent Valerie Plame. However, through sloppy phrasing and omission, Shipman encouraged the assumption that this is yet another example of the Bush administration’s misconduct. The most brazen example is the GMA reporter’s description of the "original crime":
Claire Shipman: "Prosecutors are trying to show that Libby lied to investigators about conversations he had with reporters regarding CIA officer Valerie Plame, the undercover agent who was outed. Libby blames a faulty memory. And in classic Washington style, Libby isn't in trouble for the original crime, outing Plame, but, rather, the, quote, ‘the cover up,’ according to the prosecutor."
No government official has been charged with revealing the identity of Valerie Plame. So, how can there be an "original crime?"
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow appeared on Thursday’s "American Morning" in a feisty mood, ready to battle CNN’s liberal agenda. Co-anchor Miles O’Brien offered Snow a loaded question about Republican opposition to Donald Rumsfeld. The press secretary fired back by mentioning the cable network’s infamous "sniper video:"
Miles O’Brien: "The President with a show of support for Defense secretary saying he's doing a fantastic job. Let's go through this a little bit. Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel, say they have no confidence in the Defense secretary. A couple of Republicans running right now, Tom Kean, Jr. in New Jersey, Chris Shays in Connecticut, saying Rummy should go. And the public, in general, has a fairly low opinion of him, about 35 percent right now. How does that all add up to a fantastic job?"
Tony Snow: "Well, I'll tell you, when was the last time, Miles, you guys reported on real support for Don Rumsfeld, or talking about the successes of the American forces in the battlefield? I know CNN has shown people getting shot. The question is --"
O’Brien: "Well, actually, no, no, no. We didn't actually show them. We did a report, which showed snipers, a propaganda film from insurgents showing sniper activity. We didn't show them being shot."
Snow "All right. I'm sorry, you blurred them out while the picture was showing them getting shot.
Within seconds of President Bush finishing his announcement of Samuel Alito as the nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, the CNN “American Morning” team was ready to attack and criticize this decision (video links to follow).
On his nightly PBS talk show Monday, Tavis Smiley questioned John Edwards about the Harriet Miers nomination. Oddly enough, Edwards, who presumed he was ready to be President of the United States after being in the Senate about the same amount of time Miers was in the White House, suggested the big Miers issue was her lack of experience:
The John Roberts confirmation story on the front page of today's Washington Post (by reporters Charles Babington and Peter Baker) jumps to page A4 with this sentence: "Among those opposing Roberts were presidential aspirants who typically veer to the center, but are now eyeing the liberal activist groups that will play key roles in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early-voting states in 2008. They included Sens.
Despite John Roberts being confirmed today by a very strong 78-22 margin to be our nation's new Supreme Court Chief Justice, America Online (AOL) is blaring across its home page, "A Rough Week for Republicans." Here is the screen shot of AOL's home page from 3:31 pm PDT today (Thursday, September 30, 2005). According to AOL, the troubles of Senators Frist and DeLay are enough to signal a "rough week" for the Republican Party.
The critique was vigorous, brilliantly written and informed by a deep hostility toward the press, said Anthony Lewis, the author of "Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment" and a former columnist for The New York Times. "It's quite an astonishing document," Mr. Lewis said of the critique. "He's not a fan of the press. He speaks of 'the zeal and insouciance with which the mass media assails public officials.' " The Sullivan decision, the memorandum said, overstated the social value of the press. "Any assumption that media coverage of government institutions and public officials is the centerpiece of effective democracy," Mr. Roberts wrote, "is misplaced."
There's just one problem; Roberts didn't write it. Bruce Fein, a Washington lawyer wrote the memo. Oops. On a brighter note, for Bruce Fein, the New York Times said he writes brilliantly.
How could something like this happen?
Three people quoted in the article discussed the Fein memorandum, provided to them by a reporter, on the assumption that it had been written by Judge Roberts.And we all know that the New York Times is a major player in the assuming game.
Hmm, which puff piece for liberal heroes (without actually stooping to use the word "liberal") would the typical reader of the Washington Post prefer in today's Style section? Would it be the Marcia Davis article about John Lewis, "civil rights icon," lecturing about John Roberts and his awful work for awful Ronald Reagan?
Video excerpt: Real or Windows
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