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February 08, 2007



What a hypocrite, huh? Not that some of us haven't known that all along about Little Russ.


He didn't fight because he got good legal advice.

I may be wrong on this, but the real impetus behind fighting the subpoenas was to create a test case wrt journalist-source privilege.


He didn't fight because he got good legal advice.

I may be wrong on this, but the real impetus behind fighting the subpoenas was to create a test case wrt journalist-source privilege.


Flounder: Will that work?
Otter: Hey, it's gotta work better than the truth.


Great Minds:

The Hypocrisy of Tim Russert
Clarice Feldman

In the cross examination of Tim Russert this week we learned that although he'd made quite a show of fighting the prosecution's subpoena, asserting he did not ever and could not ever violate the principle of source confidentiality, he had on one or two occasions revealed to an FBI investigator over the phone the details of that Libby conversation prior to his charade of fighting the subpoena. He had in fact filed a false affidavit.

Yet Mr. Russert beat-up on Robert Novak when Novak revealed on Meet the Press that he had talked to the FBI without a subpoena. Here are some choice bits from the Meet the Press transcript captured by Raw Story:

Russert asked Novak why he seemingly gave up so quickly without a fight.

"We were subpoenaed at NBC," Russert said. "We fought the subpoenas. Time Magazine subpoenaed, fought the subpoenas. The New York Times was subpoenaed, fought the subpoena. Why didn't you fight the subpoena?"
Novak had not disclosed his source for three years at the request of the special prosecutor. Russert, who kept his informal cooperation secret until this week (even hiding it in a sworn statement to a federal court) had the gall to question Novak about keeping silent about Novak's own cooperation with the prosecution:

Russert asked why it took so long for him to say anything about his testimony.

"When I was subpoenaed, we announced it," said Russert. "When I testified before Patrick Fitzgerald, we announced that in what I had said and so, too, with Time Magazine and The New York Times.

"Why did you wait almost three years to tell the public that you had been subpoenaed and what you said?" Russert asked.
Russert had the resources of NBC News available to fight his own subpoena. Novak did not. Russert waited far longer than Novak to reveal his own cooperation. So on what basis does Russert berate Novak while keeping secret his own voluntary cooperation wit the investigation? "A pot calling the kettle black" doesn't begin to capture the breathtaking hypocrisy of NBC News' premier Washington journalist


Novak didn't fight, Chants, because it was on his own dime and legal counsel told him it was futile. In fact, NBC lost the fight. The point is Tim used the legal fight (he didn't have to pay for out of his pocket) to cover for the fact that he had with no fight at all willing cooperated and told a guy over the phone--who could have been anybody--the story.


He didn't fight because he got good legal advice.

I may be wrong on this, but the real impetus behind fighting the subpoenas was to create a test case wrt journalist-source privilege.


Read the note above, Chants.


It'd be nic if the defense is able to work some of these MTP interviews into its case.

Love to be in the media room for it...


Dunno why that double post came up.

And I agree with you 100% Clarice. A good lawyer always takes the client's coin purse into consideration when advising a client on the most prudent course of action.

As for Russert covering up his FBI slip up, he certainly did that. It made going along with corporate that much easier.

Other Tom

Russert's duplicity and cowardice are now on public record for all to see. Problem is, none of the media thunder-trumpets will ever give it the slightest mention. No one, including the Fox All-Stars and you-name-it, will ever pick up on this story and offer it up for ongoing discussion. There are a few of us who will nurture a lifelong contmept for Russert, MSNBC, NBC News and the rest of these reptiles, but good luck getting our point across. Talk about your vox clamentis in deserto...

Pete's Mom

Meet The Weasel



The myth of the "journalist-source privilege".

Every journalist worth his/her spit (pun intended) knows of this myth.

JM Hanes

I'd love to hear the actual answer to Well's question about whether or not Russert & Shapiro talked over the original "correction" Russert supplied to Eckenrode.


Well, Novak took it on the chin from them, didn't he? Wish I knew his email addy so I could send him TM's post and my blog..Maybe to paraphrase Armitage , this would be a good subject for a column.


Russert-he's no Judy Miller.

The Fitz accomodations for the media-

Russert the Ritz, Miller-worse than Motel 6.


[email protected]


Thank you, elvis.


"I'd love to hear the actual answer to Well's question about whether or not Russert & Shapiro talked over the original "correction" Russert supplied to Eckenrode."

Two mysteries yet to be solved,

1. Wells' mention of notes wherein Russert is recorded as saying a discussion about Wilson's wife with Libby was not aut of the realm of possibilty, and

2. If Russert knew nothing about the wife of Wilson before the Novak piece, why on earth did he make statements with loopholes that sounded to anyone --left, right or center -- that he was hedging?

Christopher Fotos

My rundown on the story appearing in WaPo Friday is here. A poster on another thread here alerted me to it (well not just me) so thanks.

And if Grim Thread Herder of Death stops by... well I'll just cry. Of course by the time I hit "post," TM will have published another three densely linked and researched items. All is vanity.


"Wells' mention of notes wherein Russert is recorded as saying a discussion about Wilson's wife with Libby was not aut of the realm of possibilty, and" That should be in the FBI source report and should be an exhibit online already/ Go to the AP exhibit list and click it to bring it up.

Christopher Fotos

Now, what's been going on here?


Very good, Chris, (What else can I say as you cite me?)You're well on your way to being our hometown Patterico.
hat's off.

Carol Herman


Well, maybe, now, Russert will become a flight risk?

Because even though he left court today thinking it was "all over," he might get called back!

How so? Okay. I'm no lawyer. But if Wells can unwrap from Andrea Mitchell, anything more than "I don't remember ever hearing anything before I read it in Novak's column." And, she "mis-spoke" ...

And, then?

I expect Wells can handle that.

What's Wells want? He wants to IMPEACH Russert.

Will he settle for just so much confusion nobody on the jury will believe all these memory losses? Well, if everybody's got the disease; and LIBBY IS NOT LEAKER ZERO, then how can they convict?

On the other hand if Andrea Mitchell looks like a liar or an idiot, her stock within her own group goes down. Or as IMUS got her to admit, she's just a drunken slut.

Either way, Fitz lost his motions. The judge might not be looking to kindly on the filings Fitz has made.

And, ya just never know.

Those leg irons for Rove might come in handy yet? But the pair would have to be bigger, to get it wrapped around Russert's ankle. Maybe, he'll bring a doctor's note? MD says ankle can't be put into leg irons. But how believable will Russert be ahead?

$5,000,000 Mr. Potato Head. And, Ariana boldly wants to go into his MTP job.

Now, who goes first? Mitchell or Abramson?

Clarice will have a busy Monday. But free of us in the peanut gallery.


Dear Clarice,

OT, sorry to bug you. The following paragraph was part of your AT blog entry 2/5/07.

"Significantly, Agent Bond confirms: Libby testified that on 9/30/03, Colin Powell told him that "everyone knows" about Wilson's wife, and that he (Wilson) was at the meeting where Wilson's wife suggested they send Wilson to Niger."

On the day you posted this entry, someone suggested that the HE who was at the meeting was Powell and not Wilson. Could you clear this up for me, please?

I found it beyond ODD that Joe Wilson would be present at a meeting where his name was suggested for a "clandestine" meeting in Niger. Good heavens, the implication being that Joe just sort of hung around CIA waiting for something to do. Beyond that, why is he present at CIA meetings?


Could someone point me to the live blogging of today's session?

At the end the jury was allowed to ask questions of Russert. The one I'm interested in regarded notes Russert took of his conversation with Neal Shapiro.

Would like to reread what the question was...and if there are multiple blog sources I'd like to see compare what each of them heard.



MM go here. http://www.mediabloggers.org/scooter-libby-trial

and to firedoglake.

The first has lance of maineweb's summary.Hit all of his.
At firedoglake, scroll thru Swopa's various live feeds.

Carol Herman


Russert has a trained public face. He won't fall apart on stage. It's very practiced.

Yet, I can remember, once, when reading Beldar, he says every trial attorney has had the experience of knowing his case just went out the window. Yet, you just keep on going.

When Kristinn reported, yesterday, up at Free Republic, the REACTION (body language), of Fitz; when Wells hit Russert with the accusation of LYING on the affidavit (that Libby was a source, that's why he was fighting the subpeona), Kristinn said that FITZ SLUMPED IN HIS SEAT. And, then spent his time staring at jurors as if trying to gauge their reaction.

Was he looking to see if they'd no longer trust him to tell them the time of day?

Matt Cooper

Thread Herder's War on Fotos?

Christopher Fotos

Thank you Clarice. The fact is--and this is just wrong--it was a helluva lot easier to write that post than I thought it would be because those thoughtful Posties just skipped by the "impossible" business. Activate Feldman Module, launch sequence alpha...


I see you are all trying to get me to not love Russert. Sadly, it seems Russert is the one doing the best job of that.


Smooches back, Chris.

Christopher Fotos

Thread Herder's War on Fotos?

It wouldn't be the first time, Cooper. Now about those notes--that was some kind of fraternity prank, right?

Fritz (not Fitz)

Do any of the great legal minds here have predictions as to how Libby's defence will be presented?

Christopher Fotos

And away he goes. I want whatever he's taking.

Rick Ballard

"I see you are all trying to get me to not love Russert."

The mans dog broke his masters leg. That's gotta tell ya somethin'.






I see that Fitzgerald entered the articles and the DoJ regulations into evidence today. How will those get presented to the jury? In closing arguments?

JM Hanes

It's just that thing that you do Christopher.:)

JM Hanes


I think they were read to the jurors (the articles at least), along with an admonition from the judge, before they left. Wells can't be especially pleased at that being the last thing they heard on a Thursday, although it's certainly less memorable than actual testimony. Perhaps less effective when not tied to actual testimony too. Considering Walton's repeated admonishments, in fact, a juror might wonder why they were even getting these free floating articles at all. And to think how many times Fitz has argued against confusing the jury....


Thanks, JMH.
Fitzgerald seems to have a fondness for entering "witnesses" that can't be cross examined. It doesn't seem right to me, that he could just stand there in front of the jury and read those articles with no context. He should have had to have waited until Libby took the stand so he could be questioned about his state of mind when reading them.


(a) he doesn't know if Libby will take the stand, and (b) he has to put his evidence in chief in his part of the case.

JM Hanes


That's the part the chapped me the most about Russert's grand jury "testimony." Of course, that's also probably why Russert figured he'd be in and out of the court house long before his scheduled date w. Imus in the am. Wouldn't you know today's the day my DVR went bust?

JM Hanes

BTW, MayBee, I'm still laughing over your "We're that devoted to him" comment on what we'll do when Libby is convicted.


Thanks, JMH.
And thanks, clarice. I still don't like it.


I have never been impressed with Russert, but I'm amazed how many big time movers and shakers apparently do like and respect him. Is it because he is good at what he does, or is everybody else he competes against just must worse?

And OT, surprised to see Anna Nicole Smith go tits up.



Novak couldn't have said, 'Well Tim, I guess I could have just considered Fitz a CONFIDENTIAL SOURCE' and spilled the beans.'



Bill OReilly has been all over NBC for its lefty reportage....and I think Bob Novak is a contributor to Fox News. Mr. O should be quite interested in taking on their hypocricy as well.

I think you should send your American Thinker article to Bill O, offer to come on the air and talk about it, and get this at least some publicity, since we know mainstream media will simply ignore it.

Dan S

I'm with Tina. I just noticed Novak is Fox too, but saw no direct email addy there in my brief peruse of the site.

hit and run

Dan S:
I'm with Tina. I just noticed Novak is Fox too

Yeah, Novak is hot! Total babe.


So far so good...no thread herder in sight yet...
Great article clarice. Keep the truth coming.


I emailed the article to his addy at novakevans which someone posted upthread. I don't know if he'd think it petty to get back at Tim by reminding his readers of that MTP exchange but I figured it would be some balm to him.

Speaking of Russert's memory, how many times did Kerry appear on MTP after double dog promising Tim he'd release his military records? He didn't and Tim never re-raised it.


May I ask how it is that Russert's credibility has been shot?

The main thrust of his testimony is "we didn't talk about Plame." Libby's lawyer tries to assault his credibility, suggesting that Russert concealed the fact that he had already talked to to the FBI about Plame, and therefore he is untrustworthy. To prove, what?, that Russert DID tell Libby about Plame? Is Libby going to go on the stand and insist that Russert did tell him that when his defense is he forgot?

Has anybody considered that if Russert's conversation with Libby went as he testified, then his behavior is inherently reasonable? People here are caught up about Russert's "role," but Russert is basically telling you "'role'?, what role? I don't know anything and now I'm supposed to answer a subpoena because I talked to somebody who is under investigation?"

The FBI comes to him and asks him about Libby, he says he complained about coverage, we didn't talk about Plame at all, I don't anything at all.

Now Fitzgerald comes back and subpoenas him about the conversation, and Russert is obviously confused. The papers betray a fundamental misapprehension about the reason Russert is being asked to testify(unless Russert does know and he either wants to protect Libby or bury him-that evidence can go either way,actually). Russert keeps telling the court Libby didn't leak to me, so I can't help out the prosecution. He quite obviously(to me) doesn't realize that he is being asked to impeach Libby. He doesn't see that Fitzgerald is no longer going after Libby for the leak, but that he's going after Libby for lying to the grand jury. And so he keeps insisting over and over that he can't help the investigation. It looks to him like Fitzgerald is trying to haul in every reporter who ever talked to Libby about anything and he thinks there's a principle involved, so I'm going to fight it.

I wonder when Russert found about Libby's story. Didn't even know what Libby had told the grand jury when he himself was before it? Did Wells even ask Russert when Russert realized that he be was contradicting what Libby had testified to in the grand jury?

And does anybody think that Libby is going to testify in his defense that Russert in fact DID tell him about Plame, or leave Russert's testimony uncontradicted? When his defense is based on forgetfulness? Does anybody see Libby's problem here?

JM Hanes


"Russert keeps telling the court Libby didn't leak to me, so I can't help out the prosecution."

That's not the question he was being asked. He was essentially being asked if he "leaked" to Libby.

"I wonder when Russert found about Libby's story."

The very first time he was contacted by the FBI.



Pardon me, that's not how the question seems to Russert. Or, more to the point, he doesn't see who the target of is and for what. We see it now, that Libby said one thing to the grand jury and now Russert is being asked to impeach him. Russert reads the question: Libby says he found out from you, so who told you? And Russert says - nobody, I didn't know, and I don't want to go into court so you can ask all sorts of questions about my relationships with sources because this is my livelihood we're talking about here.

The point is, to Russert, it looks like a fishing expedition, and he said so on cross. Interesting that Wells basically got him to explain why didn't mention the FBI interview. He must have winced when Russert started explaining himself.

Or not, depending on whether you choose to believe Russert, or speculation(unless Libby testifies).

I just don't think that Russert saw the significance of what the FBI told him in that first interview, or understood why he was being asked those questions. It's hard to say.

I still don't see Libby contradicting Russert on this point.


Here is a curious tidbit that Wells could use in summation.
It seems that Russert most probably lied under oath during Fitzgerald’s redirect examination.
How so?
Here is a quotation from Firedoglake:
F: Any chance Xmas and surprises was personal joy at seeing Libby indicted?
T: Absolutely not.
In other words T(Russert) asserted that his statement that the night before the Libby indictment was like Christmas Eve did not represent his feeling joy that indictments would be handed down to members of the Bush administration, but represented something else!

But what else?

Some have suggested that the mere fact that big news was going to break the next day was the cause of his elation. In other words, the alternative to what he denied seems to be the claim that big news in itself gives joy to Tim Russert; the nature of that news has no effect on him. Was it the nature of the news about to break? Absolutely not, he claims, and Fitzgerald is pleased to see this amazing statement.

Well, 9/11 was big news, for a whole week. Did news of it keep Tim elated for days on end? It certainly was big news. How about Hurricane Katrina? The Tsunami in the Indian Ocean? Or those two Muslims who went about shooting pedestrians through a hole in the trunk of their car? Did these big news events excite him to extended Christmas frenzies? Does an aircrash turn him on?

This is possible. After all I saw scenes of Palestinians dancing in the streets at news of 9/11, and maybe Russert agreed with them on this. But I cannot believe it. Russert is not a ghoul. At least I hope he is not a ghoul, and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on it.

Reporters in the old days got joy from scoops, events in which their own reports came in first and they got credit. But these indictments were not scoops for NBC or Russert.

The only alternative to his being a madman or a ghoul seems to be that he does care about the nature of the news he hears. He is elated when there is big news and it is good news, He is not elated at news of big disasters. So his Christmas Eve statement must have meant that he did not consider the indictments to be disasters (as Libby’s indictment was for Libby) but a long anticipated piece of good news.

Thus, either Russert is a horrible person, a wretched ghoul, (pardon me for repeating this word; I just love it) or he is an arrant liar under oath, ready to say the most outlandish things to keep from admitting a disagreeable truth about himself: that he wanted to see Libby, and other members of the Bush administration indicted, and took joy in the prospect of such indictments.

And this wss Fitzgerald’s triumphant redirect examination!

I wonder if Libby had said such a thing would Fitzgerald have had him indicted for another count of perjury for it?


--or he is an arrant liar under oath, ready to say the most outlandish things to keep from admitting a disagreeable truth about himself: that he wanted to see Libby, and other members of the Bush administration indicted, and took joy in the prospect of such indictments.--

Wow, Daniel...you are good.

--And this wss Fitzgerald’s triumphant redirect examination!--

Javani pointed out the Fitz duh moment, hammering away the memory expert...he thought he was the smartest guy in the room when sprung on her there having met before - do you recall?

Memory expert replied - NO.

Jaws drop and it dawns on Fitz.

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