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Carl Cameron: Karl Rove just trying to help reporters get it "right"

Reported by Chrish - July 12, 2005

The teasers at the top of the hour today 7/11/05 for Special Report included this one for the Rove/Plame scandal (announced over graphic titled "Rabid over Rove"):
"Democrats and the press pounce on news that Karl Rove told at least one reporter that the wife of an administration critic worked for the CIA. We'll sort that out."

After the headlines he returned with "The summer heat has arrived in Washington, and it appears the annual summer media sensation has arrived as well. The revelation that White House Senior Advisor Karl Rove discussed a CIA employee with a member of the press has touched off a round of speculation, accusation and interrogation, that as Fox News Chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron reports is nowhere more evident than right at the White House."

Comment: Right off the bat Hume is diminishing the importance of the scandal, relegating it to tabloid news status and a partisan issue. Interesting how they (Fox) consider themselves NOT part of the press. Whenever Brit Hume says they'll 'sort things out' it really means they will put the official spin on it. His usual somber attitude was mingled with a suppressed grin, further insinuating it's all rather silly and entertaining.

Cameron's report was rather dry, stating "the White House was unmoveable, refusing to comment on any questions relating to the Special Prosecutor's investigation into the alleged leak of a CIA operative's name and the role of the president's top political advisor, Karl Rove."

Video of McClellan saying, "Those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing."

Carl says Rove is on the hot seat after his lawyer this weekend did confirm that Rove spoke to Time Magazine's Matt Cooper about former ambassador Joe Wilson's trip to Niger, to investigate intelligence claims that Iraq was buying nuclear material from that country. Wilson claimed that his trip was authorized by VP Dick Cheney and then-CIA chief George Tenet. According to his lawyer, Rove told Cooper that Cheney and Tenet were not involved but that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, apparently worked at the CIA. Rove's lawyer insists Rove did not know or disclose her name at the time or that she worked undercover. "Such a disclosure would have been illegal."

"New York Times reporter Judith Miller went to jail last week for refusing to give up her source. Cooper escaped jail by agreeing to disclose his. Word that it was Rove prompted a media frenzy at the White House.

David Gregory of NBC News is identified with a banner as he asks McClellan "Did Karl Rove commit a crime?"

Carl said "Some reporters seem to have already decided Rove's guilt" as Terry Moran of ABC, similarly identified, asked McClellan "Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed, peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation?"

Carl reported "when the leaks investigation began, McClellan did comment, denying allegations of Rove's involvement." Video from 9/29/03 was shown of McClellan saying "I've said that it's not true, and I've spoken to Karl Rove." Next was a clip of Bush, also from 2003, saying "If there's a leak out of my administration I want to know who it is....if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."

Carl says the president never used the word "fired" but that is what some reporters and Democrats expect, playing video of Senator Harry Reid making a statement to that effect.

Back at the White House, Carl says "some Democrats are already calling for Rove's political scalp; some want him fired, others want him suspended with his security clearances revoked, and still others are calling for Congressional hearings with Rove to testify in person. There is little indication that any of that is likely. Rove's lawyer maintains that Mr. Rove did not use Valerie Plame's name, didn't know who, that Valerie Plame was a covert operative and therefore no crime was committed, and that Rove was merely trying to steer reporters off of a story that could have been reported inaccurately, noting that there had been a number of original reports suggesting that the original report on the Niger yellowcake story was in some ways flawed and that Mr. Rove was merely trying to make sure that reporters got their facts straight."

Comment: The parsing continues, the spin evolves, and whatever the public seems to accept will become the official story. Like, we're in Iraq to spread democracy and liberty... Karl was only trying to maintain this administration's fetish for truth and accuracy in reporting.

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