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Traitorgate is a "teeny tiny tempest in a teapot"

Reported by Nancy - July 25, 2005 -

On FNL today (7/25) Bob Sellers was in for David Asman & the program was the usual melange of too-short reports, repeated teasers, & violent eye-candy. Traitorgate was mentioned briefly, but only to test-drive the newest excuses for any role Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may have played in the ever-widening scandal.

After a couple of teasers, at 12:52pm (EDT) Sellers noted that Alberto Gonzales (who was then White House counsel) waited 12 hours before telling White House staff to preserve documents that might be needed in the investigation of who leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, & asked whether that delay hurt the investigation. Sellers then interviewed 2 journalists, Shelly Cohen (Boston Herald) & David Ignatius (Washington Post). Cohen tried to imply that the 12-hour gap was no big deal, saying "this happened at 8pm ... on a Sunday night" & suggesting that nothing could have been done until the following morning anyhow. Cohen seemed to think she was being quite clever when she proclaimed that "this wasn't the Clinton White House, people do have lives" in the Bush WH. Sellers wondered whether "people will say they got rid of evidence" but Ignatius said there's "no reason to have conspiratorial" theories about what happened. Ignatius did point out, however, that the "behavior of Gonzales would have been very unusual" because "this [preserving documents] is standard practice," adding that lawyers say it was "sloppy legal work." Sellers followed up by asking what a corporate attorney would have done, & observed that Gonzales did notify Chief of Staff Andy Card immediately. Ignatius said that is "precisely what you don't want to do" -- have "selective" notification. Sellers asked Cohen if there were "legs" to this story, & Cohen dismissed it as the "quintessential teeny tiny tempest in a teapot." Sellers approvingly said "there ya go" & thanked his guests.

Comments: Too bad Sellers had to inject that personal opinion at the end -- he generally does a good job of interviewing (unlike many FNC "personalities", Sellers has a college degree, in his case from the University of Virginia). Cohen was snide & sleazy, but who'd expect anything else from the Boston Herald? Rove's name wasn't mentioned.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Traitorgate, & FNL's coverage of it). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.