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Traitorgate Gets the FNL Treatment

Reported by Nancy - October 26, 2005 -

Today (10/26) FNL was forced to discuss the ongoing Traitorgate investigation & the possibility of indictments being issued by the grand jury this week, but abandoned all pretense of "balance" in favor of hammering the same lame talking points that the reactionary noise machine has been floating since the scandal first broke. This included dragging out a couple of obscure bloviators for "interviews" with anchor Bill Hemmer, who asked some decent questions but allowed his guests to respond with talking points.

Here are the segments from the last hour of the program that are related to Traitorgate:

12:01pm - Hemmer read 'tops' including: Traitorgate

12:04pm - Hemmer reported that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says "not to expect any news in the CIA leak case today" to intro Megyn Kendall in DC, who reported that Fitzgerald "is giving his wrap up presentation" to the grand jurors. Hemmer & Kendall speculated on whether he might go for an extension, which Kendall felt was unlikely

12:07pm - Hemmer interviewed Kenneth Bazinet (NY Daily News) about what's happening at the White House. Bazinet said Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) was a preview of how the White House will handle it -- because "they play offense" not defense. Bazinet opined that "perjury & obstruction are insignificant charges" that the White House can easily deflect, but "anything like espionage will result in damage control" efforts. Hemmer asked whether, if "only Libby" is indicted, there would be a "huge sigh of relief" & Bazinet agreed, saying that "this White House really needs Karl Rove's brain right now" citing some of the difficulties facing the Bush administration. Hemmer asked about VP Dick Cheney, & Bazinet said "I'm not an attorney" but the bottom line is "no one knows what to make of that" because it doesn't amount to a crime. He added that "several people were quite aware" of Plame's identitiy & wrapped up with an observation that the "WMD argument segued into this sideshow."

12:24pm - Hemmer interviewed Edward MacMahon (criminal defense attorney) about the Traitorgate grand jury & potential charges like perjury or obstruction; MacMahon said it "appears to be a minor matter anyway." Hemmer asked whether Fitzgerald might ask for an extension, & MacMahon opined that he'd "probably wrap up Friday." Hemmer asked why investigators talked with Plame's neighbors & MacMahon trotted out that old chestnut, saying there was a question of "whether or not this lady was even a covert agent" & pointing out that not every CIA employee is a covert agent [comment: thus trying to imply that Plame wasn't]. Hemmer said that the word "operative" was used to describe her status, & MacMahon smugly replied that the statute that applies to revealing an identity requires "covert agent" status.

12:30pm - ALERT - Hemmer reported that the grand jury has either taken a break for lunch or is done for the day

12:35pm - Hemmer repeated that the grand jury has either taken a break for lunch or is done for the day, to intro Greg Kelly at the White House, who reported that the indictments are not likely to be handed down today; he said that there are 2 moods at the White House: "business as usual" (giving details of Bush's schedule for the day) but "behind the scenes there is a great deal of concern" about what could happen

Comments: Funny how the FNL treatment turns out to be just like the White House treatment of this issue.

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