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Justice Department Investigating NSA Leak

Reported by Deborah - December 30, 2005

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into who leaked information about the NSA program to the media. Brigitte Quinn talked to Eric Dezanhall and Peter Mirijanian, crisis and PR consultants, during FNL in the late morning. The chyron below them read "Is NYT in hot water?" 12/30/05

Quinn commented that the White House has taken a beating over the NSA story and then asked if this investigation might allow them to retake the momentum?

Eric Dezenhall claimed that although nobody welcomes an investigation in this case it might be different because protecting Americans is President Bush's speciality. He thought that it might be good for Bush to embrace it.
Peter Mirijanian thought that the investigation was a distraction and wondered why the story was released on the Friday before a holiday season.

Dezanhall said that since the Times is "on the opposite side of the culture war", they might take some heat. Mirizanian added that the investigation will put the media on the defensive and add to the public's skepticism.

Earlier in the morning Bill Sammon, Washington Times, and John Harris, Washington Post appeared on FNL to discuss the NSA issue. Both of them agreed that the real issue is if there was proper judicial oversight. Both also agreed that as long as that part of the issue is kept in the background, the American people will support President Bush.

In the middle of the segment the report of the Justice Department investigation came over the wire. Bill Sammon commented that this leak investigation was going after the New York Times.

Comment: Much, much more to come.

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