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FOX Hosts: Libby and Rove Are Innocent Victims - It's All Joe Wilson's Fault

Reported by Marie Therese - May 9, 2006

In light of the fact that some media experts (such as David Shuster of MSNBC) believe that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is close to indicting Karl Rove on perjury charges, FOX News blithely goes along spreading distortions about former Ambassador Joe Wilson.

In an interview on yesterday's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Shuster made the following statement:

Well, Karl Rove's legal team has told me that they expect that a decision will come sometime in the next two weeks. And I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted. And there are a couple of reasons why. First of all, you don't put somebody in front of a grand jury at the end of an investigation or for the fifth time, as Karl Rove testified a couple, a week and a half ago, unless you feel that's your only chance of avoiding indictment. So in other words, the burden starts with Karl Rove to stop the charges.

Secondly, it's now been 13 days since Rove testified. After testifying for three and a half hours, prosecutors refused to give him any indication that he was clear. He has not gotten any indication since then. And the lawyers that I've spoken with outside of this case say that if Rove had gotten himself out of the jam, he would have heard something by now. And then the third issue is something we've talked about before. And that is, in the Scooter Libby indictment, Karl Rove was identified as 'Official A.' It's the term that prosecutors use when they try to get around restrictions on naming somebody in an indictment.

We've looked through the records of Patrick Fitzgerald from when he was prosecuting cases in New York and from when he's been US attorney in Chicago. And in every single investigation, whenever Fitzgerald has identified somebody as Official A, that person eventually gets indicted themselves, in every single investigation. Will Karl Rove defy history in this particular case? I suppose anything is possible when you are dealing with a White House official. But the lawyers that I've been speaking with who know this stuff say, don't bet on Karl Rove getting out of this. (Transcript source: Raw Story, May 8, 2006)

This morning the FOX & Friends First trio reported on a story that came out over the weekend but "didn't get much play" in the media. According to Tiki Barber, Scooter Libby's attorneys are claiming that they "have five witnesses who will testify under oath that Joseph Wilson told them himself that his wife was an undercover CIA operative."

Barber suggested that perhaps the reason the story didn't get covered was that it is irrelevant to the perjury charges against Libby! In other words, Libby's alleged false statements to a federal prosecutor are not connected in any way to whether or not Wilson made statements to others about his wife's job.

KILMEADE: "... But if Karl Rove says 'Look, I, I didn't say anything that I didn't' - if Robert Novak says everyone knew about this entire thing and when people told me I didn't think it was a big deal and that's why I put it in my column.' Then you have five people out there say 'Yeah, Joe Wilson told me personally at a cocktail party, when we were jogging, at racquetball, yeah, he said that's what my wife did' - we all knew it and now all of a sudden the whole Fitzgerald case kinda blows up and he's probably gonna be forced to put Wilson on the stand, to try to retain his, you know, to try to get back the credibility of the case."

FOX News left it up to Tiki Barber to deliver the RNC talking point:

BARBER: "It was an open secret. I think the big issue or the big repercussions of this will be for Karl Rove who has been to the grand jury five times . I don't think we really know what his role or whether he will be indicted in this - in the coming months - or coming weeks - and this may shed some light on it, that maybe he won't be. Maybe this is a mitigating circumstance that really clears him."

Brian Kilmeade noted that Libby's lawyers do plan to call Rove as a witness in defense of their client.

COMMENT

I wonder what Libby's attorneys will do when Rove starts asserting his FIfth Amendment right against self-incrimination?

As for the story not getting much play, I suspect that the media no longer feels obligated to breathlessly report White House talking points as "news" - with the exception of good old FNC, of course!

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