As the trial of Scooter Libby gets closer, the real culprits are making sure they get their story straight.

No, DUers, not Karl Rove...The Press!

As I told you here, the Press "implosion" is beginning to happen.

Enter Stage Left, Andrea Mitchell, NBC Corospondent extraordinaire - and wife of outgoing Federal Bank Chairman Allen Greenspan - who on Oct. 3, 2003 on CSPAN's Capital Report said in response to a question by interviewer Alan Murray:

"Murray: Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?

Mitchell: It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that. But frankly I wasn't aware of her actual role at the CIA and the fact that she had a covert role involving weapons of mass destruction, not until Bob Novak wrote it."

Then on November 10th, talking with MSNBC's Don Imus about the quote said that what she said was taken out of context and well, it's all us bloggers fault. Quote via Newsmax:

"We've got a whole new world of journalism out there where there are people writing blogs where they grab one thing and ignore everything else that I've written and said about this. And it supports their political view."

As Steve "The Jerk" Martin said, "Well, Exccccusss Meeee!" Normally in the blogging word as in the "real media" quotes are usually taken as an indication of what the quotee meant to say.

This would be bad enough but then back on the Imus show yesterday, she "clarified" herself. Again, via Newsmax, here is the transcript:

"MITCHELL: I know the question now. I've gone back and reread it. And I frankly - I thought - I think that I thought he was asking about, did I know there was an envoy. But I know that I didn't know about Joe Wilson's wife until after the [Novak] column. Because when the column came out I went in to my producer and said - "Look at this. How the heck did we not know that?"

And at the same time we were talking with [Tim] Russert and everyone else. You know - this is a different part of the story that we didn't know about.

So clearly back in Oct. of '03, I screwed it up.

IMUS: Well, [Alan Murray's] question seems plain. "Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. And you said that his wife worked . . .

MITCHELL: When you look at my answer, I said: "It was widely known - and we were trying to track down who among the foreign community was the envoy to Niger." So far, so good. Okay? [Quoting herself again.] "So some of us began to pick up on that. But frankly I wasn't aware of her actual role at the CIA and the fact the she had a covert role involving weapons of mass destruction, not until Bob Novak wrote it.

IMUS: Well, that part is clear.

MITCHELL: That's clear. So, what's not clear is that I didn't know about her role at the CIA until Bob Novak wrote it. And I obviously got it muddled.

IMUS: Well, what this suggests to me is that, you knew she worked at the CIA but you didn't know what she did there.

MITCHELL: Yes, but that's not . . .

IMUS: Is that fair? Did you know that?

MITCHELL: I didn't.

IMUS: Well, then - why did you say you did, Andrea?

MITCHELL: Because, I messed up.


MITCHELL: I think that I was confused about the timeline. We weren't all as focused on the timeline then as we really are now. And I think I just was confused.

IMUS: Did you ever have a discussion with Russert about it?

MITCHELL: Sure, after the fact.


MITCHELL: Well, I think Russert, conversations with Russert, obviously after Joe Wilson came out on "Meet the Press" - and we all talked about those 16 words. That's what we were focused on. We were focused on Niger, uranium, were there WMD? That's what the whole focus was. Not on his wife.

Then Joe Wilson's wife was mentioned by Bob Novak and it became a major issue when the CIA referred it to the Justice Department for investigation. . . . . [SNIP]

IMUS: I think the reason that there's a question about you, and I'm not patronizing you, but it's because the respect you have as a journalist and as a reporter.

MITCHELL: I appreciate that but I've got to tell you . . .

IMUS: I mean, [reporters are] very careful about what they say and when they say it.

MITCHELL: I have gone back over this, I can't tell you how many times. I was quite surprised to hear about it because it's inconsistent with anything in my memory. I can't find any notes that reflect this - this alleged knowledge. And so I was muddled on the timeline - that's all I can imagine.

IMUS: Have you been subpoenaed?

MITCHELL: No, no - not at all.

IMUS: Have you ever - have you talked to Fitzgerald informally?

MITCHELL: No - in no way. I was - I didn't have any knowledge about this. You know, one of the things that happened was that the Washington Post wrote an inaccurate story in the middle of this whole period, saying that I was one of the six people who had been leaked to before the Novak column. And that's how my name first got into this.


So we have a statement - then a misunderstanding, then a mispoke....

What we really have though is "positioning". If Andrea performs this way in front of a Defense attorney - say in the Libby trial - her butt in going to be in a might tight sling.

But the real fun is going to happen when the subpoenas from Libby's attorneys begin to fly and land at the doors of the NY Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, The Nation to name a few. Then we can watch all the "Clear-Muddled-Befuddled" testimony of the Press begin!

For more check out Tom Mcguire who appears as "befuddled" with Andrea's position, or reposition, or last position, as I am.

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