Saturday, October 29, 2005


Russert explains himself thoroughly here and I think this is quite important.

Tim Russert: We were subpoenaed at NBC, and myself, in May of 2004. We fought the subpoena and lost.

On Aug. 7, I sat down with the special counsel, under oath, not before the grand jury, and was asked if I was a recipient of the leak. The answer was no. I was asked whether I knew Valerie Plame's name and where she worked and whether she was a CIA operative. And the answer was no. That was the extent of it. This is all confirmed on page 7 of the published indictment.

Mr. Libby had called NBC and me, as bureau chief, in July, not to leak information, but to complain about something he had seen on a cable television program. That was the extent of it.

There you are. Just because some important person calls a journalist on the phone does not mean that the important person is a source or that the journalist has promised them confidentiality. Similarly, just because journalist and important person are chatting at the bar, at a dinner party, or anywhere else does not mean that the important person is a source that the journalist has promised confidentiality. So, when Lucy Dalglish whines like this:

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said the case was setting a dangerous precedent. "Reading the indictment makes my blood run cold," she said. "This whole thing hinges on Russert."

She once again sets her cause (federal shield law) back by missing the point entirely. Not all conversations journalists have with people involve confidential source relationships. It's a weird world indeed when the people who are supposed to get the scoops and report the news - journalists - are instead perceived as being priests in the confessional who are supposed to keep everything they hear secret.