Moyers And Russert And Cheney Oh, My!

Moyers exposes Timmeh for the inside the beltway, message delivery system that he is. Ron Popeil would be proud. The Scooter Libby trial gave us a lo

tim-russert.jpg Moyers exposes Timmeh for the inside the beltway, message delivery system that he is. Ron Popeil would be proud. The Scooter Libby trial gave us a look into the way Cheney used Meet the Press to control the message and Moyers confronts him on it. Russert's response was 'absurd." This clip has the smoking gun/mushroom cloud talking head embarrassment...

BILL MOYERS: Was it just a coincidence in your mind that Cheney came on your show and others went on the other Sunday shows, the very morning that that story appeared?

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The media is freaking out on Moyers. Duncan debunks CBS's Mark Knoller here...David Sirota says the beltway media elite are in total freak out mode because of Russert's piece. Jane Hamsher has her favorite moment...Chris Cillizza has the nerve to compare him to David Halberstram...

Read Digby's piece on Russert...

It's certainly not a problem for rich people to advocate for the poor or the middle class as Edwards, Kennedy, Roosevelt and millions of other wealthy progressives have done in our history. But trying to pretend that you are poor or middle class yourself ("just a blue collar guy from Buffalo") from the podia of your own TV shows (or your fabulous summer home in Nantucket)is just plain insulting...read on

Transcript below the fold

BILL MOYERS: On the basis of his intelligence sources Landay wrote there was little evidence to back up the Vice President's claims.

BILL MOYERS: But the story Landay wrote didn't run In New York or Washington - Knight Ridder, remember, has no outlet in either city. So it couldn't compete with a blockbuster that appeared two days later on the front page of the nation's paper of record, with a familiar by-lineÂ….

BILL MOYERS: Quoting anonymous administration officials, the TIMES reported that Saddam Hussein had launched a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb using specially designed aluminimum tubes...

And there on MEET THE PRESS that same morning was Vice President Cheney.

DICK CHENEY (MEET THE PRESS NBC 9/8/02): There's a story in the NEW YORK TIMES this morning, this is-- and I want to attribute this to the TIMES -- I don't want to talk about obviously specific intelligence sources, but--


↓ Story continues below ↓

JONATHAN LANDAY: Now, ordinarily information-- like the aluminum tubes would-- wouldn't appear-it was top secret intelligence, and the Vice President and the National Security Advisor would not be allowed to talk about this on the Sunday talk shows. But, it appeared that morning in the NEW YORK TIMES and, therefore, they were able to talk about it.

DICK CHENEY (MEET THE PRESS NBC 9/8/02): It's now public that in fact he has been seeking to acquire and we have been able to intercept to prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge and the centrifuge is required to take low grade uranium and enhance it into highly enriched uranium which is what you have to have in order to build a bomb."

BILL MOYERS: Did you see that performance?

BOB SIMON: I did.

BILL MOYERS: What did you think?

BOB SIMON: I thought it was remarkable.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

BOB SIMON: Remarkable. You leak a story, and then you quote the story. I mean, that's a remarkable thing to do.

BILL MOYERS: And that's only part of it. Using the identical language of the anonymous sources quoted in the TIMES, top officials were now invoking the ultimate spectre of nuclear war -- the smoking gun as mushroom cloud.

CONDOLEEZA RICE (CNN 9/8/02): There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire a nuclear weapon. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

ERIC BOEHLERT: Those sorts of stories when they-- appear on the front page of the so called liberal NEW YORK TIMES. It absolutely comes with a stamp of approval. I mean if the NEW YORK TIMES thinks Saddam is on the precipice of-- some mushroom clouds. Then, there's really no debate.

BOB SCHEIFFER: (FACE THE NATION, CBS 9/8/02) We read in the NEW YORK TIMES today a story that says that Saddam Hussein is closer to acquiring nuclear weaponsÂ… Does he have nuclear weapons, is there a smoking gun here?

DONALD RUMSFELD: The smoking gun is an interesting phrase.

COLIN POWELL: Then as we saw in reporting just this morningÂ…

TIM RUSSERT: What specifically has he obtained that you believe will enhance his nuclear development program.

BILL MOYERS: Was it just a coincidence in your mind that Cheney came on your show and others went on the other Sunday shows, the very morning that that story appeared?

TIM RUSSERT: I don't know. The NEW YORK TIMES is a better judge of that than I am.

BILL MOYERS: No one tipped you that it was going to happen?

TIM RUSSERT: No, no. I mean-

BILL MOYERS: The-- the Cheney-- office didn't make any-- didn't leak to you that there's gonna be a big story?

TIM RUSSERT: No. No. I mean, I don't-- I don't have the-- this is, you know, on MEET THE PRESS, people come on and there are no ground rules. We can ask any question we want. I did not know about the aluminum-tube story until I read it in the NEW YORK TIMES.

BILL MOYERS: Critics point to September eight, 2002 and to your show in particular, as the classic case of how the press and the government became inseparable.

Someone in the administration plants a dramatic story in the NEW YORK TIMES And then the Vice President comes on your show and points to the NEW YORK TIMES. It's a circular, self-confirming leak.

TIM RUSSERT: I don't know how Judith Miller and Michael Gordon reported that story, who their sources were. It was a front-page story of the NEW YORK TIMES. When Secretary Rice and Vice President Cheney and others came up that Sunday morning on all the Sunday shows, they did exactly that.

TIM RUSSERT: What my concern was, is that there were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them

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