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Did you know that The Great Leak Case today "roared back into the headlines"? That's what Olby claimed on Tuesday night. How many papers made it their big headline? How many news programs led with the story? We know of only one: The Hour of Spin. The Big News? Scooter Libby wants to use classified information during the trial, and therefore some of the proceeding may not be made public. Wow. Can't you just hear those headlines roaring from coast to coast?
Countdown Crony Dana Milbank showed up to play along with Keith's hyping of the Great Leak Case, along with those yet-unseen purported photos of Abramoff with the President. Plus he worked in a mention of Halliburton. You can be sure Milbank will get a return invite. Then Olby went back to yesterday's news: Gen Hayden's speech about the NSA surveillance program. In fact, he showed more of the General's appearance on Tuesday than he did on Monday. Why would he do that? Can you guess?
Time's up. Keith claimed to have caught the General in a mistake. So he played the footage to embarrass him! If Olby were any more transparent, he would be cellophane. The General was asked if the 4th Amendment required "probable cause" to search and/or seize. The questioner claimed it did; the General said no, the standard for search and seizure in the constitution was reasonableness. Keith arrogantly stated "maybe they have a different constitution at the NSA" when he read this:
The right of the people to be secure...against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause...
Note to Mr Humility: the General wasn't asked what the constitutional standards are for issuing a warrant (probable cause). He was asked what the standards are for search and seizure (reasonableness). There have been gazillions of warrantless searches that were legal because they were found to be...reasonable! In other words, the General was right, Olby was wrong. But that's no more Big News than KO's Libby scoop.
Those were not the only painted ponies Olby was riding. Another major spin point of the evening dealt with Katrina. A pre-landfall report said that the levees could fail. KO repeated, over and over, the President's statement that "no one anticipated" that the levees would fail. Now the President has explained, more than once, that his comment was regarding the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, when headlines were claiming New Orleans "dodged a bullet" and it appeared the city would escape serious damage. But KO saw no need to offer any of that context. Telling just one side of a story is bias. Doing so five times in 20 minutes escalates it to propaganda.
The Bad News from Iraq was covered with a recycled NBC piece. In the #3 slot was another slam at Oprah and her embarrassing book club gaffe. (We're not sure why Olby thinks this merits updates week after week. Is there a photo somewhere of Oprah with Jack Abramoff?) Some free PR for Howard Stern followed touting Sirius Satellite Radio's 3 million subscribers. XM's subscription base (nearly twice that number) was not mentioned. Then: penguin eggs, celebrities, and TomKat with the eerie Michael Musto. Slim pickings at Media Matters, so KO had to settle for worst person Barry Bonds.
The most frightening moment of the hour came during an MSNBC promo:
Keith shows you the facts, shows you the law, so you can decide if warrantless eavesdropping on Americans is a crime. Countdown, MSNBC tomorrow at eight.
That should send the spinning wheel into overdrive.