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It was less than a week ago that Countdown told us that The Great Leak Case "roars back to life", because of a news report that Libby was authorized to leak "information". We now know that Keith Olbermann, and his partner-in-crime David Shuster, lied about what that report said. We bring this up because today there was another loud roar on that very topic.
But that roar didn't get any mention in the opening of tonight's Hour of Spin. Cheney's shooting and the "softball" interview took precedence:
Not in a news conference, nor in a written statement, nor to a panel of interviewers from a variety of news organizations, but rather before the more malleable cameras of Fox News.
Keith's take on this was so easy to predict that it was, to use a familiar phrase, like Pavlov's dog in a bell-testing factory. He then went on to point out a great contradiction in the interview: at one point Cheney called the man he shot his "friend", and at another his "acquaintance". Aha! Caught him again!!
Then Olbermann pulled another fake rabbit out of his hat:
It happened Saturday night at 5:50 local time. The Vice-President's people agreed to let the Sheriff's office talk to the Vice-President at 8:00 the next morning. That's an extraordinary drag time...
KO is obviously up on all the latest rumors from the blue blogs, but doesn't he read the daily newspapers? Isn't he aware that the Sheriff in the case told the Washington Post today that it was his decision to do the interview the next day?
Or how about the Dallas Morning News, which quotes Sheriff Salinas:
"They told me what happened," Salinas said. "I decided (to) let them sleep on it. I said we'll go in the morning."
So the Veep's people did not agree to "let the Sheriff talk to him" the next morning, as KO claims. It was the Sheriff who made that call. Another Olbyfication of the truth.
Undeterred, Keith went on to suggest that Cheney's one beer, five hours before the incident, was a factor that would "linger", but guest John Harwood wasn't impressed. Olby again brought up the difference between "friend" and "acquaintance":
Are these the kinds of little details that can undermine somebody's credibility? If you were in court and, or making a statement to the police, and you gave the same description of the same person in three different emotional terms, some people would say Mr Vice-President, you have to pick one or at most two of the above.
No, "some people" wouldn't say that. Only the "anchorman" of The Hour of Spin.
After a rundown of whom Cheney gives interviews to (attributed to TVNewser) and a historical note on Aaron Burr, KO then purported to analyze the mechanics and physics of the accident. Could this be some sort of Olbermann Damage Control for the unfortunate events of Tuesday night, when his medical expert decreed that the wounds were consistent with a 30-yard distance, despite Olby's desperate attempts to muddle the issue?
First he ran a recreation of the accident, with extensive caveats about how unscientific it was both before and after. Why all the cautions? Because the recreation matched the Vice-President's story! Then Olby called in Tony Cangemi, a "bird shooting expert". Cangemi was "somewhat surprised" that the pellets penetrated as far as they did "to cause the ensuing heart problem", overlooking the fact that the doctors say the birdshot did not penetrate to the heart but rather migrated there. KO didn't set him straight, of course, and added this:
A piece of birdshot got to the heart, and others, maybe as many as 200, broke through the skin, any protective clothing he was wearing...
Dr Olbermann must have examined the victim himself, since the doctors treating him said that fewer than 150-200 pellets penetrated. How could it be "as many as 200" if it was fewer than 150-200? And don't accuse us of nitpicking, after KO's obsession with the differences between "friend" and "acquaintance".
After "oddball", the #3 story was all about...Dick Cheney! Keith complained that the Veep never said, "It's my fault", and added:
Mr Cheney was questioned about the CIA leak investigation. Lest we forget it was just last Thursday reports that Mr Cheney's former Chief of Staff, Mr Libby, had already testified that he was authorized by superiors to disclose classified information to reporters...
Again, Olbermann misrepresents what Libby said. Libby said that he was authorized to release information about the National Intelligence Estimate, period. We went through all this before, but when it comes to faking the news Olby is incorrigible. Convicted felon John Dean came in, and was asked to ditto Keith's latest conspiracy theory:
Could there have been an attempt, or an aborted attempt, to cover this up completely so that people would not know this is what happened?
The felon suggested that Mrs Armstrong (the witness) may be lying, then yet again KO brought up the difference between "friend" and "acquaintance". Man, give it a rest! Even disbarred lawyer Dean didn't bite on that one. Keith again misrepresented the Libby "superiors" comment, and asks:
Is that a missing link in taking this investigation into the Vice-President's office...
Then Dean lets something out of the bag:
[Cheney] did say, in response to a question as to whether he had power to declassify, that there was an executive order out.
Yes indeed, that's what Cheney said:
HUME: Let me ask you another question. Is it your view that a vice president has the authority to declassify information?
CHENEY: There is an executive order to that effect.
Note how Olby reported this earlier: he says the VP "was questioned" about it, but Keith never says what the answer to that question was! The last time this business came up, KO told us the leak case "roars back to life". What Cheney's response does is toss Olbermann's great roar right back onto itself. For all of KO's talk about the investigation going into the Veep's office, that executive order means that Cheney authorizing the release of information--whether it's the NIE or whatever else--is absolutely, 100%, wholly legal.
This is at least as important as the "roar" that led Olbermann to lie about what Libby said. It turns all of Olby's fulminating completely on its head. But on tonight's Hour of Spin, there was no roar. KO went out of his way not to say one word about it. And when Dean let it slip, Keith quickly moved on.
In the #2 slot, we got "exclusive clips" from The DaVinci code via a recycled NBC report. Those two-bit organizations like Fox had to settle for Cheney, but Countdown has exclusive movie clips with Tom Cruise! That led into celebrity news, by coincidence also about Tom Cruise. In the #1 slot, the dog show and doggie videos.
Ann Coulter was "worst person in the world" because when she voted in a local election she did so in the wrong precinct. With tonight's Hour of Spin presenting such an extravagant smorgasbord of bias, deceit, and propaganda, this was the smallest of potatoes.