For the first time on the Evening News, CBS assigned a reporter to the Lewis Libby perjury trial. Gloria Borger gave us a recap of the convoluted case with its squabbling advisors, leaked secrets and faulty memories. She concluded that "it is not pretty…a full-blown damage-control operation apparently led by the Vice President himself." She characterized Dick Cheney, who was Libby's boss, as "rattled" and made "furious" by the original op-ed by former diplomat Joseph Wilson that started the spin cycle. The Vice President may "need to answer questions about himself and whether he directly controled a White House effort to discredit a political enemy."
NBC has offered more detailed coverage as the trial has proceeded and promised even more. Its own DC bureau chief Tim Russert, anchor of Meet the Press, was on the stand testifying for the prosecution. As soon as his cross-examination is over, Brian Williams promised, Russert will give us an insider's look. In the meantime Kelly O'Donnell was assigned to report on what her boss said in open court. She gave us the background--"prosecutors say Libby deliberately lied and used Tim Russert as an alibi"--and then gave Russert's version of his telephone call with Libby: "He treated the call as more of a complaint," about MSNBC's Hardball "and not as a conversation with a high-level government source."
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