"Talking Points Memo" this evening concerns Karl Rove (search). While some in the media are foaming over Rove's situation, we've been investigating it and here is what we know.
In February 2002, Ambassador Joseph Wilson (search) traveled to Niger, Africa to investigate whether or not that country had sold uranium to Saddam Hussein (search). In January 2003, President Bush stated that the British government believed Saddam had sought to buy uranium from Africa. Note the word sought. It is very important.
In July 2003, a few months later, Wilson the ambassador wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times, saying he could not verify Saddam had bought uranium from Niger. Note the word bought.
That column apparently angered the Bush administration. A short time later, a few journalists were tipped off that Wilson's wife, a CIA officer in Virginia, may have had an ax to grind against the president. Suspicion fell on Karl Rove as the one who exposed Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame (search), to the journalist. Columnist Robert Novak (search) first printed Plame's name.
Rove then told CNN that he didn't know Wilson's wife's name and he didn't leak her name. It's against the law to expose a CIA operative working abroad, which apparently Plame had done.
In December 2003, the Bush administration appointed Patrick Fitzgerald, a special counsel, to investigate whether a crime had been committed in this case. Fitzgerald subsequently pressured journalist Matthew Cooper (search) of "TIME" magazine and Judith Miller (search) of the New York Times to tell him who exposed Ms. Plame, if anyone.
Ms. Miller was ordered to prison because she wouldn't give up her sources. Cooper turned over his notes to Fitzgerald. And those indicate a conversation with Karl Rove about the matter. So that's where we are today.
Now the White House says it won't answer any questions because of the pending investigation. The press is hot to know what happened. And the partisans are running wild. Already Howard Dean (search) and John Kerry (search) have convicted Rove. Isn't it interesting how the great liberal tradition of innocent and proven guilty is consistently ignored by some on the left?
"Talking Points" simply doesn't know what happened. It's impossible to ascertain that with the information available. Obviously, if Karl Rove broke the law, or even violated the ethics of this very powerful position as deputy chief of staff to the president, he has to resign. Rove should also clear the air as soon as possible. He can say anything he wants while Fitzgerald's investigating.
"Talking Points" wants honest government, no matter who's in power. That was our position while Bill Clinton was president. That is our position now. Mr. Rove should step up soon. And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." A new survey out, how the newscast seen on ABC, CBS and NBC report on President Bush.
According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs (search), during the first 100 days of Mr. Bush's second term, 57 percent of the stories run on NBC News were negative. Seventy-one percent were negative on CBS News. And a whopping 78 percent were bad for the prez on ABC News.
So it was not a surprise to hear ABC News White House correspondent Terry Moran slam FOX News today in a question about Karl Rove.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bill Kristol on FOX News, a friendly news channel to you, said that the conversation lasted for two minutes and it was just at the end that Rove discussed this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: All right. Moran took another swipe at FOX News later on.
Now, I'd like to issue a formal invitation for Terry Moran to come on in here and back up his bloviating. What say you, sir?
Ridiculous? Only if he doesn't show up.
Seventy-eight percent, ABC, negative on Bush. Is that fair and balanced?