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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Pre-emptive Smearing
Topic: Newsmax
In two Oct. 25 articles, NewsMax is getting in a little pre-emptive smearing of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald prior to indictments expected to be handed down later this week in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

The first article calls Fitzgerald a "longtime crony" of James Comey, the then-deputy attorney general who appointed Fitzgerald to the special prosecutor post in 2003, suggesting that an article calling Fitzgerald and Comey "best friends" somehow damning.

The second article gets a little desperative, playing guilt by association in reporting Fitzgerald's defense of Comey's prosecution of Martha Stewart, suggesting that "any indictments he brings in the Leakgate case will mirror tactics used against Stewart -- where the prosecution pursues "process" crimes after determining that the original allegations were unprovable."

This appears to be the conservative strategy for countering any indictment of people like Karl Rove or Lewis Libby -- that it would be just as frivolous as Stewart's prosecution. An Oct. 21 NewsMax article said reports that Fitzgerald's charges would focus on "perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement" raise "speculation that the Leakgate case may devolve into a Martha Stewart-like prosecution, which drew howls of derision from legal critics."

Um, wasn't President Clinton impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice? We don't recall any "howls of derision" emanating from NewsMax about that.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT

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