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Thursday, July 14, 2005

David Gregory Rocks the House

Unless you're fascinated with hopelessly compromised Beltway bores drooling all over each other, the only time the otherwise totally useless Hardball has been worthy of watching over the past year has been when it was hosted by David Gregory. He's smart, well-informed, and does not see his job as letting his guests drone on endlessly repeating GOP talking points without being challenged until he can interrupt just to listen to the sound of his own voice.

He's going to be hosting Hardball tonight on MSNBC (7pm ET/4pm PT) in a special show on Treasongate, and since Gregory has been doing yeoman's work at the Gaggle, it should be interesting. In case you missed yesterday's Gaggle, this was David Gregory:
Q Scott, you know what, to make a general observation here, in a previous administration, if a press secretary had given the sort of answers you've just given in referring to the fact that everybody who works here enjoys the confidence of the President, Republicans would have hammered them as having a kind of legalistic and sleazy defense. I mean, the reality is that you're parsing words, and you've been doing it for a few days now. So does the President think Karl Rove did something wrong, or doesn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, David, I'm not at all. I told you and the President told you earlier today that we don't want to prejudge the outcome of an ongoing investigation. And I think we've been round and round on this for two days now.

Q Even if it wasn't a crime? You know, there are those who believe that even if Karl Rove was trying to debunk bogus information, as Ken Mehlman suggested yesterday -- perhaps speaking on behalf of the White House -- that when you're dealing with a covert operative, that a senior official of the government should be darn well sure that that person is not undercover, is not covert, before speaking about them in any way, shape, or form. Does the President agree with that or not?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, we've been round and round on this for a couple of days now. I don't have anything to add to what I've said the previous two days.

Q That's a different question, and it's not round and round --

MR. McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier.

Q It has nothing to do with the investigation, Scott, and you know it.

MR. McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier today, and the President said he's not --

Q That's a dodge to my question. It has nothing to do with the investigation. Is it appropriate for a senior official to speak about a covert agent in any way, shape, or form without first finding out whether that person is working as a covert officer.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, you're wrong. This is all relating to questions about an ongoing investigation, and I've been through this.

Q If I wanted to ask you about an ongoing investigation, I would ask you about the statute, and I'm not doing that.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think we've exhausted discussion on this the last couple of days.

Q You haven't even scratched the surface.

Q It hasn't started.

(my emphasis)
In case you missed it, that was David Gregory accusing Ken Mehlman of acting as the mouthpiece for the preternaturally silent White House who "will not comment on an ongoing investigation."


I know some people think that enjoying McClellan getting skewered by the press corps is like laughing while a little kid fall off his big wheels, but I'm not one of them. He's been the willing stonewall between the press and the least transparent administration of all time, and now that lack of transparency is coming back to haunt him.

Amidst the 24/7 parade of GOP water carriers MSNBC has booked to defend Rove (John Fund? Have they no shame?) it should be quite novel to see some actual news.