A federal judge has just dismissed Valerie Plame Wilson's lawsuit against members of the Bush administration.
Will this be the lead story of this evening's newscasts? Regardless of the answer, the Washington Post reported moments ago (emphasis added throughout):
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said that Cheney and White House aides cannot be held liable for the disclosure of information about Plame in the summer of 2003 while they were trying to rebut criticism of the administration's war efforts levied by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.
Please hold your applause, as the following will likely be greeted by the press with similar disdain as an unwelcome guest on Christmas Eve:
"The judge said such efforts were certainly part of the officials' scope of normal duties."
Can you imagine Katie, Charlie, or Brian saying those words this evening? Marvelously, there was more:
"The alleged tortious conduct, namely the disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's status as a covert operative, was incidental to the kind of conduct that defendants were employed to perform," Bates wrote in an opinion released this afternoon.
Bates also ruled that the court lacked the power to award damages for public disclosure of private information about Plame. The judge said that was because Plame and Wilson had failed to exhaust other remedies in seeking compensation from appropriate federal agencies for the alleged privacy violations.
Given the media's almost sycophantic devotion to this woman and her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, it will be fascinating to see how this is covered in the next 24 hours.