Attorney Firing Flap: Pete Williams Has Monica Lewinsky on His Mind

Paging Dr. Freud . . .

On this morning's "Today," NBC's Pete Williams engaged in slip that would have made Sigmund proud, so let's bring in the father of modern psychotherapy to analyze it. After all, he's only been dead for 68 years, plenty fresh enough for purposes of punditry.

Williams had scored quite a journalistic coup, an exclusive sit-down with embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Later, Williams chatted live from DC with Matt Lauer back in the New York studio. Discussing the decision by a senior aide to Gonzales to invoke the Fifth Amendment should she be called to testify before congress regarding the firing of the U.S. attorneys, Williams said:

"Congress could try to force Monica Lewinsky -- uh, Monica Goodling, rather, to testify by giving her immunity. But it's more likely they'll simply use her reluctance to testify as another reason to wonder what really happened. Matt."

Matt managed to control his mirth, as did Williams in signing off, but you sensed a nervous chuckle was just below the surface on both ends of the conversation.

View video here.

NEWSBUSTERS: OK, so, Professor Freud. Take it away. What do we have here?

FREUD: Well, I see at least two competing theories here which could explain this phenomenon. On the one hand, it is spring, after all, and we all know about a young man's fancy and where it turns.

NEWSBUSTERS: So, that's it? Sap simply running a bit high?

FREUD: Actually, and upon reflection, no. I do not believe that it is the cause of this particular manifestation. You see, having studied the subconscious of the mainstream media, I have detected a deep-seated hostility, possibly Oedipal in origin, on the part of the MSM. Their animus is directed at Republicans in general, and the Bush administration in particular.

NEWSBUSTERS: OK, but why would that cause Williams to substitute "Lewinsky" for "Goodling"?

FREUD: You are not the sharpest buster in the news drawer, are you, my dear boy? Don't you see? The MSM's psyche was badly damaged by the impeachment of their hero, Bill Clinton. They harbor fantasies of revenge, of a scandal that would engulf the Bush administration and possibly even lead to the impeachment of the president. And what figure -- and please do not read anything Freudian into that term - was at the heart, so to speak, of the Clinton scandal, young man?

NEWSBUSTERS: Monica Lewinsky!

FREUD: As you Americans like to say: bingo!

Of course we know that before coming to NBC, Williams actually worked for Dick Cheney. It might require another session with the good Dr. F to get to the bottom of all this!

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.