ABC Radio Carries Wishful Thinking as News

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had a long news conference this afternoon, addressing the end of service of his Grand Jury and the indictments handed down on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Shortly thereafter, the talk station to which I listened after the PC ran a newsbreak at 3:30 PM EST. During that break, they ran the ABC news, and one of the stories was, of course, the indictments. The story was read by a female reporter, whose name I missed and cannot find, and after talking about the Libby indictments, she said, in a hopeful tone, that Karl Rove was not indicted, but "Fitzgerald says he is still being investigated."

I listened to the entire Fitzgerald press conference, and he said nothing of the sort. He repeatedly refused to say anything of the sort about ANYONE else. He spoke about the Libby indictments. Period. He did say that the investigation was not completed. He refused to say whether or not he would attempt to impanel another Grand Jury, though it sounded, to me, as if he would not.

"Is the investigation finished? It's not over. But … very rarely do you bring a charge in a case that's going to be tried in which you ever end a grand jury investigation. I can tell you that the substantial bulk of the work of this investigation is concluded."

Is Rove "still being investigated?" Possibly. Possibly not. There's nothing in what Fitzgerald said this afternoon that would confirm or eliminate either possibility. As I say, I listened to the entire thing, and my reaction was "if I'm Karl Rove, this is a good thing." (For what it's worth, Kathryn Jean Lopez says that CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin agrees, that he would be "very, very encouraged" if he were Karl Rove.) I could be wrong, but for ABC news to report that "Fitzgerald says he is still being investigated" is for them to report something that's just plain not true. Fitzgerald did not say that. It's as if they're so emotionally invested in Rove being indicted that they have to keep the dream alive...

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