Well, the old trick isn’t working.
For months, the White House and its supporters have argued top presidential aides did not knowingly expose Valerie Plame, the wife of administration critic Joseph Wilson, as a CIA operative.
At most, the aides passed on information about her that entered the White House from reporters, the supporters argued.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald now knows that Libby met three times with a New York Times reporter before the leak of Plame’s identity, initiated a call to NBC’s Tim Russert and was a confirming source about Wilson’s wife for a Time magazine reporter.
Until this week, ”the news media did it” was a standard defense among Republicans trying to protect the Bush administration from the political fallout of Fitzgerald’s criminal investigation. Loyalists said that even if White House aides had passed on information, they didn’t get it from classified sources and were simply repeating what they heard from journalists.
Prosecutors, however, have a different account from Russert. The TV network has said Russert told authorities he did not know about Wilson’s wife’s identity until it was published and therefore could not have told Libby about it. Russert also says that it was Libby who initiated the contact with him.
Might as well go with the old South Park trick. It’s as lame as anything else they’ve tried.