If It’s Sunday, It’s Meet The Veep’s Agenda?


Dana Milbank's Washington Sketch picked up on something that Emptywheel highighted in yesterday afternoon's trial blogging.  And it deserves a whole truckload of scrutiny.  To wit:

"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used," Martin testified. "It's our best format."

It is unclear whether the first week of the trial will help or hurt Libby or the administration. But the trial has already pulled back the curtain on the White House's PR techniques and confirmed some of the darkest suspicions of the reporters upon whom they are used. Relatively junior White House aides run roughshod over members of the president's Cabinet. Bush aides charged with speaking to the public and the media are kept out of the loop on some of the most important issues. And bad news is dumped before the weekend for the sole purpose of burying it.

With a candor that is frowned upon at the White House, Martin explained the use of late-Friday statements. "Fewer people pay attention to it late on Friday," she said. "Fewer people pay attention when it's reported on Saturday."…

On jurors' monitors were images of Martin's talking points, some labeled "on the record" and others "deep background." She walked the jurors through how the White House coddles friendly writers and freezes out others. To deal with the Wilson controversy, she hastily arranged a Cheney lunch with conservative commentators. And when New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof first wrote about the Niger affair, she explained, "we didn't see any urgency to get to Kristof" because "he frankly attacked the administration fairly regularly."

Gee, should the change the name of the show to "Meet The Veep's Agenda"?  Want to wager whether any guest on the show this Sunday will have the nerve to tweak Russert about this?  And wouldn't THAT make for some must see teevee…

By the way, I'm with Emptywheel on this question:  can someone ask Cathie Martin to name the "conservative commentators" who had lunch with Cheney to address the Wilson controversy.  Because I would certainly like to know whether one of those commenters had a last name spelled "N-O-V-A-K."  FOIA request on the Secret Service logs, anyone?

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