The New Over the Hill Gang

While looking at Meet the Press this morning, I wondered why anyone under 45 would ever watch this program. I am 57 and these people, former presidential chiefs of staff and emeritus reporters, seemed ancient to me. Although the Over the Hill Gang flourished in D.C. during Watergate, this sorry group will not duplicate that feat.

Kenneth Duberstein and Hamilton Jordan seemed particularly to be creatures from the distant past, as well as victims of ill-conceived schemes to look younger through hair coloring. The consensus seemed to be that Bush needs to (1) come clean and apologize, (2) bring on a new team and (3) take the offensive with an appealing agenda. None of this is going to happen. No one really talked about the war, which is a somewhat overriding problem.

More importantly, no reporter seems able to penetrate the Bush inner circle. It seems as if no one even know the White House Iraq Group existed, let alone anything about its activities, other than the Wilson thing that accidentally was exposed to the light. Following the slight opening provided by the indictment, it is time for Isikoff, Cooper et al to actually find something out about how the intelligence was “fixed.” I am tired of eating yellowcake when I know there must be much more. Perhaps Lawrence Wilkerson could provide a few more specifics. His accounts to date have concerned the process, but not the details.

I did learn one thing today. According to both Michael Isikoff “Reliable Sources” and Matthew Cooper in Time, the deal that Russert cut was to talk about only what he told Libby, not what Libby told him. That avoided the basic premise of the shield issue. Moreover, Russert claimed on MTP that on August 7th, the night of his testimony, he reported on NBC the sum and substance of his testimony. Of course, I wasn’t home watching the NBC Nightly News that night, and it would have been helpful for Russert to have addressed the issue elsewhere.