FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
To: All On-Air Personnel
Re: Hot! Don't Touch!
By now I'm sure you are all familiar with today's big breaking story in the mainstream media. To wit: the allegation that Scooter Libby has told federal prosecutors that President Bush had authorized him - via Dick Cheney - to leak classified materials to the press. At first look, this would seem to implicate the president in the ongoing Valerie Plame investigation, but please note that the documents in question do not state What classified information Libby was authorized to leak. As you all remember from Journalism 101, What is one of the big five 'W's, along with Who, Where, When, and Why. I would argue that Why is the big issue here, and that Why of course is clear - to protect America from ever facing another 911.
That said, a good case can be made for declaring Libby a patriot and giving him a FOX news consultant job as soon as he's pardoned. Still, I urge you all to downplay this story for the moment, pending statements or denials by the principals which could rapidly turn any attempt to lionize Libby into an unexpected embarrassment for the network and your selves. Should things suddenly turn ugly, here are some possible spinning points.
One: As you are aware, the president has the power to declassify any intelligence information that he so sees fit, for whatever reason he deems appropriate. Although Bush has declared his disdain for leaks in general, we all agree that extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. As I said earlier, we all understand the Why.
Two: There is the distinct possibility that Bush will deny these allegations so as to avoid any appearance of inconsistency with earlier statements on his part. Even though the president has the constitutional privilege of lying to the American people when it is for their own good, Bush has consistently maintained that he always tells the truth to the best of his ability. Ergo, Vice President Cheney could have falsely told Libby that the president authorized the release of information (for the good of the country). It is certainly no crime to lie to Scooter Libby - after all, the man is practically a felon. Note: Any use of spin number two should be carefully tempered so as not to offend Mister Cheney, who as you know is frequently a prized guest here at FOX News.
Three: Should Cheney deny authorizing the release of classified information, our fallback position is this - Scooter Libby is a lying sack of shit, willing to sell out his country in order to save his own worthless hide.
While I know you are all chomping at the bit to attack this story head on, I strongly urge you to downplay it until another shoe drops. There are plenty of other strong stories in play. The attack of a capitol police officer by radical Democrat Cynthia McKinney still has plenty of meat on it, and the CBS decision to name anti-Bush feminazi Katie Couric as their new anchor (a woman so extreme that she makes Dan Rather look like Joe Lieberman) is a story that we should be throwing our entire investigative resources into.
©2006, Mark Hoback