Russert And ... Everyone
It was hard to find a jury pool that was not intimately connected to the cast of characters in the Scooter Libby trial.
And it's even harder to find Washington, D.C., political reporters who aren't connected to those involved. Just look at the way reporters are covering yesterday's testimony by NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert.
The introduction of Howard Kurtz's column today on the testimony, for example, addresses Kurtz's own role in it. (The piece is aptly titled "Russert and Me.")
"My name came up in testimony," he writes. "Then it came up again, and again. Suddenly it seemed like the whole criminal proceeding had taken a sharp detour into stories I had written three years ago." Afterwards, reporters in the gallery were asking him for information about the testimony.
Then there were the evening newscasts, which also covered Russert's testimony at the trial. Among them, of course, is the flagship program on Russert's own network, the NBC "Nightly News." As the AP's David Bauder writes this morning, Russert was most "visible" on his own network, compared with ABC and CBS' evening news programs.
Since the trial began, anchor Brian Williams has repeatedly talked to his audience about how the broadcast would handle Russert's role in the story. After the trial's first day, Williams said this to viewers: "And, by the way, as you heard, Tim Russert's name is a part of this trial. He will be called as a witness to testify in this case, and when he does, NBC News will report on his testimony as part of our coverage of the Libby trial."
Before last night's report on Russert's testimony, Williams noted on his blog that Russert's testimony today would also be covered "as a news story" and that Russert would be interviewed on the program following its conclusion.
We're guessing that'll be an exclusive.