Cathie Martin’s testimony of how she strategized a response to Joe Wilson’s July 6, 2003 op-ed was one of the most visibly discomfiting moments of the Scooter Libby trial for those in the media room. After all, Martin was revealing how easily the DC press allowed itself to be manipulated by those in power. Along with describing which reporters they were dealing which kinds of stories to and how reporters tended to be more compliant when you told them they were getting an exclusive, Martin explained that the White House controlled the message when Cheney went on Meet the Press.
Fitzgerald: Focusing on the language in the black where it says options, can you run down the four options and describe what they refer to in these notes and what you discussed with Mr. Libby?
Martin: Sure. First note M.T.P., which is Meet The Press, dash VP. So this was my discussion about possibly putting the Vice President on Meet The Press that Sunday to give a fuller discussion of the whole picture.
Fitzgerald: On the right you have another reference to M.T.P. Can you describe what that is?
Martin: I think I walked, this is me walking through the pros and cons of putting the Vice President on Meet The Press. And I wrote underneath pros, best. This is our best format, and he’s our best person on Meet The Press. Two, we control the message a little bit more. It was good for our — for us to be able to tell our story. [my emphasis]
TPMM has been wading through the latest document dump of Mark Sanford’s office’s emails released by the Charleston Post and Courier. And they’ve discovered that David Gregory has continued the Meet the Press approach to letting guests control the message.
But Gregory’s emails, in particular, make clear just what a get Sanford was seen as, and how far the networks were willing to go in promising a safe landing place for the governor.
Gregory’s first email to Sawyer was sent at 12:24 p.m. on Wednesday June 24 — that is, after Sanford had admitted to The State that he had actually been in Argentina, but before the famed stream-of-consciousness press conference where he admitted to an affair. Gregory wrote:
Hey Joel …
Left you a message. Read more