Fox's Smith announced Plame lawsuit by uncritically airing Novak's dubious denial of a "concerted" Bush administration effort against Wilson

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

In announcing that Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame had filed a lawsuit against Dick Cheney, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and Karl Rove, Fox News host Shepard Smith uncritically stated that Robert Novak "was on this network yesterday saying there was no concerted campaign to out Plame as a way of punishing her husband." But Smith omitted special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's findings that a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" had been intended to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" Wilson.

As Fox News host Shepard Smith announced that former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his wife, ex-CIA officer Valerie Plame, have filed a lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and White House senior adviser Karl Rove, Smith uncritically stated that Fox News analyst and syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak "was on this network yesterday saying there was no concerted campaign to out Plame as a way of punishing her husband." Smith made the statement on the July 13 edition of Fox News' Studio B with Shepard Smith. In the lawsuit, Wilson and Plame accuse Cheney, Rove, and Libby of leaking Plame's identity as a CIA operative and effectively ending her career. Wilson and Plame contend that the three were retaliating against Wilson for criticizing the administration's justifications for invading Iraq. But Smith did not report that -- contrary to Novak's assertion that there was no "concerted campaign to out Plame as a way of punishing her husband" -- special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has, in court filings, asserted the existence of a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" Wilson, as Media Matters has noted.

From the July 13 edition of Fox News' Studio B with Shepard Smith:

SMITH: There is breaking news now on Fox News Channel. And the former CIA officer whose identity was linked [sic: leaked] to reporters has just filed a lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney, along with his former top aide, Scooter Libby, and the presidential adviser Karl Rove. She is accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career. It's a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. Valerie Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, are accusing Cheney, Rove, and Libby of revealing Plame's CIA identity and seeking revenge against Wilson for criticizing the Bush administration's motives in Iraq. Columnist Bob Novak, who is a Fox News contributor, was on this network yesterday saying there was no concerted campaign to out Plame as a way of punishing her husband, Joe Wilson, but that is the news, as it is breaking now. Valerie Plame suing the vice president of the United States in addition to his top adviser and Karl Rove.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Intelligence
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Fox News Channel
Person
Shepard Smith
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Studio B
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CIA Leak Investigation
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