And What About Russert?

Why aren't his bosses at NBC now demanding that Russert step forward as a journalist and report the facts as he knows them?
10/13/2005 02:12 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Today's focus remains on Judy Miller and whether she will step forward and fully explain what she knows about the unfolding grand jury investigation, and help answer the dozens of questions that surround it, as well as the New York Times' involvement. Independent counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has given Miller the okay to talk and write about the episode. But does she want the facts out? Time magazine's Matt Cooper did. As soon as he was permitted, Cooper wrote a revealing first-person account of his role in the investigation. And note that in the recent issue of Nieman Reports, a quarterly published by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus, another subpoenaed reporter, spelled out the details of his participation.

So what about NBC's Tim Russert? Like Miller, he received a confidentiality waiver from his source, Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, to appear before the Plame grand jury and for more than a year Russert has been free to inform viewers everything he knows about the investigation, particularly whether his version of events contrasts with testimony given by Libby. Instead, Russert has remained mum, conveniently playing dumb whenever the topic comes up on "Meet the Press." (Of course, columnist Robert Novak has also remained silent about his role, but he's an obvious partisan with an agenda.) What, if anything, is Russert hiding and why aren't his bosses at NBC now demanding that Russert, who's clearly part of an important news event, step forward as a journalist and report the facts as he knows them?