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Did Bush Spy on Amanpour?


The rumor mill is churning. The rumors got started when MSNBC posted a transcript of an interview between Andrea Mitchell and NY Times reporter James Risen:

MITCHELL: Do you have any information about reporters being swept up in this net?

RISEN: No, I don’t. It’s not clear to me. That’s one of the questions we’ll have to look into the future. Were there abuses of this program or not? I don’t know the answer to that.

MITCHELL: You don’t have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?

RISEN: No, no I hadn’t heard that.

MSNBC later removed that part of the transcript, telling the blog TVNewser, “Unfortunately this transcript was released prematurely. It was a topic on which we had not completed our reporting, and it was not broadcast on ‘NBC Nightly News’ nor on any other NBC News program. We removed that section of the transcript so that we may further continue our inquiry.”

If the rumor turns out to be true (which I doubt), it will have to be evaluated in context. Was she wiretapped because she had made contacts with al-Qaeda in the course of pursuing a story (more likely)? Or was she wiretapped because the nefarious Bush administration wanted to listen in on her giggling chats with Jacques Chirac (much less likely)? Regardless, the left-wing blogosphere is not waiting for it to be confirmed before delaring it “incredibly big news.”

UPDATE: MB reader Todd F. has an interesting take:

Of course, I don’t think she’s a US citizen which might make her fair game, ironically. But the lefties are pursuing the “She’s married to Kerry campaign operative, so this must be Watergate redux…..” line.

Not realizing the story behind the story of course that a major news player is MARRIED to a high level Dem. operative. Nothing to see here.


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