Your daily stenography

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Courtesy of NBC's Luke Russert:

Seeking to keep House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's back-and-forth with the CIA in the news ... House Minority Leader John Boehner once again called for a bipartisan investigation into Pelosi's allegations that the CIA deliberately misled her.

In a news conference on Capitol Hill, speaking for less than two minutes prior to taking questions, Boehner discussed nothing but Pelosi. ...

Continuing his criticism, Boehner remarked that Pelosi should "offer proof that intelligence officials lied to her or retract the statement and offer an apology."

Boehner then reiterated his previous call for a bi-partisan investigation into the issue saying, "This is a matter that is serious and requires a bi-partisan organization to get the facts." Later, Boehner went on to say: "I am disappointed House Democrats continue to stonewall this investigation and my hope is that the Speaker will step up and bring this issue to rest once and for all."

In response to a question regarding how he would continue to press the issue, Boehner said: "All options are on the table."

Russert didn't bother to mention that Boehner has previously opposed a formal investigation into the matter. Nor did he mention that Pelosi has called on the CIA to "release the briefings."

Most importantly, Russert failed to mention that Pelosi advocates a formal, bipartisan investigation into the Bush administration's use of torture -- and that Boehner opposes such an investigation. That's a pretty big omission, as it makes Boehner's claim to want to find out what Pelosi knew look empty and political.

Instead of mentioning any of that -- you know, performing an act of journalism -- Russert just typed up Boener's comments and slapped on a headline more fitting to a fanzine summary of a pro-wrestling match: "Boehner calls out Pelosi -- again."

Oh, Boehner "calls out" Pelosi, does he? How exactly does he "call her out"? By asking the CIA to release the briefings? Oh, wait -- that's what Pelosi has done. By supporting a formal investigation into the use of torture? Oh, wait -- that's what Pelosi has done, and what Boehner opposes.

Boehner hasn't "called out" anyone. He's performed a stunt, and gotten a rookie reporter to type up his comments without adding any context.

UPDATE: Russert seems to be on the coveted "follow John Boehner around and type up whatever he says" beat. Here are his last three entries on MSNBC's First Read:

Boehner calls out Pelosi -- again

Boehner slams Obama, Pelosi

GOP knocks public health care, Pelosi

None of the three contains so much as a word of critical assessment of what Boehner said, or a word of response from the Democrats. You would think that at some point, NBC News would realize they could save some money by just giving Boehner's press secretary the ability to post things to First Read directly.

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