Monday, May 17, 2004

In other news:

Two-Thirds Of Federal Workers Get a Bonus

Almost two-thirds of 1.6 million civilian full-time federal employees received merit bonuses or special time-off awards in fiscal 2002, according to a comprehensive examination of federal records obtained by The Washington Post.

Of the 62 percent who got awards, half received $811 or more. The typical bonus amounted to 1.6 percent of salary. The awards ranged from less than $100 to more than $25,000. At some agencies, more than 90 percent of General Schedule workers collected a bonus. Government-wide, about 2,900 employees received cash bonuses totaling more than $10,000 each.

Sounds a little bit like Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above-average.

The Valerie Plame investigation is still out there.

A special prosecutor investigating whether administration officials illegally leaked the name of an undercover CIA operative sought yesterday to interview two Washington Post reporters in connection with the probe.

Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald told Post lawyer Eric Lieberman that he wants to talk to Post reporters Walter Pincus and Glenn Kessler but declined to discuss the information he is seeking, Lieberman said. Lieberman said he told Fitzgerald he would respond to the request next week.

The request to interview reporters may suggest the probe is winding up, because Justice Department guidelines require that prosecutors exhaust all other avenues before taking the step of calling reporters before a grand jury. If that is the case, as some attorneys for witnesses believe, it is not clear whether Fitzgerald is moving toward seeking indictments in the case or whether he is preparing to complete it without bringing criminal charges.

I'll be interested to see if the admin's heat-shields deflect this.

Fox insulted at being called 'conservative'.

Fox News is demanding a correction from the New York Times for an article describing it as "the conservative cable network." Since the Times makes no reference to "liberal" networks, is that, well, fair and balanced? "It is either the writer's editorial opinion, which should not have been evidence in a news story, or an intentional attempt to mislabel Fox News," spokesman Robert Zimmerman wrote the paper about Alessandra Stanley's piece.

Times culture editor Steven Erlanger says: "Our decision was that Alessandra, writing as a critic, is well within her rights to call Fox pretty much whatever she wants." He told Fox there was no need for a correction.

Says Stanley: "I think I owe the reader a better definition of Fox and other networks than what they put in their own promotional ads." Besides, she says, "I don't see why they find the label 'conservative' so insulting."

Heh. Word.


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