The grilling took place after Carney constantly referred reporters to the Commerce Dept for questions about Secretary Bryson's weird adventure in California (which the White House strangely seems to know very little about nor did the president feel the need to get more info by actually contacting him--yeah he's busy). Then Carney tried to shuffle them off to the Justice Department for questions about the leak probe:
Q The President says he has zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks. Then why not support a special prosecutor?
MR. CARNEY: Again, the President addressed this; I addressed it. There have -- I think our seriousness about this matter in general -- about these matters in general has been demonstrated while the President has been in office. I would refer you to the Department of Justice and the FBI when it regards questions of matters under investigation or potential investigation. So there is no need for a special counsel. These things have consistently been investigated when that’s appropriate.
Q The charges that -- given that this investigation will be led by two U.S. attorneys who then report to the Attorney General of the United States, that it’s not an independent investigation.
MR. CARNEY: I think there are very capable people in the Department of Justice and I would refer you to them for that matter. The Attorney General has spoken on this. Let me go again -- Kristen Remington from Reno. Are you here? Hi.In the same press conference Carney actually lectured the reporters for not doing their jobs because they had not provided the correct Obama-approved "context" to their reportage on the "private sector is doing fine" comment. It's impossible to make this stuff up.
Meanwhile, Sweetness and Light sees this Times article as a subtle suggestion to the Attorney General not to appoint an Independent Counsel because Holder himself would have to sign off on any subpoenas directed to Times (and other) journalists.
The bigger question in all of this--do enough people care? The Plame/Libby case made big news in the political blogosphere and the mainstreamers kept trying to make it a front burner story but most of the public yawned. This time it's quite possible the masinstreamers will eventually yawn and we know the public will remain fixated on Kim Kardashian's rear, Madonna's right nipple and the various zombie attacks along with the Zimmerman thing. The route chosen by Holder is likely designed to make this fade away just like the weird story about Bill Clinton and Pennsylvania Congressman Sestak. Remember that? If the Congress takes it up, well, just think Fast and Furious.
But stranger things have happened. Like lungs being found on a sidewalk or people snacking on the homeless in broad daylight, or the Wisconsin recall being a win for the Democrats. So who knows.