Watching the White House daily briefing from our vantage point in Italy was a lesson in other-worldliness, exceeded only by watching the coverage of the story last evening on the news channels of the following nations: Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Russia, France, Italy and Denmark. Because there are delegations here from all over the world, the major hotels carry extra cable channels during the games from so many different nations. It's actually been very instructive in terms of how the United States is covered, and viewed, around the world. All the newscasts in all of the nations listed above devoted substantial coverage, for example, to Michael Brown's testimony on the Hill last week. And it suddenly hurts -- from an American perspective -- to see the file tape they all use to represent New Orleans... the majority of it from the very height of the suffering, sadness and madness.
Some would argue all three were on display in the briefing room today as our own David Gregory and his colleagues from other news organizations got into it with Scott McClellan. It was even rougher in a no-cameras "gaggle" held earlier in the day, when David and others were apparently struck by the timeline of events and how the news about the vice president was allowed to be released. Reporters struggled all day to point out the incongruity between the way this story was told to the world (a private citizen reported the accidental shooting to a local newspaper) and the normally air-tight controls placed by the administration on the dissemination of information. It's still a bizarre story, with serious implications (not at all unheard of among hunters, and there are veteran bird hunters who can show you where they got "peppered" in a past accident) and some of the facts still missing.
Also in the broadcast tonight, the U.N. report on treatment of prisoners, the report due out on the handling of Katrina by the government, and we'll update this day at the games (with the usual warnings about spoiling the surprise for those who don't want to know). We will also attempt (with limited success, totally by design) to clear up the name of this place: is it Turin or Torino?
We hope you'll join us tonight, from wherever you are, as we broadcast from both Turin and Torino.