The Note

Mark Memmott of USA Today finds subtle differences between what Woodward said about an alleged secret Bush Administration deal with the Saudis over gas prices on "60 Minutes" Sunday and what he actually wrote in his book. LINK

"Woodward wrote of a Feb. 24, 2003, White House meeting during which President Bush expressed his worry about the upcoming war's effect on oil prices. Woodward did not write that Bush was concerned about whether high oil prices might affect the 2004 election. It was Woodward who linked the meeting to an alleged plan by the Saudis."

More: "Correspondent Mike Wallace, however, interviewed Woodward about what he had told 60 Minutes, not simply what was in the book. Listeners might have concluded that Bandar had been present at that meeting and had made a direct pledge to Bush that his country would push down oil prices in time to help Bush's re-election effort."

Woodward takes questions in a live discussion on today at 1:00 pm ET. LINK

The morning shows:

The morning shows led with a combination of a rare quiet night in Fallujah and the five-year anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

While on the CBS "Early Show" to discuss his book, "Why Courage Matters," Sen. John McCain was asked about Bob Woodward's book, "Plan of Attack," and expressed concern about the diversion of funds from Afghanistan to Iraq. "Seven hundred million dollars moved around from place to place is a lot of money," McCain said.

Speaking in general terms of the President's war aims, McCain said of Congress, "We knew what the President's plan was." But McCain signaled there would be congressional hearings into the diversion of funds. "The mechanics of moving the money around will be the subject of hearings," McCain said, "particularly in the Senate Armed Services Committee."

All three networks -- Claire Shipman for ABC, Bill Plante for CBS, Andrea Mitchell for NBC -- had pieces on the Woodward fallout with a heavy emphasis on Powell's Monday comments saying he was not out of the loop. ABC's piece concluded by Noting that some are saying Powell made a mistake by playing the loyal soldier and that he should have threatened to use his star power and walk out. CBS concluded its piece by Noting that Powell is "not planning on sticking around if there is a second term" to which Rene Syler said "no surprise there." For the second day in a row, Matt Lauer interviewed Woodward on NBC's "Today Show." Woodward stuck by his version of events despite Powell's disputations.

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish reports that despite Sen. Kerry's assertion on "Meet" Sunday they he would release all his military records, when a reporter showed up at his campaign headquarters to view them (as instructed), they were told by spokesman Michael Meehan that they are not releasing anything more than has been released already. LINK

"Kerry has not released the formal evaluations from superior officers, although his campaign has given a letter from a commanding officer that recommended him for service aboard Navy patrol boats and also reports for the Silver and Bronze stars that laud Kerry's actions in combat."

The Washington Post's Lois Romano and Howard Kurtz Note that Sen. Kerry "lambasted" President Bush in Florida Monday over Woodward's report that the President received from Saudi Arabia a promise to keep oil prices low before the November election. LINK

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