"An embarrassing new setback for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales"?:
Alberto Gonzales's future is a hot news story right now, and finding a new angle on this story must be a big challenge for reporters. But this can also push reporters to get creative to find any angle they can, however weak. I think Adam Zagorin's story today in Time Magazine is a good example of such a weak story.

  Zagorin's story covers the "American Freedom Agenda", a new group of conservatives that recently formed and has now called for the ouster of Alberto Gonzales. Zagorin writes:
  In what could prove an embarrassing new setback for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the eve of his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a group of influential conservatives and longtime Bush supporters has written a letter to the White House to call for his resignation.
  he two-page letter, written on stationery of the American Freedom Agenda, a recently formed body designed to promote conservative legal principles, is blunt. Addressed to both Bush and Gonzales, it goes well beyond the U.S. attorneys controversy and details other alleged failings by Gonzales. "Mr. Gonzales has presided over an unprecedented crippling of the Constitution's time-honored checks and balances," it declares. "He has brought rule of law into disrepute, and debased honesty as the coin of the realm." Alluding to ongoing scandal, it notes: "He has engendered the suspicion that partisan politics trumps evenhanded law enforcement in the Department of Justice."
  Is this a big news story? It might sound like it at first. But the story hinges on Zagorin's claim that the members of the group are in fact "longtime Bush supporters." It seems that the group consists of five named members, so let's take a look at the list:
1) Richard Viguerie, author of "Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause."

2) Former Representative Bob Barr, frequent Bush Administration critic who has been aruing that "Gonzales Should Go" for at least a month.

3) David Keene of the American Conservative Union, frequent opponent of the Administration on civil liberties issues, whose recent column "Send DOJ Bumblers Packing" began "The combination of arrogance and incompetence on display at the Department of Justice boggles the mind. The attorney general, his hapless but conniving deputy and everyone associated with the two of them ought to be sent packing . . . "

4) John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute. Author of essays including "Bush's Secret Government Undermines Democracy" and "Bush Wants to Secretly Read Your Mail."

5) Former DOJ official Bruce Fein, a frequent Administration critic on surveillance and GWOT issues whose recent column began "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign."
  Is this really a list of "longtime Bush supporters" who have suddenly changed their mind on Gonzales, such that their joint announcement might be "an embarrassing new setback for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales"? It doesn't look that way to me; it sounds like they are all critics of Bush and Gonzales who are mostly restating together what they have said individually. But you wouldn't know that from Zagorin's news story.

  To be clear, I don't mean to suggest that these critics are wrong on the bottom line. I'm inclined to agree that Gonzales should resign, for reasons I plan to blog about soon. But this seems like a non-story to me.