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NBC Breaks Kagan News When Toobin Could Have Called

vert.toobin.jpg CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin missed the boat on getting the scoop on Solicitor General Elena Kagan being chosen as President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. “I guess that makes me less than a journalist,” Toobin said on CNN late Sunday night after NBC broke the news.

Toobin explained on air that he knows Kagan personally because she was his Harvard Law School classmate, but said he chose not to use his personal connection to phone her and ask. To be sure, his tone was light-hearted, not painful regret. (He did, however, talk with CNN.com about knowing her previously. Read the interview here.)

One question:
CNN: You knew her at Harvard. What is she like?
Toobin: Smart, funny, self-confident, extremely intelligent but not obnoxious about it. She’s always been a well-grounded person who brings out the best in others around her.

Behind the scenes of this breaking news story is another story of how the news was not broken. Politico‘s Mike Allen reported that the White House may give the news to AP’s Ben Feller to break “on the later side of Sunday.”

But on Sunday night, it was NBC’s Pete Williams broke the story. CNN gave proper credit to NBC during the segment with Toobin.

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