Only NBC's 'Today' Covers 'Embarrassing' and 'Potentially Dangerous Mistake' by White House

On Tuesday, only NBC's Today reported on the White House accidentally leaking the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, which correspondent Peter Alexander described as "an incredibly embarrassing and actually potentially dangerous mistake." Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned the administration screw-up that occurred during President Obama's trip to Afghanistan over the weekend to visit the troops. [Listen to the audio]

ABC and CBS did find time to promote other favorable White House stories. GMA did a full segment on First Lady Michelle Obama defending school lunch standards against criticism and This Morning devoted a full report to the White House holding a science fair for girls.

Alexander detailed the seriousness of the situation: "Just hours after successfully pulling off a secret presidential trip to Afghanistan, White House officials were scrambling to protect another high-stakes secret that they mistakenly let out of the bag. Aides accidentally blew the cover of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous corners of the planet."

However, he couldn't resist bringing up a supposed Bush administration scandal: "'Astonishing,' tweeted Valerie Plame, whose undercover CIA status was leaked by Bush administration officials in 2003 after her Plame's husband criticized the Iraq war."

Alexander failed to mention that a career State Department official was responsible for accidentally leaking Plame's name, not anonymous "Bush administration officials."

On Tuesday, Alexander read a quote from Plame blasting the Obama administration leak: "The life of the Chief of Station and his family (if they are with him at the post) are in immediate danger from any number of terrorists who would rejoice at the opportunity to kill him and claim a victory."

Wrapping up the report, Alexander noted "...senior intelligence officials tell NBC News that the White House mistake is in their words, 'embarrassing, stupid, and unhelpful,' but they insist...it is 'not catastrophic.'"

Here is a full transcript of the May 27 report:

7:14 AM ET

MATT LAUER: There's new fallout this morning over a glaring mistake that happened during President Obama's surprise weekend trip to Afghanistan. A member of the administration accidentally releasing the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul. So how serious is this? NBC's national correspondent Peter Alexander is at the White house. Peter, good morning to you.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Fallout Over Outing of CIA Official; White House's Afghanistan Mistake Raises Concerns]

PETER ALEXANDER: Matt, good morning to you. This is an incredibly embarrassing and actually potentially dangerous mistake by this White House, accidentally outing the CIA's top officer in Afghanistan. And this morning, it's still unclear whether the error will force the CIA to pull the official out of Afghanistan.

Just hours after successfully pulling off a secret presidential trip to Afghanistan, White House officials were scrambling to protect another high-stakes secret that they mistakenly let out of the bag. Aides accidentally blew the cover of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous corners of the planet.

MICHAEL LEITER [NBC NEWS NAT'L SECURITY & COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST]: It does simply show a bit of sloppiness, which any administration wants to avoid, both because of the embarrassment, but also, more significantly, its relationship with the CIA and keeping secrets secret.

ALEXANDER: The officer, listed as "Chief of Station" in Kabul, was identified by White House aides on a roster of senior U.S. officials who met privately with President Obama during his visit. Those names were then emailed to the White House press distribution list, more than 6,000 recipients in all. NBC News is not reporting the officer's name.

"Astonishing," tweeted Valerie Plame, whose undercover CIA status was leaked by Bush administration officials in 2003 after her Plame's husband criticized the Iraq war.

VALERIE PLAME WILSON [FORMER UNDERCOVER CIA OFFICIAL]: And I felt like I had been hit in the gut, and I immediately thought of my family's safety.

ALEXANDER: Late Monday, Plame told NBC News in a statement, "The life of the Chief of Station and his family (if they are with him at the post) are in immediate danger from any number of terrorists who would rejoice at the opportunity to kill him and claim a victory."

Still, some analysts are downplaying the potential consequences.

LEITER: This disclosure won't have enormous operational impact because of the nature of the station chief's role in Afghanistan, a place where most Afghan officials would already know him.

ALEXANDER: This morning, neither the White House nor the CIA is commenting, but senior intelligence officials tell NBC News that the White House mistake is in their words, "embarrassing, stupid, and unhelpful," but they insist, Matt, it is "not catastrophic."

LAUER: Alright, Peter Alexander at the White House. Peter, thanks.

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.