OLBERMANN TO GRILL AN OPEN PLAME

Outed CIA operative Valerie Plame is coming in from the cold to speak with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on March 17, according to an announcement e-mailed to supporters of event sponsors People For the American Way. Plame, however, won’t be bumping Richard Lewis‘s usual one-on-one shtick with Olbermann on Countdown, and she certainly isn’t filling Michael Musto‘s regular slot. A select group of NPR tote baggers will get to see Olbermann and Plame face off live at Manhattan’s Tishman Auditorium.Plame has been holed up in a virtual press-proof fortress of solitude since the beginning of the Scooter Libby trial (with deliberations well under way, it should be wrapped before Plame takes the stage). She intends to come out from behind her blackout shades and identity-cloaking scarf to talk about “her life, her career, and the personal battle she and her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, are fighting against the most powerful officials in the nation,” according to the PFAW e-mail.

Was it Olbermann’s previous experience with Michael Jackson Puppet Theatre that uniquely qualified him to host this live affair? “The MSNBC Countdown host challenged the abuses of power as few others did when a single party controlled the White House and Congress,” the PFAW e-mail says. “In his ‘Special Comments,’ Olbermann has had the courage to speak truth to power.”