Friday, July 06, 2007

Worst White House Press Conference Ever?

You could almost—(almost)—feel sorry for some of the Bush administration guys, if they hadn’t caused the deaths of so many people, so needlessly. Including our own troops.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post chronicles what must be Tony Snow’s worst press conference, ever. (Including his first one, where he refused to take any questions about foreign policy.)

Milbank uses a somewhat overwrought Jabberwocky metaphor to highlight the fact that the administration’s statements have now degenerated into outright nonsense.

He needn’t have. Here’s the juicy bits...

Through the Looking Glass, Darkly

By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, July 4, 2007; A02

...“I'm sure that the vice president may have expressed an opinion, but the fact is, the president understands the -- and he may have recused himself; I honestly don't know.”
-- (Tony Snow) White House press briefing, yesterday.


...President Bush, fielding questions yesterday after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed, declared that "the jury verdict should stand" -- and then, in answer to the same question, said he was open to vacating the verdict by granting Libby a full pardon.

("I believe in the rule of law--uh, no, wait a minute, I don't.")

Logic suffered a more serious challenge when Bush press secretary Tony Snow, in his briefing, made the following points about Libby's case:

• That Bush wasn't "granting a favor to anyone" but that the case got his "special handling."

• That it was not done for "political reasons" even though "it was political."

• That it was handled "in a routine manner," yet it was also "an extraordinary case."

• That "we are not going to make comments" on the case, even though Bush had already issued a 655-word statement commenting on the case.

(Jee-zus...remember in 2004, when Bush's main argument against a Kerry presidency was that he was a flip-flopper?)

...That Snow was standing there at all was an act of courage. His hair is thinning and his frame is gaunt from his battle with cancer, and he has a port in his chest into which chemotherapy drugs are injected. And Bush has made things increasingly difficult for Snow since the press secretary took the job 15 months ago. The president's popularity has plunged into the 20s, he has lost both houses of Congress, the Iraq war is a debacle, and his vice president has attempted to remove himself from the executive branch. Richard Nixon had been the standard by which presidential failures are measured, but even Nixon was not this low this long...

(Yes, it takes courage for a man with cancer to stand up there and spout nonsense to the press. He's a sick man; why the hell can't they find someone else to stand up there and spout bullshit to the press? Is this part of the new Bush "go for the pity fuck" public relations strategy?)

...(Snow) crossed his ankles behind the lectern and established his opening position: that "the president does not look upon (the commutation of Libby's sentence) as granting a favor to anyone."

(Yeah, he looks on it as way to keep the other indictable henchmen from spilling their guts.)

"Why shouldn't it be thought of as a bestowal of a favor," asked Plante, "when there are dozens of other people who would probably make the same case that their sentences were too heavy and should have been commuted?"

"Well, I'm not sure that there are dozens of others," the spokesman ventured.

Indeed, there aren't dozens. "There are more than 3,000 current petitions for commutation," ABC's Ann Compton informed the spokesman. "Will all 3,000 of those be held to the same standard?"

Snow cut his losses. "I don't know," he demurred.

("I don't know, I just don't know..." I think he does know the answer to that one. If those 3,000 petitioners can't put the finger on Cheney, their sentences ain't gonna be commuted.)

Ken Herman of Cox News Service tried to get Snow to justify his claim that the Libby commutation was handled by the book. "How could it not be extraordinary to grant something to someone who didn't even ask for it?"

Snow ultimately surrendered to Herman with a shrug.

(Boy, that response wouldn't make the grade on "Jeopardy!", I can tell you that...)

...CNN's Ed Henry asked why Bush adviser Karl Rove, now known to have leaked Plame's identity, was not being held to Bush's promise in 2004 to fire anybody involved in the leak.

"We are not going to make comments in detail until the legal process is over," Snow parried -- only to be reminded by several reporters of Bush's two-page statement on the case from Monday, and the prosecutor's view that the case is done.

(Fire Rove? Do you know what that would do to our reputation for integrity? He sets the ethical standard for the rest of the administration. And the guy's a political genius; he was the guy who sold the country on the Iraq war...)

Read the entire article at the link above; more amazing statements. Snow sounds like he's conducting a press conference on the Hindenburg. ("Why is it blowing up? I don't know... I don't know... (shrugs)"



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