Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Y’know, I’m aware that the media displays some political slant here and there. I see it. It doesn’t usually bother me too much. But today the Des Moines Register reprinted a Dana Milbank piece From the WaPo and, well…
I’m also aware that others have certainly gotten to this already. After I’m done I’ll go look for them.
The article (remember, this is a news article, not an op-ed) begins:
The question came politely, almost sweetly. Toward the end of the White House daily briefing yesterday, USA Radio Network's Connie Lawn asked press secretary Scott McClellan if he had considered resigning.
McClellan said he had not. In fact, the spokesman added, "I feel pretty good."
And why shouldn't he?
After three weeks of telling the world that Harriet Miers was the best possible Supreme Court nominee because she is a woman who was not an Eastern Ivy Leaguer serving on the appellate bench, McClellan made the case yesterday that the second-best possible Supreme Court nominee is Samuel Alito -- an Ivy League-educated man from New Jersey who has been on the appellate bench for 15 years.
Remember, this is not an opinion piece.
Worse, McClellan personally vouched for White House officials Scooter Libby and Karl Rove, saying that they had nothing to do with the leak of a CIA agent's identity and that anybody who did would be fired. Libby was indicted in the case on Friday, Rove has been identified as a leaker but remains on the job.
This is a straight news article.
ABC News's Terry Moran informed McClellan that "we can't vouch for you" and said he couldn't "carry your water for you." Moran added: "There's been a wound to your credibility here. A falsehood, wittingly or unwittingly, was told from this podium."
NBC's David Gregory was no more trusting, telling McClellan that his credibility "may very well be on trial with the American public" and asking, "Don't you agree?"
This just in: reporters don’t trust McClellan. We don’t just tell the story, we are the story! [And hey, reporting on the reporters’ reporting? We got'cher meta right here.]
[I]nstead of an explanation or an apology, McClellan resorted to time-tested scandal defenses: "Our counsel's office has directed us not to discuss this" and "We are expected to focus on the people's business."
No comment. [Not repeat not an op-ed.]
The Alito announcement was, in political parlance, a "page-turn" to shift attention from the leak probe. Because, y’know, there’s not a vacancy on the Court right now.
Bush had put additional pressure on McClellan yesterday by avoiding questions himself.
Standing at 8 a.m. in the White House Cross Hall -- the same spot on which he delivered his final ultimatum to Saddam Hussein before the war -- Bush made it clear he anticipated a fight over the Alito nomination, demanding that "an up-or-down vote is held before the end of this year." Later, when Bush met with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, reporters were shooed away without question time. When a query was shouted about whether Rove would be fired, Bush did not even turn his head.
Hey, he’s ignoring us! He’s talking about what he wants to talk about, not what we want him to! He’s avoiding the issue!
For some reason, I just flashed on those Area 51 conspiracy nuts. Remember them?
The White House sent another signal of defiance in the afternoon, when it announced that Cheney counsel David Addington would replace Libby as Cheney's chief of staff.
Addington was identified by his title in the indictment -- and he was a principal author of a White House memo justifying aggressive interrogation of terrorism suspects.
"Can you address the message that was sent today by the vice president?" Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times asked McClellan.
"It's always the president's prerogative to choose the team that best meets his needs for advancing his agenda," came the unresponsive response.
So that wasn’t the message? What was it, then? Help me out here.
I know, low-hanging fruit. Happily the rest of the MSM isn’t as fixated on Rove as Milbank is. Later in the same edition, an AP article about (!) Alito. [Hey, the AP is trying to distract attention from the indictments!] The headline, “Court-watchers say Alito tends to back government in rulings.” The first paragraph: “Don’t look for a bumper sticker saying ‘question authority’ on Samuel Alito’s car.”
And, one must also expect some bias, or more likely a great deal, even in articles/reports that are supposed to just be "straight news"... unbiased reporting is an oxymoron.
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