Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

White House Press Corps Show Some Backbone

The diaries at Daily Kos just keep on improving...getting better and better all the time. Today, Kos user Magorn tells us about Scott McClellan's bad day yesterday.

We start out with a question from early in in the press conference:
Q: With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not telling them. I'm saying that we would encourage them to help --

Q You're pressuring them.
That was Terry Moran of ABC News. Of course, it gets better:
Q Let me follow up on that. What -- you said that -- what specifically are you asking Newsweek to do? I mean, to follow up on Terry's question, are you saying they should write a story? Are you going that far? How else can Newsweek, you know, satisfy you here? [Must...resist...Jeff Gannon joke....]
And that was Elizabeth Bumiller of the New York Times.

Yes, Elisabeth Bumiller, the infamous author of the White House Letter. A recurring puff piece on George W. Bush, that's so slurpy, its a wonder she doesn't wear a blue dress when writing them.

But not yesterday. Yesterday she was the Pit bull of the briefing room. She wanted specifics!

McClellan tried to give a vague, but faintly indignant non-answer:
McCLELLAN: -- because of this report. I think Newsweek is going to be in the best position to determine how to achieve that.
And there are ways that I pointed out that they can help repair the damage. One way is to point out what the policies and practices of our United States military are. Our United States military personnel go out of their way to make sure that the Holy Koran is treated with care...

[Holy Koran Batman!, McClellan better hope Dr. Dobbie and his dominionist pals don't hear him talking like that]-
But that wasn't good enough for Ms. Bumiller:
Q Are you asking them to write a story about how great the American military is; is that what you're saying here?

[and just to leave McClellan no wiggle room]

Q Are you asking them to write a story?
McClellan struggled to respond, but he was cut off:
MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, let me finish my sentence. Our military -

Q You've already said what you're -- I know what -- how it ends.
There's a lot more that happened during this press conference, but you can continue reading about it in Magorn's diary at Daily Kos.

At last, the Press Corps have shown they have the ability to hammer McClellan. Maybe they have some backbone after all. Or perhaps it is because Newsweek, a fellow media source, is under attack and reporters are rallying to defend one of their own.

Whatever the reason, it's good to see the pressure's on.

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