Wednesday, May 18, 2005

When the White House Press Attacks

Yesterday, the press came out swinging against the administration on a whole host of issues. The New Criterion has a great round-up below:

OK, so Scott McClellan holds a press briefing at the White House this afternoon. Several subjects come up: judicial nominees and the filibuster, a highway bill making its way through Congress, and Newsweek, Newsweek, Newsweek. The Drudge Report called it the “Revenge of the Sith Press,” an allusion to the Star Wars movie. Mr. Drudge posts an image of the comic-strip bad guy, Darth Vader. But if this is supposed to be the “Fourth Estate Strikes Back,” poor ole Darth needs a bottle of Geritol. Mr. McClellan suggested that perhaps Newsweek might want to go beyond its mealy-mouthed retraction and, you know, try to repair some of the damage they did by publishing a totally unfounded story based on an anonymous source that the United States military flushed copies of the Koran (“the holy Koran” in Mr. McClellan’s words) down the toilet. The last time I checked, 17 people had been killed in the riots sparked by that story, scores more injured. But so what? Here we have the pampered US media: their enemy is the Bush administration, and if some natives somewhere have to die to embarrass the US government, well, you can’t make an omelette, etc., etc.

Here are a couple of the questions:

Q. Scott, the Senate has managed to function -- or not function, as the case may be -- for more than 200 years without a ban on judicial filibusters. Is the President concerned about the historic nature of what's being talked about up on the Hill?
Q. Well, let me ask two questions about what you just said. Where in the Constitution are judicial nominees guaranteed an up or down vote? And what about the impact of this whole so-called "nuclear option" on this idea of equal representation in the Senate?
Q. Right, and he's made that clear. You made clear just a moment ago that he opposes judicial activists. And, yet, if you take a look, as I'm sure you have, at the records of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown, both records reveal, according to conservatives -- not me, but according to some conservatives -- judicial activism, number one; and, number two, a judicial temperament which is, at times, very sharp, very acerbic in their opinions, and not consistent with what some people consider the kind of judicial temperament that would be appropriate for the kind of circuit court positions that they're being nominated to. Is there -- is the President sort of violating, in these nominees, his own principle for what he wants to see --
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?
Q: Are you asking them to write a story about how great the American military is; is that what you’re saying here?
MR. McCLELLAN: Elisabeth, let me finish my sentence. Our military --
Q: You’ve already said what you’re -- I know what -- how it ends.

Powerline adds: "This is just unbelievable. Newsweek publishes a false report libelling the U.S. military, which contributes to riots and fatalities abroad, and, in the eyes of American journalists, who are the villains? The Bush administration, the military, and--how bizarre is this?"


Post a Comment

<< Home