LULU by John Linton Roberson (c) 2012.
I Didn't Write That!
24 May 2005
That's My Line, You Chinless Little Weasel!

Scott McClennan apparently has a flawed understanding of current media recording technology, because in his White House press briefing today he tried to say he didn't say something he, well, said, at length, on as many media outlets as he and the right-wing radical smear machine could. And now, he has given us a cue to forget. It's too bad it's all on tape, and you have to wonder just what grade of coke these folks are snorting to give them such an illusion of balls.

And what an unprofessional little weasel he is. Compare him to the likes of Ari Fleischer. If you're a reporter, Ari was horrible, but it isn't the press secretary's job --if you've ever seen an episode of the West Wing you see this illustrated again and again--to do anything but spin. And from that perspective, Ari was an evil genius. He was a wall of stone. And he did not go on a prolonged vendetta against, for instance, Bill Maher when it came Ari's turn to intimidate the press into silence. He knew just one sentence and one suggestion were enough and he let corporate media timidity do the rest. Now that's a bastard. Recently Ari was on the Daily Show and managed to get Stewart from pleasantly hostile to seeming as though he'd like to lick Ari's balls within about two minutes, and all it took was a harmless admission that he had been evasive with the press, which is like saying that Saddam Hussein was a bit on the authoritarian side.

Whereas little Scott is rather inelegant, clumsy and sad by comparison. He came at Newsweek roaring like a grizzly with so much overconfidence that the press cowered in surprise. Here he was actually blaming the magazine for deaths in the riots in Afghanistan, because they reported that interrogators at Gitmo had tormented prisoners by desecrating the Koran.

MR. McCLELLAN: I mean, it's -- this report has had serious consequences. It has caused damage to the image of the United States abroad. It has -- people have lost their lives. It has certainly caused damage to the credibility of the media, as well, and Newsweek, itself.

The mere assertion that this was so was enough for the Masochistic Mainstream Media to run with. Soon after, Newsweek retracted only a small part of the story--that this was to be in a now-published report on treatment of prisoners at Guatanamo--but it didn't matter; the perception was planted that Newsweek had crumbled and was defeated and the Radical Right Message Machine has been chastising them ever since. Of course, lots of other stories similar to that one were published before and proliferated after the slapdown. But, like the issue of Bush's lack of service to this country, now any future stories of torture would be discredited. Even better, one more bit of outdated revenge no one else cares about: as the magazine is owned by the Washington Post, Nixon gets his revenge from beyond the grave. An elephant never forgets.

McClennan even felt emboldened to tell Newsweek and the press what to report to make the emperor happy:

Q Scott, you said that the retraction by Newsweek magazine of its story is a good first step. What else does the President want this American magazine to do?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's what I talked about yesterday. This report, which Newsweek has now retracted and said was wrong, has had serious consequences. People did lose their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged; there is lasting damage to our image because of this report. And we would encourage Newsweek to do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done, particularly in the region.

And I think Newsweek can do that by talking about the way they got this wrong, and pointing out what the policies and practices of the United States military are when it comes to the handling of the Holy Koran. The military put in place policies and procedures to make sure that the Koran was handled -- or is handled with the utmost care and respect. And I think it would help to point that out, because some have taken this report -- those that are opposed to the United States -- some have taken this report and exploited it and used it to incite violence.

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.

Fox, in a strangely paternalistic and condescending tone(even for them), on Hannity & Colmes soon afterward, referred to a Washington Post article on the same subject as "bad behavior." They were oddly emboldened. Then you look at the filibuster battle, and at least in that case, they were gearing up for something, and perhaps their boldness in telling the press, explicitly, what to write might be cross-referenced with this.

The filibuster fight, fundamentally, wasn't about judges, abortion, the Supreme Court or any of that, though it would have enabled previously unimaginable conservative agendas to get their way in all these areas and more. It was about the final GOP consolidation of power. Ironically, though in the Senate the filibuster is a tool of the minority, the fight against it was in aid of a minority in the country at large, the Radical Religious Right, and its wish to impose its absolutist views on us all if it so wishes--or anything it so wishes.

Without the filibuster, the GOP would have been able to rule by fiat, for all intents and purposes. They would have been able to rubber-stamp anything James Dobson or the like wanted, and instantly pass any legislation they wished. And we've already seen that, given the chance, they're not at all conservative about what they want to make into laws. They're also not about issues that matter a shit to any of us.

They were very sure that sometime today they would have destroyed the legislative branch and been well on their way to destroying the judiciary. Frist was about as smugly confident as you could imagine, even feeling free to say that Democrats were trying to "assassinate" the judicial nominees and having the balls to say this exactly at the same time as Judge Joan Lefkow, whose family was murdered by a guy with a grudge, said this in a nearby chamber:
I ask you to publicly and persistently repudiate gratuitous attacks on the judiciary such as the recent statement of Pat Robertson on national television and, unfortunately, of some members of the Congress, albeit in more measured terms. We need your help in tempering the tone of the debates that concern the independence of the judiciary. I have come to know scores of judges during my 22 years as a magistrate judge, bankruptcy judge, and district judge. Whether liberal or conservative, I have never encountered a judge in the federal judiciary who can remotely be described as posing a threat "probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings." In this age of mass communication, harsh rhetoric is truly dangerous. It seems to me that even though we cannot prove a cause and effect relationship between rhetorical attacks on judges and violent acts of vengeance by a particular litigant, fostering disrespect for judges can only encourage those that are on the edge, or the fringe, to exact revenge on a judge who ruled against them.
But their hubris continued unabated. No doubt they already had a Christmas list of items to push into law on Wednesday. They were so close to absolute power they could taste it, and they thought the Democrats were taking the bait of these judges. Cheney, almost salivating, said he'd be glad to break any ties, and Bush kept up thre belligerent pressure.

And then the moderates said "Enough of this childish shit," and gave them blue balls.

You can tell it was really them that lost in this compromise, because they've been shrieking about it in the MSM and the Blogosphere like the truly cockblocked always do for the past 24 hours, some swearing vengeance on McCain, others on Frist. Though they got three of their judges, what they really wanted was to trick everyone into a major structural change in the Senate, and that was stolen from them.

Any compromise is a tragic and grievous loss to the RRR, and you'd think they want to cause civil war over this madness. But polls say nobody cares about their squabble, and though the likes of Priscilla Owen will get through, the Senate remains the Senate, rather than the Reichstag.

Worse, the president of Afghanistan comes to the White House and says straight out that Newsweek had nothing to do with the riots and deaths, explaining the fact that somehow the MSM never picked up, that it was related to recent elections there. He stood right next to a no doubt very uncomfortable

And right away, McClennan doesn't so much repudiate what he said as feign amnesia:

Q One other question. Karzai was quite definite in saying that he didn't believe that the violence in Afghanistan was directly tied to the Newsweek article about Koran desecration. Yet, from this podium, you have made that link. So --

MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, I don't think you're actually characterizing what was said accurately.

Q By whom?

MR. McCLELLAN: As I said last week, and as President Karzai said today, and as General Myers had said previously, the protest may well have been pre-staged. The discredited report was damaging. It was used to incite violence. But those who espouse an ideology of hatred and oppression and murder don't need an excuse to incite violence. But the reports from the region showed how this story was used to incite violence.

Q But Karzai seemed to think that that wasn't what led to the violence, that it was --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's right, he actually -- he talked about -- President Karzai spoke about how the demonstrations were aimed at undercutting the progress being made toward democracy in Afghanistan, and the progress on elections. They have elections coming up soon. And I spoke about that, as well, last week.

Q So could it be said that the Newsweek article played a role, but was not --

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I think we've made our views known when it comes to the discredited report. There are some that want to continue to defend what is a discredited report that has been disavowed by Newsweek, and that's their business. We're perfectly willing to trust the American people to make their own judgment about it.

Q Who's doing that, exactly?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q Who wants to defend it?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you can see in the media coverage, there are some that want to continue to do that.

Sorry for remembering what you were blaring in our face for an entire week, Scott.

Now--why the sudden slinking away? Could it be that Scott thought that by today he'd be able to tell the press what to write? Even more interestingly, after being caught in such blatant bullshit and then showing such weakness, how long will he remain useful as a press secretary? How long do those guys last when they themselves become the story? And what kind of enemy has he created unnecessarily in Newsweek?

I expect within four weeks, tops, that a story will appear in Newsweek telling us exactly who homosexual prostitute/typist Jeff Gannon was visiting in the White House(as the logs indicate) all those times that there were no press conferences scheduled. It would be particularly fitting if Michael Isikoff, not only the target of the White House smear but also previously beloved by cons as the man who broke the Monica Lewinsky story, were the one to report it.

Have any of you considered what just almost happened--and may have only been delayed till this summer, when the Supreme Court battle will begin and "extraordinary circumstances" may ensue--and what exactly any of us would have done had a dictatorship begun today?

'Cause it could have.

"What are you going to do about it?"--Thomas Nast.

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