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Angry of the Potomac
The Din Out of Deceivers’ Den

Look who's flossing Bush's teeth now

Why is it still news when an ex-Bush administration flunkey reveals that Mr. Bush and Karl Rove are liars, that they relied on “propaganda” to sell the Iraq war, that Bush took self-delusion to heights once reserved for McKinley and the mountain that should never have been named after him, that Bush and his loyalists operated like a junta and the press let them get away with it?

As press secretary, Scott McClellan was the pudgy-faced front of the Bush administration from July 2003 to April 2006. He did what his predecessor, Ari Fleischer and his successors, Tony Snow and that lost Playboy bunny, were hired to do: craftily lie, deceive, disguise, misguide, beguile, defraud, swindle and chicane the press at every fabricated turn.

Now he’s come out with a tell-all book that tells us what’s been obvious, roughly speaking, since the summer of 2000, when Bush was in his first run for the presidency.

 

Bush insiders are upset. And the New York Times, ever the ultimate White House spokesman, gives us a story that, rather than focusing on some possibly fresh revelations in the book itself, angles its way from the White House’s hurt feelings: “The White House reacted negatively today to scathing criticisms of President Bush and members of his inner circle that appear in a new memoir” written by McClellan, “who was forced out in 2006 after three tumultuous years.”

The Times turns over the third paragraph to the bunny, who calls McClellan “sad” and “not the Scott we knew”—the talking point, incidentally, that made its way around the White House before sundown: Karl Rove used the same words, as will the runners assigned to roadkill McClellan on the coming Sunday chat shows. The question remains: why is any of this still news, and why is the Times still playing page-one apologist to a nullity’s postcript?

McClelland’s former fans think they have a point. Why, they ask, did he wait this long to make his grievances? Why not do so when he was inside the White House? Of course, he did. And he was fired for it. At his parting, Bush said: “One of these days he and I are going to be rocking on chairs in Texas, talking about the good old days and his time as the Press Secretary. And I can assure you I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say to Scott, job well done.”

For this, anyway.

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