Monday, May 01, 2006

Tony Snow and the Washington Press Corps

It's a brand new month and here we go.

Tony Snow, a former journalist, is the new commentator at Fox News. Surprisingly this is not likely to pacify Snow's former colleagues. Rather it's likely that the White House Press Corps will continue to ask hard questions (occasionally). There are a number of articles on this phenomena. Suzanne Fields suggests, for example, that "We won't get snow jobs on this watch." That seems overly optimistic.

Nathan L. Gonzales takes a more serious look at what the job of being President Bush's press secretary entails.
Out-going Press Secretary Scott McClellan was actually a better choice for the position. He was bland and as energetic in front of the camera as John Kerry at a Bush reelection party. McClellan's job was to prevent any breaking news at the briefing.

He succeeded more often than not, and that's why the press corps didn't like him.

Even though Snow as been promised a more "inside" role in the West Wing, he will still be forced to deliver the same message and same administration policies that McClellan did, the same policies that incite an antagonistic press corps.

Both the White House and the media appear to have a false sense of hope about Snow's upcoming tenure. Tony Snow works for President Bush, and he is now a former member of the media who is being paid to present the Bush administration's message. He will only be as open and forthcoming as he is told to be.
That's interestingly direct. The Press Secretary's job isn't to provide information to the Press, but rather, to keep from giving them too much information. Kind of comforting isn't it?

But that's a reflection of the Conservative mindset - the Press can't be trusted to give information to the people. Far better that the people simply ignore the press and listen to the President and his favorite commentators (like, for example, Rush Limbaugh).

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