Thursday, May 12, 2005

Endangered Species -- Actual Journalism -- Discovered in White House Press Room

This may be my favorite thing of the month. Other than the cheerleaders in Texas. And the intelligent design whack jobs in Kansas. And the "turn the other cheek" preacher in North Carolina. And the bonehead at the National Review who thinks REVENGE OF THE SITH is an anti-Bush movie. And Sherwood. And West. And John Bolton at Plato's Retreat. Oh -- and this Republican hypocrisy gem (in THE NATION):

Yes, it has been a magical May. However, this exchange regarding the "plane scare" in Washington D.C. yesterday holds a special place in my heart. Why? Because there is nothng that is more insulting to the collective intelligence of this fair nation, and this fair world, than virtually every putrid word of psychobabble that emanates from White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's mouth. So when the spin becomes so divorced from reality (thank you Jeff Gannon) that even the White House press corps can't take it, you know it is a very special day:

McCLELLAN: Well, again, if you want to give me a chance to respond, I'll be glad to. The protocols were followed. This situation, as you're well aware, turned out to be an accident. The Department of Defense pointed out yesterday that they didn't sense any hostile intent on the part of the plane. There were fighter jets scrambled. There was a Blackhawk helicopter scrambled, as well, to get in contact with the plane. ...

Q So if it was assessed that there was no hostile intent on the part of this aircraft, can you tell us why 30,000 people -- 35,000 people were told to run for their lives?

McCLELLAN: Because of the protocols that are in place, John. We want to make sure that the people in the area of the threat are protected. After --

Q: But what was the threat? You just said there was no threat.

McCLELLAN: John, after Sept. 11, we have to take into account the world that we live in. We live in a very different world than we did before Sept. 11. And the president is going to do everything in his power to make sure we are protecting the American people and to make sure that the people in areas that could be high-risk areas are protected, as well.

Q: Right, but there seems to be so many disconnects here. You've got a plane that was assessed as not being a threat, you've got 35,000 people evacuated, you've got a person who you claim is a hands-on commander in chief who is left to go ride his bicycle through the rural wildlands of Maryland while his wife is in some secure location somewhere, it's just not adding up.

The phrase "it's just not adding up" is definitely the understatement of the new century.

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