Email this article to a friend

The ITT List

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005, 1:40 pm

White House Mantra of the Day

By Brian Cook
There was blood in the water at today's White House press briefing.

Here's a sample exchange between shark and meat:

Q Does the White House have a credibility problem?

MR. McCLELLAN: Ed, these are all questions that you're bringing up in the context of an investigation that is ongoing --

Q I'm not asking about that.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's clear that this is coming up in the context of news --

Q We could talk about WMDs, a whole range of issues.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- in the context of news reports. And I appreciate those questions. And I think you're trying to get at the specific news reports and wanting me to comment on those specific news reports and --

Q But they're news reports that have been confirmed by Karl Rove's attorney, Scott.

MR. McCLELLAN: John, you can keep jumping in, but I'm going to try to keep going to other people in this room, as well. And we can have constructive dialogue here, I think, but that's not the way to do it.

Q It's not my job to have a constructive dialogue, Scott. Sorry.


It's worth checking out in full just to count how many times McClellan says "investigation" (usually qualified by "ongoing" or "continuing criminal") in his squirming non-answers to the questions about Rove. I counted 52, after discarding two mentions in regards to the London bombings.

Anyway, here's today's question: Are White House spokesmen actually human or are they just cheap robots imported from an assembly line somewhere in China? Discuss.

Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.

View Comments