White House Mantra of the Day

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.

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