Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Ari Fleischer Spins Away In New Book

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has a book out today, titled "Taking Heat". Howard Kurtz from the Washington Post give us a glimpse inside:
Fleischer's book, "Taking Heat," is out today, and while his style isn't to smack people around, he is the first Bush administration insider to offer a sustained indictment of the media. White House correspondents, he says, are mostly liberal. Mostly negative. Mostly opposed to tax cuts. Mostly unwilling to give his president a break. Mostly interested in whipping up conflict.

He portrays journalists as good human beings who, sad to say, are biased and defensive. Even when ripping Hearst columnist Helen Thomas -- "I don't care for her politics one little bit" -- Fleischer hastens to add: "Helen and I could go at each other in the briefing room but in private we really like each other."
Reading Fleisher's description of the "liberal" media interested in "whipping up conflict" sounds eerily Guckert-ish. Fleischer whining about the media "unwilling to give his President a break" is shocking, considering the pass the President was given leading this nation into war. Fleischer played an integral role in shelling out rationale after failed rationale, and the media licked it all up without even second-guessing the President. Only a few journalists has the hutzpa to apologize. Rick Mercier was one of them:
"The media are finished with their big blowouts on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there's one thing they forgot to say: We're sorry...."Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage. Sorry we were dismissive of experts who disputed White House charges against Iraq. Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations. Sorry we couldn't bring ourselves to hold the administration's feet to the fire before the war, when it really mattered....Maybe we'll do a better job next war."
The NY Times, part of the media Fleischer says should have given the Admistration a break, wrote in May 2004 that it had given the President one break too many:
But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged - or failed to emerge.
Fleischer goes on to include Thomas' questions in his book. Heaven forbid a President should be held accountable for his actions, and Thomas says as much in the Kurtz article:
"The questions I asked should have been asked by 10 more reporters in the run-up to war, which proved that everything they said was not true." She says Fleischer was not only a spokesman for the president but "owed credibility to the American people. I'm sure he got mad at me. He had to defend what was indefensible, in my opinion."
Of course Fleischer got mad. The entire Bush Adminsitration gets frustrated when presented with facts and reality, rather than the likes of Talon News. Fleischer will likely make quite a bit of money dishing out disclosures in his book. What a shame he couldn't be as "honest" when he was in the Briefing Room.


Blogger Barn Babe said...

I was really hoping Ari would come out as one of the good guys someday but it sounds as if he is just another WH suck up.

I got this advertisement the other day from American Compass, the Conservative Alternative book club. After I got over gagging because the front page was Gingrich, Coulter, and Medved, I noticed that the address label looked like my Doubleday stuff and both are from Camp Hill, PA. I did some research and a company called Bookspan has all of the bookclubs (Half Time Warner). But it got me to thinking about it and let me tell you, us Democrats are wayyyyyyy behind on the learning curve here. In researching Propagannon, the conservatives have so many "how to" sites and now a book club with direct media mail. And Ari's book will be on it. Woe de me.
To be successful, one should imitate success. I think we need to steal some of the Conservative thunder and get with the program. Your blogsite works toward that goal. BTW, it is looking very nice. Why doesn't Bookspan give the Democrats a book club? We need more foundations and institutes to help us get the truth out to the world because the other side is very very good at getting their agenda and message spread.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great new look !!

3:52 PM  
Blogger lawnorder said...

Adding Ari Fleischer to Jim Pinkerton:

1) Ari: The press is eeeeevil, evil I tell you

2) Pinkerton: Bush is innovating the way the WH deals with the press by being "Radical, aggressive, ambitious, visionary"

1) + 2) = Bush planted Gannon and he was damm right to do it, since the press is eeeevil

See Jim Pinkerton's words yesterday

Pinkerton, who worked in the administration of George H.W. Bush, says: "It's quite clear this White House is exploring radical alternative ways to getting its message out - through the aggressive hiring of flacks like Williams, and the presence, or even planting, of friendly so-called journalists like Gannon.

The Bush people are challenging all the old assumptions about how to work the press. They are ambitious - visionary, if you will - in ways that Washington has yet to fathom .. as the President said in 2003, "somehow you just got to go over the heads of the filter.
You can see that although it looks like Pinkerton is being critical of Gannon and the planting, he is in fact making Bush look good: visionary and smart using a "harmless" trick to provide the noble goal of bypassing the eeeevil liberal media

Unfortunately, I think that just like Gitmo's abuses, they will not deny it anymore, they will say it was justifiable in Bush's case, ... to avoid an eeeeeeevil leftie media that Ari describes as so unmanageable and unfair

4:01 PM  
Blogger lawnorder said...

Visionary and unfathomable my foot!Wrong Pinkerton! Washington knows what Bush is doing, and it is nothing new. Stalin was doing it 50 years ago. But at that time we didn't call it "visionary" or "radical", we called it unethical and bad for democracy

To quote your idol:

"Democracies have certain things in common. They have a rule of law and protection of minorities, a free press and a viable political opposition." --GWB, Bratislava, Slovakia, February 24, 2005

4:04 PM  
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3:31 PM  

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