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.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:
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."
"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.