Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jay Rosen Always Gets It So Right: Sayonara Scott

Okay, I spent the week in a swimming pool. And what a week to be away in Florida for Spring Break with my wonderful ten-year-old kiddo.

McClellan is gone. Hmmm ...

Ironically, the retired cabdriver who drove us from Clearwater Beach to the Tampa airport, at the crack of dawn on Friday morning, gave me all the news of the week any self-respecting blogger should have been keeping up with, in one quick encapsulated rant that only a radical AARPista can deliver. I had worried he was a Bushie when I got into the cab at 5:00am Friday, but was clear his politics were hardly right-wing when he dropped us off at 5:45am for our flight back to the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

And then I had a pal mention upon my return that some guy had written an amazing blog post about McClellan and I had better check it out.

And that "guy" ended up being Jay Rosen, a favorite of mine, and per usual he always gets it so right. So I'm throwing a few links in here, things I don't want to forget, and if you didn't get a chance to read his awesome post, don't miss it here.
So this is the first thing to understand about McClellan and the job he was given by Bush. He wasn’t put there to brief the White House press, but to frustrate, and belittle it, and provoke journalists into discrediting themselves on TV.
And he's got it nailed again when he explains the way the Bush White House deals with the press my nullification:
Other parts of the Bush presidency that fit in the puzzle with McClellan’s hapless style:

* The fixing of facts around the policy in the run-up to the war in Iraq; the cherry-picking and manipulation of intelligence;

* The expansion of executive secrecy and the conversion of public knowledge back into classified data;

* The routine refusal to provide Congress with information required for meaningful oversight, which is itself a casualty of this White House;

* The criminalization of reporting practices in the prosecution of journalists for unauthorized leaks;

* Dick Cheney’s conviction that executive power had been encroached upon after Vietnam and Watergate, and needed to be re-claimed: from Congress, from the press, from the pressure of public opinion itself;

* The new “stealth” model for the vice presidency that Cheney and Bush created, in which the VP’s schedule is secret and the press often doesn’t know where he is.
Go read it here, and don't miss all the comments and trackbacks.