February 22, 2004

Waiting for McClellan

It must be a very frustrating job, being part of the White House press corps, what with asking so many questions that never get answered...over and over and over again. Say you're Helen Thomas, and you want to ask a question about a rumor that Dubya had to take time off from National Guard duty to perform community service. How blatantly evasive might you expect the president's press secretary to be?

Q: Was he forced to do community service at any time while he was on --

Scott McClellan: What's your interest in that question? I'm sorry, I just --

Q: Lots of rumors. I'm just trying to clear up something.

Scott McClellan: Rumors about what?

Q: Pardon?

Scott McClellan: Rumors about what?

Q: About the President having to do community service while he was in the National Guard, take time out for that.

Scott McClellan: I'm not aware of those rumors. But if you want to --

Q: Could you look it up? Would you mind asking him?

Scott McClellan: That's why I'm asking what's your interest in that? I just don't understand your interest in that.

Q: It's what everybody is interested in, whether we're getting the true story on his Guard duty.

Seriously, what does he think her interest is in asking a question about the rumor? I just don't understand his evasiveness. Either you know the rumor isn't true, and you say "that rumor is false"; or this is the first you're hearing about the rumor, so you say "I don't know, but I've certainly never heard anything about that, and it sounds rather unlikely"; or...you dance around the question endlessly, until other members of the press corps get into the act.

Q: But you still haven't answered Helen's question. She asked you a simple question.

Scott McClellan: There are people that want to replay the 2000 campaign all over again, Bill, and --

Q: You still haven't answered her question about community service.

Scott McClellan: -- there are too many important -- there are too many important policies and decisions that are being made that we need to discuss.

Q: Why does a "yes" or "no" elude you on this?

Scott McClellan: I didn't say that. I said that these were all issues addressed four years ago. If there's additional information --

Q: This issue quite obviously wasn't addressed four years ago.

Perhaps this is what the White House considers "staying on message", but I kinda don't think such unsubtle evasiveness in his press secretary makes the president seem more trustworthy.

Posted by Francis at 12:32 AM

Right on, man! And, really, who's cooler than Helen Thomas? They oughta make a movie about her one day, I'd certainly shell out ten bucks to see it.

Posted by: drew at February 22, 2004 04:26 PM