Awesome. One of my new favorite things to do is read the White House press “gaggle” transcripts where you get unedited conversations between reporters and Scott McClellan, the White House Spokesman. There is some terribly great stuff in here where he goes on at length with words coming and coming out of his mouth, but he never really says anything at all. It is the definition of doublespeak. I don’t understand how anything in Washington gets done when all you have is bozos talking like this to each other all the time.
Anyways, the point of all this is to introduce some great back and forth today wherein Scott tells a reporter what she has been reporting on. She gives him the back of her hand for that one. Then she grills him on just what is so “unprecedented” about the President giving only 1 hour to the 9/11 commission when President Ford sat in an open session of Congress and testified. The response of Scott is just great. Hemming and hawing about 2 million documents and this and that. It’s all wonderful bullshit and I love reading it.
So have a gander below. It comes from Josh Marshall’s great website: Talking Points Memo. I highly reccomend you check it out. He’s got some great sources and it’s a very thorough review of the current goings-on in Washington.
Q: Scott, purely from a PR point of view, how do you respond to a criticism launched by Senator Kerry yesterday who said, ‘The President finds time to go to a rodeo, but he doesn’t have more than an hour for the 9/11 Commission?’ — wouldn’t you acknowledge that, however well you think the administration, the President, and however unprecedented you think the cooperation is, isn’t he vulnerable to some criticism —
McCLELLAN: Suggest — look at the facts. I mean, I’ll just point out the facts. Not suggesting; I’m pointing out the facts.
Q: We would never suggest you do anything else, Scott. But my point is, don’t you think that there might be some kind of PR problem for the President when his chief challenger can say, you’ve got time to got to a rodeo, and you don’t have time for the 9/11 Commission?
McCLELLAN: That’s why it’s important for everybody to report all the facts and the type of cooperation we have provided to the commission, and the type of access we have provided to the commission. It is unprecedented. But in terms of those remarks, it appears that he does not want to let the facts get in the way of his campaign. The facts are very clear. This administration has provided unprecedented cooperation to the 9/11 Commission, and provided access to every single bit of information that they have requested.
Q: Not unprecedented, I’m sorry. From Watergate on —
McCLELLAN: Go look at the chairman’s recent comments, Helen. I mean, I’ll be glad to go back through those.
Q: The only reason I won’t accept the word ‘unprecedented’ is because, as I pointed out to you once before, President Ford actually testified in open session before the House Judiciary Committee —
McCLELLAN: Provided access to our nation’s most sensitive national security documents?
Q: Well, it depends on what aspect of —
McCLELLAN: Provide more than 2 million pages of documents? Provided access to hundreds of administration officials?
Q: So, but answer my question. When the President of the United States goes up to Capitol Hill, sits down in public session before an entire, full committee, and says, give me your best shot, how does the President sitting down for one hour —
McCLELLAN: Look at the facts of what we’ve done. Well, no, but keep in mind, you’re looking —
Q: We’re talking about the President’s time.
McCLELLAN: No, no, no, you’re missing the point, that the commission has already had access to everything that they’ve requested, including our most sensitive documents. They’ve already sat down and visited with White House officials and senor administration officials. And now they’ll have an opportunity to come to the President, and ask any question that they want to. The President is glad to answer their questions.
Q: So your view is that all the cooperation you’ve given — the White House has given up to now makes it so that really an hour of the President’s time should be sufficient for them to get what they need out of him?
McCLELLAN: The President is going to make sure, as we have, that they have all the information that they need to do their job.
Q: Scott, just to make sure we’re on the same page —
Q: Scott, I think what’s puzzling everybody is why don’t you just say, instead of saying he’s staying for an hour, why not just say he’s going to sit there until the questions are answered?
McCLELLAN: I said he’s going to answer all their questions.
Q: In one hour.
Q: Where is this one hour —
McCLELLAN: I’m not negotiating here from this podium with the commission.
Q: Nobody has asked — Scott —
Q: — one hour, is that what you’re saying?