Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan said tonight that if he was still advising the president he would urge him and his team to drop their policy of not talking about the Libby/CIA leak case.
"I would advise the White House to find a way to get out there and talk about it and answer some of the questions," he said on Larry King's CNN show tonight. He said it would be "interesting to see" if the White House can sustain its refusal to say anything through the appeal process.
Scott McClellan said this? This is the same "Stonewall" Scott McClellan remembered as one of the "Top 10 Republican Idiots in April of 2006:
Farewell Scott McClellan, we'll miss your outrageous lies and egregious stonewalling. Scott quit as White House press secretary last week, and if you're wondering whether he fell or was pushed, the answer is neither - he was thrown bodily out of a third floor window by Bush's new chief-of-staff Josh Bolten.
You could see the disappointment written all over Scott's chubby little cheeks as he announced to the press that he would no longer be carrying the president's water. As he stood on the south lawn and told his former boss, "I have given it my all, sir, and I have given you my all, sir," it was a bit like watching Smithers accept forced retirement from Mr. Burns. Or watching Old Yeller get a bullet in the brain from Travis Coates (except McClellan wasn't noticeably rabid).
When asked how he felt about his dismissal, Scott replied, "The White House is going through a time of transition. Change can be helpful. This is a good time and a good position to help bring about change." Ah, giving non-answers to the very end. That's our Scott. We'll miss you, old pal. Here's hoping you don't become the subject of an ongoing investigation any time soon.
Okay, that's a pure hatchet job. But Scotty is one person who deserves a hatchet job first, and a veneer of substantive analysis after. Here's a piece from Dan Froomkin back in 2004.
Even more of a charade these days are the daily briefings held by White House press secretary Scott McClellan, whose robotic adherence to repeating the predetermined messages of the day -- no matter what questions come his way -- has driven some correspondents to despair. Only narcissists and cranks could possibly feel they are getting much out of asking a question at a McClellan press briefing. Not coincidentally, the cranks are increasingly sitting at the front of the briefing room and getting called upon, in part because some big media organizations don't even bother to fill their assigned chairs anymore. What's the point?
It's true that news conferences, even of the presidential variety, have never been the most important tool for covering the White House. Deflecting tough questions and instead delivering a pre-planned message is a long presidential tradition. Like those before him, Bush goes in heavily briefed by his staff on the likely questions -- most of which are predictable -- and girded with related, but not necessarily responsive, responses. He picks the questioners, he doesn't brook interruptions, he sticks to his message.
Lou Cannon covered the Reagan White House for the Washington Post. "News conferences have always been a forum for the president to say what he wants to say, not for us to get the information that we want to get," Cannon said in an interview. "Occasionally some nugget will come out, but the news conference is really controlled by the president." But Sam Donaldson, who covered the Jimmy Carter and Reagan White Houses for ABC News, said Bush abuses the format more than any of his predecessors. "I think they have it tougher than I ever had it," he says of the modern press corps. "This president has memorized what he wants to say, which he makes fit almost any variation." For instance, Donaldson says, "If the word 'Iraq' comes up, you are going to hear what you've heard 14 or 15 times before. He's not going to really engage in answering the question."
Scotty Fucking McClellan. Go fuckin' get 'em, dude. Its never too late to grow a conscience.