Friday, November 11, 2005

Why Is George Bush Afraid Of An Old Lady?


When he found out, after the fact, that he was not on Nixon's 'Enemies List' Hunter Thompson was not amused:

"I would almost have preferred a vindictive tax audit to that kind of crippling exclusion. Christ! What kind of waterheads compiled that list? How can I show my face in the Jerome Bar, when word finally reaches Aspen that I wasn't on it.

Fortunately, the list was drawn up in the summer of '71 - which partially explains why my name was missing. It was not until the autumn of '72 that I began referring to the The President, in nationally circulated print, as a Cheapjack Punk and a Lust-Maddened Werewolf, whose very existence was (and remains) a bad cancer on the American political tradition. Every ad the publishers prepared for my book on the 1972 Campaign led off with a savage slur on all that Richard Nixon ever hoped to represent or stand for. The man is a walking embarrassment to the human race - and especially, as Bobby Kennedy once noted, to that high, optimistic potential that fueled men like Jefferson and Madison, and which Abe Lincoln once described as " the last best hope of man."

There is slim satisfaction in the knowledge that my exclusion from the list of "White House enemies" has more to do with timing and Ron Ziegler's refusal to read Rolling Stone than twith the validity of all the things I've said and written about that evil bastard."

HST: Rude Notes from a Decompression Chamber in Miami
Rolling Stone # 140, August 1973; Reprinted in 'The Great Shark Hunt' Warner Books

Which is almost, but not quite, like 'presque vu all over before' given that the current crop of Whitehouse Press Poodles have finally begun to bark. So much so that Scottie 'Don't Call Me Ziegler' McLellan's answers have themselves become problematic enough that they have required some 'fixing of his statements to fit the policy.'

"At the Oct. 31 briefing, David Gregory of NBC News stated the following question to McClellan about White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby: "Whether there's a question of legality, we know for a fact that there was involvement. We know that Karl Rove, based on what he and his lawyer have said, did have a conversation about somebody who Patrick Fitzgerald said was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. We know that Scooter Libby also had conversations."

The official White House transcript states that McClellan's response was "I don’t think that's accurate."

But two outside news agencies, Congressional Quarterly and Federal News Service -- which provide transcripts for a fee -- both reported the response as "that's accurate."

The differing accounts have sparked a flurry of buzz on numerous blogs, such as ThinkProgress, Wonkette, Eschaton and DailyKos. They say a video of the press briefing reveals McClellan saying "that's accurate."

White House officials contacted the news outlets and ask for a change to their versions of the transcript.

"They asked me to take a look at it about a week ago," said Kirk Hanneman, news director of Federal News Service, which provides transcripts of different government events. "We took a look at it because they did have a problem with it and in the end, we had what we originally had and we are sticking by that because we believe it is correct."

So, there are two points here.

First, that these people will do anything to maintain domination over the information, be it crap from McLellan or the super-dooper pineapple upside down caked yellow straight goods from the likes of Ahmed Chalabi, Donald Rumsfeld, Curveball, Scooter Libby, Not-Scooting el Libbi, Stephen Hadley, Ilyad Allawi, Dick Cheney, Rocco Martino, Judith Miller or Colin Powell's favorite aluminum tubemaker, the Maytag Repairman in Tikrit.

Second, that the press poodles must be smacked down now, at all costs, before they become emboldened and start making like octaganerian and former lone attack wolf in old lady's clothing Helen Thomas. Because if they did it would mean that they were suddenly doing their jobs for real. As a result, it was really the press poodles that Mr. and Mr. Karl W. B(R)ush were really talking to on Veterans' Day when they said:

"It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how the war began,'' Bush told military families at an Army depot near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania today. "More than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate who had access to the same intelligence voted to remove Saddam Hussein from power.''

"Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war,'' Bush said in a Veterans Day speech. "These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgment related to Iraq's weapons programs,'' he said.

Most of which is complete and utter flim-flammery, of course. Which is why, now more than ever, this is no time for America's 4th estate to back down.

And besides, if they do turn away now with their tails between their legs Helen, not to mention posterity and the ghost of HST, will hunt each and every one of them down and bash them savagely upside the head until their ears bleed (or their coiffures muss up, whichever comes first).

Update: Looks like Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus of the WaPo are the first of the emboldened poodles to demonstrate that they are more afraid of Ms. Thomas than the Rovians.


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