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Snow vs. Thomas

Tony Snow, that is, versus Helen Thomas. I will let the readers decide who won this one, but in my opinion, it wasn't even a close call. From today's press briefing as reported by Drudge, via Sister Toldjah :

Helen Thomas, doyenne of the White House press corps, tangles with Tony Snow at today's briefing over President Bush's appointment of Karl Zinmeister as domestic policy adviser:

QUESTION: Why did the president pick a man who is so contemptible of the public servants in Washington to be his domestic adviser, saying, People in Washington are morally repugnant, cheating, shifty human beings. Why did he...

SNOW: Apparently an opinion that's...

QUESTION: Why would he pick such a man to be a domestic adviser?

SNOW: You meant contemptuous as opposed to contemptible I think.

QUESTION: Pure contempt.

SNOW: I'm not sure it's pure contempt. I know Karl Zinsmeister pretty well and he is somebody who expresses himself with a certain amount of piquancy. You're perhaps familiar with that, aren't you, Helen?

(LAUGHTER)

And so, as a consequence from time to time, he's going to say -- he'll have some sharp elbows.

QUESTION: His attitude toward public servants...

SNOW: I don't think it is his attitude toward public servants. It may have been toward the press. Just kidding.

(LAUGHTER)

No, look if, you look at the bulk of what Karl Zinsmeister has done at the American Enterprise and elsewhere, I think you're going to find somebody who's done some pretty meaty and interesting research on a variety of topics.

The reason he's being brought in is that he's...

QUESTION: Do you agree with his assessment?

SNOW: I'm not going to -- it is one sentence the guy wrote. And perhaps you may recall -- yes?

QUESTION: Arrogant, morally repugnant, cheating, shifty.

SNOW: That's a lot in one sentence, isn't it? He just packed it right in.


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Comments (30)

Wonder if Helen realizes th... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Wonder if Helen realizes that Snow was laughing at her?

Arrogant, morally repugn... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Arrogant, morally repugnant, cheating, shifty.

That just about sums up Helen Thomas, doesn't it?

I had never heard of Karl Z... (Below threshold)
McCain:

I had never heard of Karl Zinmeister, but now having read this post, I am certain that we need him in charge of more rather than less.

TRUTH TO POWER!... (Below threshold)

TRUTH TO POWER!

He was quoted as saying: "P... (Below threshold)
kevino:

He was quoted as saying: "People in Washington are morally repugnant, cheating, shifty human beings."

That's a pretty broad brush.

However, notice that he was talking about "people in Washington," not, as Helen suggests, "public servants". Mr. Zinmeister was probably referring to the host of self-serving vermin that infest our nation's capitol -- including the White House Press Corps.

Listkeeper:I don't... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Listkeeper:

I don't think you need a question mark at the end of your statement. ;-)

Tony Snow vs. Helen Thomas ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Tony Snow vs. Helen Thomas is not even close to a fair fight, but it makes for damn good entertainment!

I'm with McCain back a few ... (Below threshold)

I'm with McCain back a few posts. Send the man to the UN. The 'stache needs someone to watch his back and Zinsmeister sounds like the perfect candidate.

Snow has been Press Sec for... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

Snow has been Press Sec for what, two weeks?

Still on his honeymoon. Time will tell. Time
will tell.

Whats the difference wether... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Whats the difference wether or not He agrees with the assessment? its a done deal! please Tony ask someone that can ask a relevant question instead of humoring this malignancy in the press corp.

The old tar baby hasn't lef... (Below threshold)
heptacableguy:

The old tar baby hasn't left a mark on Tony yet.

Wow, more racial slurs at W... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Wow, more racial slurs at Wizbang. Shocking.

Anyways, Glenn Greenwald has an excellent summary of
Zinmeister's dishonesty. He really should resign...

gleengreenwald.blogspot.com

jp2's link works better if ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

jp2's link works better if you use this instead.

glenngreenwald.blogspot.com

jp2... tar baby a racial sl... (Below threshold)
Ariya:

jp2... tar baby a racial slur? lol

Only if a Republican says it, right?
Nyuk.

I'm sorry Kyle... You're no... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry Kyle... You're not a jew.

Thanks Lee. "Tar B... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Thanks Lee.

"Tar Baby" is considered a slur, but people at Wizbang don't think "wetback" is a slur either, so I'm not surprised this doesn't register with you.

If he really did what Green... (Below threshold)
Ridolph:

If he really did what Greenwald says, in the spirit in which it is presented (that is, editing an article and pretending that it was intact), then it was certainly an unethical act.

Still, if Helen Thomas dislikes him that's a green light for me.

I can't help but think that Snow will eventually get clobbered somehow though. Should be entertaining either way.

Does this Thomas woman realize that she's turned from the respected ranking member of the press corps to an biased, senile joke?

jp2 Obviously it is a sl... (Below threshold)
AF:

jp2 Obviously it is a slur for you but others are more knowledgeable.

tar baby
n.

A situation or problem from which it is virtually impossible to disentangle oneself.

How is calling a white repo... (Below threshold)
Proud kaffir:

How is calling a white reporter a "tar baby" racist? I think the comment is referring to the reporters' questions and using the term "tar baby"as

A situation or problem from which it is virtually impossible to disentangle oneself.

That said, I think Snow is learning that by frequently calling on Thomas he can make the press look like idiots with little effort on his part. Probably not fair, but anything to make a difficult job easier.

Even less shocking, jp2 doe... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Even less shocking, jp2 doesn't get the joke. They already accused Snow of being racist for saying tar baby in a non-racist way...
Tell us jp2, am I a racist if I throw a picnic?

Cracks me up that the oh so... (Below threshold)
just me:

Cracks me up that the oh so uppity press corps hasn't heard of Uncle Remus and his various stories, including the Tar Baby one.

That said I am liking Snow in this job, he seems to be pretty comfortable, and tends to win the tit for tat wars with the likes of Thomas and similar.

For the record - the exchan... (Below threshold)
Lee:

For the record - the exchange between Thomas and Snow as it is listed on the White House site differs slightly from the one published here. Here is the exchange per the White House.

www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/05/20060530-4.html

Q Why did the President pick a man who is so contemptible of the public servants in Washington to be his Domestic Advisor -- saying, "People in Washington are morally repugnant, cheating, shifty human beings"? Why would he pick such a man to be a Domestic Advisor?

MR. SNOW: You meant contemptuous, as opposed to contemptible, I think.

Q Pure contempt.

MR. SNOW: Well, I'm not sure it's pure contempt. I know Karl Zinsmeister pretty well, and he is somebody who expresses himself with a certain amount of piquancy -- you're perhaps familiar with that, aren't you, Helen? And so, as a consequence, from time to time he's going to say -- he'll have some sharp elbows.

Q If this is his attitude toward public servants --

MR. SNOW: No, I don't think it's his attitude toward public servants -- it may have been toward the press. Just kidding. No, I -- look, if you look at the bulk of what Karl Zinsmeister has done at The American Enterprise and elsewhere, I think you're going to find somebody who's done some pretty meaty and interesting research on a variety of topics. The reason he's being brought in is that he's --

Q Do you agree with his assessment of Washington?

MR. SNOW: I'm not -- there's one sentence the guy wrote, and perhaps you may recall -- yes?

Q Arrogant, morally repugnant, cheating, shifty -- come on.

MR. SNOW: That's a lot in one sentence, isn't it? He just packed it right in.

Jim.

Q So what is the attitude toward --

MR. SNOW: The attitude is we're glad to have a guy on board who has breadth of knowledge, who has breadth of interest and of experience, and is going to bring --

Q No tolerance for other human beings.

MR. SNOW: Helen, tell you what, why don't you get to know Karl, because I think you're going to find out that to judge somebody --

Q Bring him on. (Laughter.)

MR. SNOW: -- on the basis of one sentence is probably a little unfair.

Q How could it be unfair?

MR. SNOW: He'll charm you.

Quite clearly no one was in... (Below threshold)

Quite clearly no one was interested in what the man had done or accomplished only that he said something rude.

This is what passes for reporting?

What I see is Snow trying to talk about this person's qualifications and the press is simply not interested.


"The reason he's been broug... (Below threshold)

"The reason he's been brought in is that he's..."

And the reporter interrupts. Aren't they curious about why the president chose this person? Even if it's a really *stupid* reason, I'd think it counted as news.

jp2 probably thinks that a ... (Below threshold)

jp2 probably thinks that a person who uses the word "niggardly" deserves to be run out of town on a rail, too.

Take a clue pill, jp2. Author/speaker intent grounds meaning, not your tinfoil hat, racists under the bed perception.

If your Victoria's Secret thong gets knotted over Snow's use of a non-racial colloquialism, it is your responsibility to dig that knot outta yer ass.

Darleen, good to hear from ... (Below threshold)

Darleen, good to hear from ya!

Hiya, epador!!Mayb... (Below threshold)

Hiya, epador!!

Maybe it's the beautiful weather and its siren song to be outside communing with my roses and tomatoe plants, but I'm finding the puerile temper tantrums and bad-faith booger-flinging from Left cult members tougher to endure, or even answer.

But sometimes, it gets so egregious, to remain silent might give them delusions of surrender.

feh.

;-)

Darleen: I can't say it bet... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Darleen: I can't say it better. Thanks.

Tony Snow vs. helen thomas.... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Tony Snow vs. helen thomas...hmmm...I know who thomas is in this epic battle but which billy goat do we pick to represent Tony?

I like Snow, but I wish tha... (Below threshold)
Big D:

I like Snow, but I wish that he would occasionally point out the sheer stupidity of the questions being commonly asked. It often seems that the press has not the slightest interest in the administration's actual position on anything.

I guess he did that with Helen Thomas, but it obviously went over the head of most of the press. Probably most of the public as well.




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