Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Less-Than-Artful Dodger

My goodness. If nothing else, Scotty McMessage McClellan gets bonus points for dodging all pointed questions with some serious subterfuge. Don't vomit while reading this clip from today's press briefing spin:
Q You have your same point you want to make about the blame game, which you've said enough now. I'm asking you a direct question, which you're dodging.


Q Does the President retain complete confidence in his Director of FEMA and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: I just answered the question. Q Is the answer "yes" on both?

MR. McCLELLAN: And what you're doing is trying to engage in a game of finger-pointing.

Q There's a lot of criticism. I'm just wondering if he still has confidence.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and blame-gaming. What we're trying to do is solve problems, David. And that's where we're going to keep our focus.

Q So you're not -- you won't answer that question directly?

MR. McCLELLAN: I did. I just did.

Q No, you didn't. Yes or no? Does he have complete confidence or doesn't he? MR.

McCLELLAN: No, if you want to continue to engage in finger-pointing and blame-gaming, that's fine --

Q Scott, that's ridiculous. I'm not engaging in any of that.

MR. McCLELLAN: It's not ridiculous.

Q Don't try to accuse me of that. I'm asking you a direct question and you should answer it. Does he retain complete confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said -- that's exactly what you're engaging in.

Q I'm not engaging in anything. I'm asking you a question about what the President's views are --

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely -- absolutely --

Q -- under pretty substantial criticism of members of his administration. Okay? And you know that, and everybody watching knows that, as well

Mr. McCLELLAN: No, everybody watching this knows, David, that you're trying to engage in a blame game.

Q I'm trying to engage?


Q I am trying to engage?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct.

Q That's a dodge. I have a follow-up question since you dodged that one. Does the White House feel like it missed opportunities to alleviate or head off some of the damage in the New Orleans area, flood damage? Did it miss an opportunity to head any of that off?

MR. McCLELLAN: In what way?

- Skip to Close of the Press Conference -

Q Scott, you declined in this news conference to express the President's explicit confidence in Secretary Chertoff or Director Brown --

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely not.

Q In the past you've said anyone who serves in this administration does so at the pleasure of the President and with his full confidence.

MR. McCLELLAN: This is an attempt by some in this room to engage in finger-pointing and blame game and I'm just not going to do that. I've made it very clear --

Q Can you say the President has full confidence?

MR. McCLELLAN: I've made it very clear -- and the President spoke about them last week, and his comments stand, in terms of what he has said about the great work that they have been doing round-the-clock, 24 hours a day, to help people on the ground. There are some in this room that want to continue to engage in that. We're going to continue to focus on solving problems and getting help to people on the ground.

If you all want to continue to engage in that, that's fine. But we appreciate the efforts of Secretary Chertoff, Undersecretary Brown, and all the others at FEMA and at the state and local level that are working round-the-clock to help the people in the region.

It is impossible to make this shit up. It's astonishing, no? Just wondering how much we taxpayers are paying Scotty to do this kind of bad-dance?

Oh, and by the way, we should all demand a conclusion to the question of Rove's involvement in the Plame scandal. It's about right on track to finish in October and perhaps then, they will actually comment on something besides providing more spin.


Martian Anthropologist said...

Christ, that is utterly amazing. How can ANY thinking person support these guys?

Oh wait, I just answered my own question.

Jet said...

Man, if I had to do what McClellan does for a living, I'd probably shoot myself in the Rose Garden. What an asshat.

Christopher Trottier said...

That is high comedy. As I always say: sanity before consistency.

Princess Wild Cow said...

I read it and then I read it again and I still don't believe it. What kind of an asshole can keep track of all of that shit. And the really scary thing is that he surrounds himself with people like that.

Blue Gal said...

Yeah, but I thought they were keeping Karl on because he is such a public relations genius...Guess he couldn't put a sock in Momma Bush fast enough, huh? And he probably has plausible deniability re Condi and the Holy Grail of shoes thang.

Martian Anthropologist said...

I linked to this entry, by the way, Windspike.

windspike said...

Thanks MA! Blog on Martian brother/sister - humm, how does one classify the Martian Antropolgist...ah, whatever. Blog on friends, blog on...

Ahmed Bilal said...

I always thought they trained these people to talk like that...


now THIS is a prime example of why politics sucks ass, and just fuels the opposite extreme; of bringing in a complete revolution.

Linking to this as well, Windspike.

Sergei Shelukhin said...

damn this guy can't interview... It's usually easy to deal with that kind of attitude. Instead of asking yes or no assume the option that is worse for your opponent correct and "push on it". After the inital bluffing game starts - "So, Mr Doe is trying to tell us - if I got him right and he's not going to correct me of course - that Bush lost all confidence in FEMA.". If he starts to correct you you do the same with the reverse point e.g. ask him something along the lines of "so you mean he's absolutely confident?". The worst you can get is the answer in between. E.g. lost some confidence. If the tricking guy starts challenging "partial" answer you revert to the first point, e.g. if he hasn't lost a part then he's still absolutely confident. The idea is that you don't ask apart from the first couple of times, you assume and make the trickster deny you and look like a confused idiot. The only ways for the target to dodge this is answering, attacking the question or running away :)

pia said...

Hey Windspike--had something to say but kind of lost my focus after that last comment

thanks for the transcript