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Wednesday, September 06, 2006
 
Tony Snow vs. David Gregory - Game, Set, Match
by Cordeiro
I'm really beginning to like the Tony Snow Show. I didn't listen to Tony's radio program when he still had that gig, mostly because I couldn't receive the broadcast station where I work.

That said, Tony's gig as White House Press Secretary has greatly livened up the daily Press Gaggle. As someone who has already cut his teeth on the other side of the microphone, Tony knows how the game is played, and he plays it pretty well for someone who has to be exposed to the White House Press Corps on a daily basis. Thus far it seems Helen Thomas' wraith like life force sucking powers have been ineffective.

David Gregory, on the other hand, plays the game poorly. His "questions" are little more than thinly veiled rants against all things W and Republican. He seems to have forgotten the rule that questions should be short and have something resembling a point to them. To describe Gregory's questions as rambling would be to describe the Grand Canyon as a little ditch in Arizona.

Yesterday, in yet another rematch of Snow v. Gregory, Gregory got a little testy with Tony, and Tony handed him the professional equivalent of a smack down. Read for yourself:

Q Okay. There's so much emphasis by the President on his resolve and on the consequences of failure, which seems to dovetail to the political strategy of casting the vote as not a referendum on his leadership or his conduct in the war on terror, leading the war on terror, but on a choice between two parties and their visions. And I'm curious whether, in this document, there's any reflection on the fact that this White House, this administration failed to anticipate a violent terrorist-based insurgency in Iraq, and also failed to adapt once it learned of its presence? And shouldn't that be put before the voters this fall?
Is there a question here? I wasn't aware the White House Press Briefing was a place for liberals to make speeches. I digress.

MR. SNOW: I think you've admirably expressed the Democratic point of view, but I don't think --

Q Actually, Tony, I don't think that's fair, if you look at the facts. If you look at the facts.
David Gregory wouldn't know a fact if it came up and kicked him in the teeth. Yet again, I digress.

MR. SNOW: Well, I do, because -- no, because, for instance --

Q No, no, no. No, I don't think you should be able to just wipe that, kind of dismiss the question --

MR. SNOW: Well, let me --

Q It's not a Democratic argument, Tony.

MR. SNOW: Let me answer the question, David.

Q But hold on, let's not let you get away with saying that's a Democratic argument.

MR. SNOW: Okay, let me -- let's not let you get away with being rude. Let me just answer the question, and you can come back at me.

Q Excuse me. Don't point your finger at me. I'm not being rude.
Ok, David. You're not being rude. You're being a jackass. Tony is a much nicer guy than I am. Again, I digress.

MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.

Q Don't try to dismiss me as making a Democratic argument, Tony, when I'm speaking fact.

MR. SNOW: Well, okay -- well, no --

Q You can do that to the Democrats; don't do it to me.

MR. SNOW: No, I'm doing it to you because the second part was factually tendentious, okay? Now, when you were talking about the fact that it failed to adapt, that's just flat wrong. And you will be -- there has been -- there have been repeated attempts to try to adapt to military realities, to diplomatic realities, to development of new weapons and tools on the part of al Qaeda, including the very creative use of the Internet. So the idea that somehow we're staying the course is just wrong. It is absolutely wrong.

So that's why -- I apologize for interrupting, but I think it's important to challenge that presumption. Now, did we fully anticipate --

Q If you want to challenge that presumption -- no, no, wait a second. If you want to challenge that presumption, why don't you describe in some detail how you accurately anticipated the insurgency, and what was done to deal with it at the time.

MR. SNOW: I was just about to go back to that part.

Q Okay.

MR. SNOW: See, there were two assumptions. I was taking --

Q No, you described me as rude in making a Democratic argument and said --
That, David, is what is known as a "fact".

MR. SNOW: Well, that's because I kept trying to answer the question, and you kept jumping in. We need to come to an accommodation, because I'm perfectly happy to take on both sides.
If anyone ever wonders why David Gregory will rise now higher in the media world than his current station, all you need to do is watch Tony slice and dice him to understand. Its fun watching a professional at work.

Here endeth the lesson.
5 Comment(s):
It seems unfair to accuse a reporter of "expressing the Democratic point of view" when he is asking for clarification.

When did debate and a quest for clarity become a Democratic point of view?
This is a Press Briefing, not a debate.

Gregory wasn't asking for clarification, he was making a speech. If he wants to make a speech based on, and often time quoting directly from, DNC talking points, he should run for office and drop the pretense of being a "un-biased" reporter.
If you want journalists to be able to report more than the sound bites and memos prepared for them by the White House -- and you do, right? -- we have to allow them to ask questions of some depth and length. I agree that Gregory seems to have a point of view, seems to be challenging Snow sharply and skeptically, but that's his job, to dig and dig. And Snow's job should be to clarify what the President is saying, doing, thinking. I do want our journalists to get clarification. If they get kind of grandiose or verbose (or some other -ose), well, they're human. I don't like Gregory, but lately I don't trust Snow.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Danny S. from Windsor, NY:

Please find some other blog to pimp. Comments are to be short an most importantly are to have a point. Comments should not be longer than the post they are added to.

Peace Out.
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