Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Snow day

Were there ever any doubt of the role of Fox News as the mouthpiece of the Bush administration, it has been dispelled today with the appointment of Fox pundit Tony Snow as the replacement for beleaguered White House press secretary Scott McClellan. Snow, no doubt, is feeling a bit vindicated among his Fox News colleagues after having been pushed out, several years ago, to the glamour-challenged world of Fox's radio network from his Sunday morning TV gig as host of Fox News Sunday.

Considering, as documented by Media Matters for America, the numerous instances of prevarication, disinformation and bald-faced toadying exercised by Mr. Snow, liberals are rightfully horrified at the president's choice of a press secretary -- the official who exemplifies an administration's accountability to the American people via the nation's mass media. (In fact, Snow has engaged in a bit of a pissing match with Media Matters, which the watchdog group appears to be winning.) Herewith an excerpt from the case against Snow posted at Media Matters:

From his statement that evolutionary theory is a "hypothesis" to his defense of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Media Matters for America has documented numerous false and misleading claims advanced by Snow as a Fox News commentator:

* Snow falsely asserted that former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV said his wife, Valerie Plame, "wasn't covert for six years" before she was exposed as a CIA operative by syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

* Snow put forward numerous falsehoods to argue that "[e]volutionary theory, like ID [intelligent design], isn't verifiable or testable. It's pure hypothesis."


* Snow peddled the baseless Republican National Committee talking point that 2004 presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) had blamed U.S. troops for the explosives looted from the Al Qaqaa military installation following the invasion of Iraq. Snow said, "[T]he Kerry campaign is not criticizing the president here. They're criticizing our troops."


* Snow backed Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's attacks on Kerry, falsely claiming, "[T]here has been no documentary contradiction of the Swift Boat stuff."
For all that horror, your blogstress finds herself intrigued by a more titillating question: Will Snow be able to stash his pundit persona in a box in order to serve his president in this new capacity? However influential or brilliant a press secretary, his is by definition a yeoman sort of a job. His daily turn before the mic -- unlike that of a radio or TV personality -- is not about him, but all about his boss.

Over the years, like any good pundit (your cybertrix included), Snow has cultivated a public personality based on the presumed charm of certain of his innate enthusiasms and peeves. For Snow, that includes a boyish chumminess, right down to his own garage-band avocation. (One of the best features of Fox News Sunday during the Snow era was the snippets of rock-n-roll tunes used to end various segments, often to witty effect.) The question remains, will Snow be able to leave all that child-star-like, look-at-me adorableness at the door of the White House Press Room?

More to come from Fox?

With a widespread assumption -- that of the one-hand-washing-the-other relationship between Fox News and the Bush Administration -- having at long last been virtually proven, your blogstress awaits, in the current shake-up, further White House appointments from among the ranks of Fox. Herewith her suggestions for the filling of various executive-branch positions, some of which are said to be up for grabs.

Treasury Secretary: Neil Cavuto
Enter one Snow and exit another? Our current Keeper of the Coffers, John Snow, former executive of CSX, the nation's crumbling freight railroad conglomerate (which, under Snow's management, developed a knack for evading the taxman), has long been rumored to be on his way out. And let's face it, having been so damn boring, he should be.

The hiring of Cavuto, host of the Fox News Channel's ostensible money and finance show, "Your World with Neil Cavuto," would certainly spice things up, given Cavuto's penchant for displaying women in various states of undress on the fair and balanced network. (If so balanced, where are the displays of scantily clad men?) A recent Cavuto segment, for instance, featured soft-core internet tycoon Anna Benson as a business interview -- enhanced, of course, with screen shots of her Web site. Your blogstress has long felt that our public officials, while shoring up the oil and airlines industries with public money, have done far too little for bustier-clad entrepreneurs. Surely, a Cavuto appointment could boost your Webwench's fortunes, and that would surely be a good thing for the nation at large.

Secretary of Defense: Bill O'Reilly
Bill has already announced a solution to the Iran dilemma, something no one in the Bush administration has yet to do:
O'REILLY: You know, in a sane world, every country would unite against Iran and blow it off the face of the earth!
How can you argue with that?

And as for that pesky problem with San Francisco, the city that wants to impeach the president? O'Reilly has invited al Qaeda to blow up city-by-the-bay landmark Coit Tower -- a brilliant strategy that could herald a new era of cooperation between Protestant and Islamic fundamentalists.

Ambassador to France: Bill O'Reilly
Should Josh Bolton fail to see the wisdom of your écrivaine's nomination of O'Reilly to the DoD post, then surely he will acquiesce in the coup that would be O'Reilly in Paris. Given the administration's famously strained ties to our erstwhile ally, your blogstress thinks it futile to try to convince the French that we are indeed a civilized nation, a theory in which they have had too much fun poking holes. Let's give them a real American -- O'Reilly -- and concede to the Gauls that sense of superiority they so cherish. For the French, O'Reilly in the U.S. Embassy -- no doubt targeted for a burning, anyway, by disgruntled students, immigrants, farmers and bustier-makers -- would offer more delight than a Jerry Lewis film festival. Vive la guerre!

Director of Faith-Based Initiatives: Brit Hume
The managing editor of Fox News keeps a Bible on his Washington bureau desk. What more could one want than a curmudgeonly, judgmental, Good-Book-thumping anchorman for this role? More than once, he's told us he knows what's good for us. Declare the war on Christmas finito!

National Security Advisor: Oliver North
An inoculation against the evils of a House potentially controlled by Democrats, North knows how to deal with a meddling Congress -- nothing that a few Fed Ex envelopes full of cash, a beautiful secretary with boots full of troublesome documents, and a plan to suspend the Constitution won't cure.

Secretary of Education: Sean Hannity
With history as his strong suit (though perhaps a bit revisionist in nature), Hannity is well-positioned to fix what's wrong with the nation's educational system -- God-dissing liberal teachers, textbooks written by God-dissing liberals, and school boards composed of God-dissing liberals that are somehow elected by regular, God-fearing folks.

Director of Central Intelligence: G. Gordon Liddy
With all that leaking going on, who better to plug the holes than frequent Fox News guest G. Gordon Liddy, the nation's most famous plumber?

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