Thursday, April 27, 2006
Friend or foe: Candy's version
Ever see that program on the Game Show Network (no comments please) called "Friend or Foe"? Let's play my version.

Who made the following statement, friend or foe?

"Bush's advisers have swaddled their guy in so many cloying alliterations -- he's a 'compassionate conservative' and a 'reformer with results' -- that he has become a living cartoon." (08/00)

How about this one?

"The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment." (11/05)

Last one, friend or foe?

"No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives." (9/05)

Answer to all of the above: Tony Snow, the new White House spokesman. With a spokesman like that, who needs a press corps? Just kidding.

The truth is, Bush administration officials are enjoying this little kerfuffle over Snow's statements. They hope his pointed words against President Bush (and believe me, they were few and far between in a voluminous body of work as a writer and pundit) will run against the widespread notion that the White House is intellectually inbred.

For my TV piece on this subject, I talked to a lot of people about Snow's new role. None of them -- Democrats or Republicans -- think Snow's paper trail has much staying power. They believe events and issues will quickly overtake the google searching for Snow's old statements.

The truth is, if you're a columnist who toes the party line 100 percent of the time, people might as well just tune into the White House spokesman every day. Oh wait.
Posted By Candy Crowley, CNN Political Correspondent: 10:57 AM ET
  34 Comments
"They hope his pointed words against President Bush ... will run against the widespread notion that the White House is intellectually inbred."

It might, if Snow were actually allowed to disagree with the White House now. The odds of that happening? *guffaw*

I'm holding my praise until I see whether or not he'll be required to lie to us, as poor McClellan was. Or will they just keep him in the dark?
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 11:32 AM ET
Practically every sane person in this country has caught on to the fact that George W. Bush is a bungler with barely enough competance to run a Burger King. This reshuffling was long overdue.

The only way Bush will make any headway in the remainder of his term in office is to surround himself with competent people who can help the president, who seems way out of his depth with anything more complicated than the sunday funnies page, and to get rid of the lunatics and yes-men who seemed to make up a large portion of his administration to this point.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Williams Lowell, MA : 11:33 AM ET
I cannot understand how a responsible journalist could or would ever take a job as a Whitehouse spokesperson. How can you just "turn off" your curiosity or passion for the truth?
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Midland Michigan : 11:53 AM ET
Tony Snow's credentials as a journalist are irrelevant now.

In the words of his new boss, "you're either with us or against us".

Tony Snow's only job right now is to relay Bush administration lies and evasions.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 12:07 PM ET
Wonder how many "Snow" jobs this press secretary and the administration he works for will run by the media and public. A lot is my guess based on what we have seen over the past 5 years.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Ringgold Georgia : 12:10 PM ET
Wasn't Tony Snow an analyst, not a journalist? Isn't this the same sort of thing that happened with CNN and Paul Begala, where people were up in arms because people thought he was supposed to be a journalist (but he wasn't,) but was supporting a particular party? It seems that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Mr. Snow was a speech writer for a previous administration, and I think that his re-entry into real politics, instead of speculating on the sidelines is a good move for him. Congrats on the job Tony.
Posted By Anonymous Heather, Shreveport, LA : 12:21 PM ET
I don't think the move from Faux news to White House Spokesman is that big of a jump. He will still be distorting and spinning the truth -- whether it's coming form his old boss Rupert Murdock or his new boss President Bush. I don't count on learning the truth form him, any more than from past spokesmen.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 12:35 PM ET
Bush's presidency is saved! I'm positive this administration will reverse it's course. Now instead of baseing policy on what's best for Bush and his backers, they will boldly move forward and start addressing the nagging problems like rising health costs, social security, and come clean on all their lies and deceit. If you beleive that I have so swamp land in Florida I would like to sell you.
Posted By Anonymous Scott Burlington Ky : 12:55 PM ET
One thing for sure about Snow's selection: it sort of de-bunks the FOX drum beat of being "fair and balanced." Bush certainly would not have selected someone down the center or to the left. Of course, this probably won't stop FOX from continuing the claim of being impartial as it makes money for them, despite their programming clearly showing otherwise.
Posted By Anonymous William Day, Richmond, VA : 1:12 PM ET
Tony Snow was on Fox News. I don't trust anyone on Fox news and really don't trust anyone who works for the Bush Administration. So now I really wont beleive anything Mr. Snow tells me. Does not matter if he is a fellow journalist or not.
Posted By Anonymous Rachel-Albuquerque, NM : 1:23 PM ET
What difference does it make who is standing at the podium? Mickey Mouse could do the job. Bush is the "Decider" and he decides what comes out of the mouth of the press secretary.

It would be nice if GW could get it through his head that the media and American people aren't as stupid as he thinks we all are. If one is being truthful and honest, there's no need to spin a tale, make excuses or try to place blame on someone else.
Posted By Anonymous Lee Fairfield Iowa : 1:32 PM ET
Hi Candy,
I think sometimes a simple congratulations is in order when a person takes a job that they really want..So Congrats, Tony Snow..And maybe one brief moment of silence from the peanut gallery, one brief moment..Ok..Here they come Tony, get ready..As always,Candy good work..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton,Calif. : 1:40 PM ET
I am all for giving the guy a chance. He's crazy for wanting the job especially with the Administration as low as it could possibly go. I've heard a lot of worse things out of the mouths of former Bush supporters. I doubt he can help Bush at this point but at least he'll be good to look at until the Democrats are back in office.
Posted By Anonymous Cathy, Minneapolis, MN : 1:55 PM ET
I am intrigued by all the comments about Tony Snow's journalistic credibility just because he worked at Fox News and then decides to work in the White House.

I did not see the same type of hand wringing when George Stephanopolous went from the Clinton Administration to ABC News to host a Sunday Morning News Show. Should his journalistic credibility also be questioned?
Posted By Anonymous Bill Isenberger, Baton Rouge LA : 2:17 PM ET
Well, Tony has already had his liar's club training from Fox New's...so maybe he won't look quite so pathetic up there when he is trying to regurgitate the garbage that they will be feeding him. The only problem is I think that Mr. Snow will know it is garbage, and will he be able to keep a straight face? Too bad they couldn't change the name fromthe White House daily briefing to the White House daily Snow Job...you know...Truth In Advertising!
Posted By Anonymous monique mellon, moncton, new brunswick, canada : 2:25 PM ET
Candy sounds a little bitter she didn't get the job...
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 2:28 PM ET
Candy, apart from the substance of your comments and reports, which are always substantial and interesting, your dry wit is very entertaining. Thanks for an amusing blog post.
Posted By Anonymous jill hurley ny : 2:41 PM ET
I think the job should have gone to Anderson Cooper, he would keep them honest.
Posted By Anonymous Christy, New Orleans, LA : 2:46 PM ET
President Bush missed another opportunity to level with America. Instead of picking his new spokeperson from the one network that sees the world only through its right eye, he should offer the job to Dan Rather for two reasons: First, Dan is out of a job; second, if Bush could persuade Rather that he's telling the American poeple the truth and Rather, in turn, would pesuade the American poeple that President Bush is telling the truth, it should be the best thing that this President would have done for himself and the country.
Posted By Anonymous Solomon Rivlin, LaGrange, KY : 2:50 PM ET
It would be nice if GW could get it through his head that the media and American people aren't as stupid as he thinks we all are.

Sadly, Lee, they have every reason to think that we ARE as stupid as they think we are. Bush was reelected, after all, even as the lies were already beginning to unravel.

My biggest fear is that they'll decide to Wag the Dog in October, invading yet another country (with what army?) to try to capitalize on the Rally Round the Flag instinct that tips the herd into following the leader whenever there are troops at risk. That there already are troops at considerable risk will, I hope and pray, mitigate this herding tendency. And who knows? Saner heads may actually prevail. If there are any...
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 3:01 PM ET
The statements that Tony Snow made about George W. Bush in the past are, at least, true. I'm not familiar with the man but I choose to watch CNN instead of Fox, so that tells you something.

I won't judge Tony Snow until I see what kind of job he does as spokesman. But I think it's unlikely that he'll be able to change how Americans view the White House, especially if he just reiterates Bush's lies. There is so much hostility towards Bush right now and public opinion is so low, I don't think Tony Snow will make much of a difference.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Baltimore, MD : 3:28 PM ET
It's about time our President does something right.However, in selecting Tony Snow as his spokesperson, President Bush still has a huge uphill battle to climb. With only 32% approval ratings, Mr. Snow better communicate to the American people a lot better than the administration has done in the last 5 years. Success in Iraq is questionable. Gas Prices are at historic highs. Illegal immigration has many Americans worried. Mr. Snow-you have a lot of work to do. Good luck.
Posted By Anonymous Patricia Gonzalez, Miami, Florida : 4:01 PM ET
I notice a significant bias against Fox News, which doesn't surprise me, since this is a CNN site. However, what do people think about National Public Radio? Before his stint at Fox News, Tony Snow worked as a commentator for NPR.
Posted By Anonymous William, Los Angeles, CA : 4:09 PM ET
Candy, youre my gal, I wish I could see you more. You do a great job!!

I look forward to seeing you cover the Nov elections.

You go lady!!
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Zephyrhills, FL : 4:24 PM ET
Could of been worse, he could of hired Bill O'Reilly or Rush!!

Bush's whole administration has been news and new making, so why not bring in some pundits.

O'Reilly could of spun the spin!!! or forgot No Spin with Bill, just his way or the highway. HA!!

Glad I watch CNN!!!
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Zephyrhills, FL : 4:27 PM ET
Yeah, I'm surprised that Bill O'Liely didn't apply, nor did Ann Coulter. Certainly thos two would have been ideal fits with the rest of the hawks in the Dubya admin. Can you just imagine O'Reilly holding a press conference!
Posted By Anonymous Billy, Oakland, CA : 5:14 PM ET
Could of been worse, he could of hired Bill O'Reilly or Rush!!

Ha-ha-ha! That really WOULD be nailing their colors to the mast, wouldn't it? But that pair might as well be drawing paychecks from the GOP.

I notice a significant bias against Fox News, which doesn't surprise me, since this is a CNN site.

If we wanted to watch undiluted White House spin, of course we would watch Fox. Since we don't... we don't.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 5:19 PM ET
Tony Snow is an excellent choice. I also notice a knee-jerk reaction against him by liberals. Interesting, since Mr. Snow has on his radio show criticized Mr. Bush's policies several times. And given that Mr. Snow was on NPR ! I think many people speak against ANYTHING the present administration does without first looking at facts.
Posted By Anonymous Tina, Chgo IL : 5:33 PM ET
Interesting, since Mr. Snow has on his radio show criticized Mr. Bush's policies several times.

Someone who has only criticized this freefalling trainwreck of an administration 'several times' has abdicated his responsibility to his viewers/listeners.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 6:12 PM ET
My sympathies to Mr. Snow. Deciding on what might be truth from the Great Decider will challenge even a Fox spokesperson.
Posted By Anonymous George - Raleigh, NC : 7:18 PM ET
"I think many people speak against ANYTHING the present administration does without first looking at facts."

People would look at facts if there were any. So far, much of what has been said and done has been based on whim, smoke and mirrors.

When will someone be brave enough to tell the emperor that he's naked? The entire world knows it, but no one will confront him.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 7:27 PM ET
Tony Snow, okay. So what? I am little confused here - the president and his administration got raked over the coals today by a congressional committe, but the top news headline is the miner on CNN and on Fox it is shows Bush and Nagin building a house. Isn't that special? I guess Tony Snow is doing his job well. I mean after all everyone seems to have ignored the thrust of the Senate hearing.
Posted By Anonymous Ruth Brewington, Metairie, LA : 8:05 PM ET
Tony Snow?

What's up with picking a TV/Celeb. personality guy with the name Tony?

Sincerely,

Tony the Tiger
Tony Curtis
Tony Bennett
Tony Blair
Tony Toni Tone

p.s. We're just bent that we didn't get offered the job!
Posted By Anonymous Chris, San Diego, CA : 10:58 PM ET
Candy makes a great point: George Bush has no friends, but many loyal enemies. Democrats LOVE President Bush because his failed policies make 2006 a great election year. "George who?" is the slogan for Republicans running from their leader to keep their jobs. In Washington "My Friend is My Enemy" and how great is that?
Posted By Anonymous Garrett Osborne, Marina Del Rey CA : 11:29 PM ET
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