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May 19, 2003 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Ari needs a new job. According to his announcement, he plans to "do something more relaxing — like dismantle live nuclear weapons". It's likely he'll follow in the footsteps of his predecessors Joe Lockhart (consultant) or George Stephanopoulos (TV pundit) or Mike McCurry (Chairman and CEO of a software company). I'll bet this company could use a CEO. Maybe these people need a consultant? Come on, let's find Ari some work!
posted by mr_crash_davis (46 comments total)

Captain, your agenda is clear for take-off.
posted by xmutex at 10:35 AM on May 19, 2003

He could report for the Times.
posted by srboisvert at 10:35 AM on May 19, 2003

I think he should be an AD&D dungeon master!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:36 AM on May 19, 2003

He already has enough experience to be one of satan's minions.
posted by trbrts at 10:37 AM on May 19, 2003

No discussion of Ari could be complete without a link to Russell Mokhiber's Ari & I.
posted by muckster at 10:40 AM on May 19, 2003

He already has some good experience as comedian
posted by elpapacito at 10:40 AM on May 19, 2003

Metafilter member # 17152? "HairyAri"
posted by UncleFes at 10:43 AM on May 19, 2003

Iraq needs a new Information Minister.
posted by yhbc at 10:46 AM on May 19, 2003

You all joke, but you're going to miss him when he's gone.

Or not.
posted by vito90 at 10:46 AM on May 19, 2003

Tony Blair's spokesman also resigned today (no, not that one- the #2 spokesman), which reminded me of this Oscar Wilde quotation:

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune ... to lose both seems like carelessness.

OK, it doesn't quite apply, but any occasion to quote dear old Oscar is a good one...

More seriously, the usual speculation about 'special advisers' versus 'civil servants' - and their respective qualities, loyalties and abilities - has just begun (The question his departure will leave is whether there is any longer a role for straight-as-a-die civil servants in the government's media machine..)

Do other national governments have that conflict: loyalty to the people, and truth, against spin?
posted by dash_slot- at 10:51 AM on May 19, 2003

Wow, I just added Joe Lockhart to my shopping cart. That was creepy.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:53 AM on May 19, 2003

Staff writer for the Daily Show?
posted by Mekon at 10:54 AM on May 19, 2003

I'll miss him. I loved watching the guy. 100% pure evil and he knew it. And knew that you knew it. Flawless execution. He was the Michael Jordan of press evasion.
posted by callmejay at 11:12 AM on May 19, 2003

My initial reaction was one of glee. However, I think that I actually will miss him too. It's comforting to have someone governmental to channel your disgust at, and he was so superlatively rude and out of control that he was the eminently hateable perfect target. I don't like it about myself that I hate Ari, but I don't feel like I can stop on my own.

He'll never go poor. I won't worry about him.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:31 AM on May 19, 2003

According to the Fine Folks at Fark, he's already got a job as the spokesman for Bosley -- The World's Most Experienced Hair Restoration Practice!
posted by dagny at 11:33 AM on May 19, 2003

Since we don't have a Spanish-style subjunctive in English, it took a master like Mr. Fleischer to show the public how to evade answering direct questions without being totally undiplomatic. One National Review writer devoted an entire article to describing his techniques.
posted by sheauga at 11:36 AM on May 19, 2003

posted by Kikkoman at 11:38 AM on May 19, 2003

Captain, your agenda is clear for take-off.

oh, piss off. If we can't all agree that Ari Fleischer is a lying weasel, then there's no point discussing anything around here. Mistrusting Fleischer isn't having "an agenda", it's having common sense.
posted by jpoulos at 11:42 AM on May 19, 2003

he could always attempt to fill ron ziegler's shoes over at the national association of chain drug stores.
posted by quonsar at 11:42 AM on May 19, 2003

Proctologist. He's already seen and worked with enough rectums to get an honorary degree...
posted by FormlessOne at 11:45 AM on May 19, 2003

Captain, your agenda is clear for take-off.

oh, piss off. If we can't all agree that Ari Fleischer is a lying weasel,

Brilliant. So now can we get to the real problem, the agenda of 'anything Bush' is immediately bad? Congrats for maintaining the level of foam that comes from MeFi's collective mouth anytime the Bush administration is brought up.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:59 AM on May 19, 2003

pshaw. I disliked Fleischer and Ashcroft long before they became part of the Bush administration.
posted by whatnot at 12:14 PM on May 19, 2003

Ari's postion by definition is to disengage from reality in front of the press. He's king of the weasels, tho

Anyways, he can shine my shoes anytime...
posted by BentPenguin at 12:14 PM on May 19, 2003

"There are three essential skills for the White House press secretary to have, and I guess we’ll find out if I have any of them. But the first is substance. The second is patience, and the third is humor."

If we're not in agreement, let's at least take a tip from Helen Thomas and express ourselves with a little class.
posted by sheauga at 12:16 PM on May 19, 2003

"When guns are hidden you can't see their smoke."

If I never see or hear from this smug jackass again, it'll be too soon. He has been the very embodiment of this arrogant and dishonest administration from day one.
posted by psmealey at 12:23 PM on May 19, 2003

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:27 PM on May 19, 2003

posted by luser at 12:30 PM on May 19, 2003

sheauga, Helen Thomas didn't "say" anything; her entire line of questioning and response to Ari's reaction was an emotional plea to show how Bush is "killing innocent Iraqis". Without getting into yet another IraqFilter discussion, why not just show this site, and the world, an alternative? Could I not ask Helen Thomas, "If we allow Saddam to stay in power, are we not allowing him the opportunity to kill more innocent Iraqis?" "Is it not true that Saddam has killed tens of thousands of his own people?" etc. etc. etc....

I used to work in a Senator's office. One of my jobs was to record constituent opinions and create a spreadsheet every week detailing which categories the calls fell into. My job was not to debate the issues with these callers, nor is it the press secretary's job to debate with journalists. I cannot say that Ari's a great guy or a superb press secretary, but your specific link proves absolutely nothing.

I didn't, and don't mean, to be nasty about this, nor was my previous comment supposed to be an attack, but I do believe that cheap shots and emotional, rather than logical, pleas are exactly why middle America is so disgusted with politics, and this entire thread reeks of pathetic attempts to make Ari into the devil.
posted by BlueTrain at 12:40 PM on May 19, 2003

I personally have complete faith in Mr. Fleischer and am to a considerable degree shocked and amazed that you would call into question my faith with such a callous and poorly developed comment.
posted by xmutex at 12:40 PM on May 19, 2003

He should bottle up whatever gives him his dissembling skills and sell it.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:47 PM on May 19, 2003

speaking of foaming at the mouth...
"mmmph gobble, every thing bush IS NOT BAD schlurp mmph"
posted by quonsar at 12:51 PM on May 19, 2003

BlueTrain and xmutex: There are plenty of examples of blatant Fleisher lies--I think enough to make him completely discredible. What about the most recent one--Fleisher saying that Bush "needed" to take the jet to the aircraft carrier, because the carrier was too far away, when the carrier was only 39 miles off-shore, easily close enough for a helicopter to make it?
posted by gramcracker at 1:38 PM on May 19, 2003

Greg Maddux needs a stunt double.
posted by Frank Grimes at 1:39 PM on May 19, 2003

Being a White House press spokesman for Dubyuh is right up there with mayor of New York and head football coach for Notre Dame -- fuggedduhboudit, it's too trying for mere mortals. I haven't envied him, and I hope he gets a good long break from the hassle of being in an unenviable role.
posted by alumshubby at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2003

Bear in mind that the source of this story is Ari himself,'s probably not true.
posted by uosuaq at 1:52 PM on May 19, 2003

uosuaq, your username is sublime. I actually caught myself reaching for View Source ("what the hell tag is that!??")

Reminded me of the 1970s pocket-calculator joke with the punchline 71077345, wow the years have sure drained the hilarity out of that one.

posted by luser at 2:17 PM on May 19, 2003

I want to feel sympathy for the man, but I just can't get there.

I like to contrast Fleischer's performance with that of Mike McCurry. McCurry always comported himself with directness and good humor even in the darkest days of the Starr investigation and l'affaire Lewinsky. Especially during the Lewinski scandal, he maintained a high degree of integrity and candor even after he realized his boss had been lying to him.

Ari Fleischer's glibness seems more to pass for evasiveness and disdain than it does for humor. This not only does damage to his own credibility, but it worsens the perception many have with regard to this Administration's arrogance.
posted by psmealey at 2:24 PM on May 19, 2003

Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, goodbye. Asshat.
posted by Hildago at 2:41 PM on May 19, 2003

I'm sure Philip Morris could use (another) dead-eyed morally bankrupt liar.
posted by Devils Slide at 4:18 PM on May 19, 2003

Sheauga's link bears repeating--it's a fine analysis of Ari's techniques. He doesn't so much lie as simply refuse to answer the question.
posted by muckster at 4:27 PM on May 19, 2003

What about the most recent one--Fleisher saying that Bush "needed" to take the jet to the aircraft carrier, because the carrier was too far away, when the carrier was only 39 miles off-shore, easily close enough for a helicopter to make it?

He may have been telling the truth.
posted by donth at 4:33 PM on May 19, 2003

Thanks, luser--wish I could take credit for it, but I'll pass your compliment along to the friend who came up with it, who seems to have a knack for inverting or otherwise symmetricalizing things. (I'm also lucky--uosuaq works better than, say, jasn7.)

Speaking of usernames, did I by any chance get a tech support call from you this morning?
posted by uosuaq at 5:52 PM on May 19, 2003

BlueTrain - I thought the rather pointed exchage of views between Helen Thomas and Ari Fleischer captured the essence of opposing viewpoints on self-determination and national sovereignty for Iraqis and Americans in an amazingly concise fashion ... What both sides proved is that it's possible to badger someone you disagree with rather intensely without losing your cool and resorting to namecalling and foul language. Of course, that degree of professionalism is doubtless one of the reasons these two individuals have held highly paid jobs at the White House while the rest of us type our less heroic epithets into the MetaFilter!
posted by sheauga at 6:49 PM on May 19, 2003

Congrats for maintaining the level of foam

Stop foaming, start fomenting.

Or something like that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:05 PM on May 19, 2003

Mokhiber: Ari, one of your predecessors, Jerald terHorst, resigned as President Ford's press secretary, he said, as a matter of conscience - because he couldn't defend President Ford's pardon of President Nixon. I was wondering, is there anything President Bush has done as President, that made you think, even for a moment, that you would resign as a matter of conscience?

Ari Fleischer: No.
posted by muckster at 7:44 PM on May 19, 2003

"Laughed.. off.. stage!"
posted by Onanist at 3:19 AM on May 20, 2003

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