it ain't easy being green...
July 11, 2005 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Scott McClellan got roasted today. All Rove, all the time! At the risk of pushing too much on the latest shenanigans over at the White House, this deserves notice, 'cause the press gaggle today wasn't just political drama, it was also priceless comedy. I can't recall ever having seen Scotty get nailed to the wall quite this hard. TPM has more.
posted by spiderwire (68 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: seriously, there is an open Rove thread and this is posted in it

Oh, when Jeff Gannon was still around, Scotty got nailed the wall this hard every day but there weren't other press people to see or report on it.

This is good stuff and I like how he parrots the same thing again and again like it will all go away.

I'd like to see the video on this. I guess I'll have to watch the Daily Show tonight.

I don't have much hope that Rove will hang for this but its fun watching them scurry around like the rats they are.
posted by fenriq at 1:22 PM on July 11, 2005

What is also notable is the fact that obviously some great leaps have been made recently in using those limited stem cell lines -- I mean, my god, who knew that a few mainstream press reporters could actually grow brand new spines after all this time?
posted by scody at 1:25 PM on July 11, 2005

Wow, the White House press corps finally grows a backbone, five years too late. Of course, it's only when one of their own is in jail.
posted by grouse at 1:26 PM on July 11, 2005

This is too funny! Scotty's starting to get the "Ari Fleischer syndrome", I reckon.
posted by clevershark at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2005

Had to come back and add this from my quick write up on this.

"Not that I really expect Rove to hang or even get fired for his treason, its just not Bush's way to punish the guilty, only the poor."
posted by fenriq at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2005

Oh, when Jeff Gannon was still around, Scotty got nailed the wall this hard every day but there weren't other press people to see or report on it.

Did you just try to insult him by calling gay?

God. What childness.

As for the fpp: spiderwire, did you not see the post already on the front page where this was already discussed?
posted by dios at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2005

"You’re in a bad spot here, Scott…

It's tough to be the official 'mouth' of the shenanigans going on belind the white wall.... I wonder how Ari's doing these days.. Havent heard a peep out'a that guy...
posted by Balisong at 1:28 PM on July 11, 2005

Eh, it's pardon city for Rove, He might resign though. It's all a bit "to good to be true" for me to really belive that Rove will fry, or even would fry without a pardon, which he will certanly get.
posted by delmoi at 1:30 PM on July 11, 2005

Did this actually happen? I don't buy it.
posted by tkchrist at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2005

QUESTION: No, you’re not finishing. You’re not saying anything.

Wow. I am a bit suprised to see stuff like that in there.
posted by delmoi at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2005

Just what does it take for the media to actually do some work for once? Jail?
posted by jsavimbi at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2005

Next question:

Scott, you told us that you had spoken to Rove, who denied involvement. Either he lied to you, or you lied to us. So, who was lying? You or Rove?
posted by KRS at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2005

dios: um, i believe if you look closer, you'll see that that's my post. like i implied in the fpp, I thought that this was relevant for different reasons. you'll note that it's already made it to the front pages of the major news outlets and is on the AP wires, whereas the newsweek story wasn't.

also, as grouse pointed out upthread, it's not often that you see the WH press corps show this sort of backbone, nor that you see this administration get their feet swept out from under them in public like this.

interestingly, i didn't even see the double entendre in fenriq's post until you pointed it out. i thought he was just talking about when scotty was being made a fool up by the press corps for letting a prostitute-turned-wingnut into the gaggle for as long as they did.
posted by spiderwire at 1:33 PM on July 11, 2005

**fool of, even. preview is my friend.
posted by spiderwire at 1:34 PM on July 11, 2005

fenriq: the video is here.
posted by state fxn at 1:35 PM on July 11, 2005

Why does the press suddenly have some balls? And on the one story that's really probably moot (considering he'll get a pardon)?
posted by modernerd at 1:37 PM on July 11, 2005

oh, man. i totally missed part of the exhange the first few times i read that.

after scotty says that he was asked to clam up after clearing rove at "sometime in that time period," the reporter comes back with, "well, bush talked about it nine months after that. did someone not fill him in on the plan?"

hoo boy, that's just pure gold.
posted by spiderwire at 1:38 PM on July 11, 2005

The afternoon briefing:

C.J. Craig would have done a much better job, but then she had better writers.
posted by spock at 1:40 PM on July 11, 2005

aww...dios, come on. Loosen up. fenriq's joke was pretty funny. It made me snicker.
posted by state fxn at 1:40 PM on July 11, 2005

So, Scotty wouldn't talk about Karl Rove the Leaker, but he sure made time for Karl Rove the Orator.
QUESTION: Considering the widespread interest and the absolutely frantic Democrat reaction to Karl Rove’s excellent speech to conservatives last month, does the president hope that Karl will give a lot more speeches?

MCCLELLAN: He continues to give speeches.

He was traveling this weekend talking about the importance of strengthening Social Security. And he’s continued to go out and give speeches.
Jeff Gannon, you little apple polisher... How'd you get your soft-pass back?
posted by SweetJesus at 1:43 PM on July 11, 2005

QUESTION: Since President William Howard Taft became chief justice after his presidency, you would not rule out the president’s nominating former law school professor Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court, would you? And if you wouldn’t, we can report that President Clinton is under consideration, can’t we?

MCCLELLAN: Well, that’s the first time I’ve heard that name suggested. I know there are a lot of names being suggested out there and you know that I’m not going to get into speculating about any particular names.

posted by delmoi at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2005

Gawd, The Daily Show should have a field day with this.
posted by spock at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2005

dios, you know, coming from someone else I might care but coming from you I get a big fat "Meh, whatever."

I would like to know who unlocked the press' nuts as well. Rest assured, they will pay when the adults get back though.

state fxn, thanks for the video link! I will check it out after my meeting.
posted by fenriq at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2005

(Ari is "spending more time with his family", isn't he?)
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:47 PM on July 11, 2005

Looks like Fox has it on their site, though buried a bit.

I'm just waiting for somebody to blame Clinton for all of this.

On preview, not a snowball's chance in hell, delmoi.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:48 PM on July 11, 2005

here is the video of it
posted by sourbrew at 1:49 PM on July 11, 2005

It's strange to see the press corps actually ask tough questions for once. What's gotten into them? I guess those cowards need a slam-dunk in order to have enough confidence to proceed. It's a good thing they aren't journalists or anything.
posted by OmieWise at 1:50 PM on July 11, 2005

My favorite bit:
QUESTION: Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?

MCCLELLAN: Again, these are all questions coming up in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation. And you’ve heard my response on this.

QUESTION: So you’re not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?
My headline: "White House refuses to say that President has confidence in Rove."
posted by grouse at 1:50 PM on July 11, 2005

Full text. Video, supposedly: here

dios, I suppose it would be okay if Scotty and Guckert were jerking off a horse together?
posted by fleacircus at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2005

I sympathize with McClellan. I mean, the man is just trying to defend the administration in a complex situation, with serious implications, against an overzealous liberal press that's looking for easy headlines and...

Oh, who am I kidding? KILL KILL KILLKILLKILLLLLL!!!!!1!!1!!
posted by fungible at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2005

Uh, I'm out of the loop. Why did Ari Fleischer step down, anyway?
posted by mecran01 at 1:53 PM on July 11, 2005

Weekly ritual humiliation will do that to you, I suppose
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:56 PM on July 11, 2005

fungible writes "against an overzealous liberal press"

This must be one of those "there's a first time for everything" kind of statements... those are, by and large, the same journos who have been deliberately asleep at the switch (in exchange for "access") for the past 4 and a half years, right?
posted by clevershark at 1:56 PM on July 11, 2005

childness? is the middle "ish" invisible now?
posted by whatnot at 1:58 PM on July 11, 2005

Uh, I'm out of the loop. Why did Ari Fleischer step down, anyway?

"Spend more time with (his) family" is the official line.

Although, one can understand why he did it - when it comes to liars, he was the best. No one even comes close. He makes Ron Ziegler look a priest. Might as well go out at the top of your game, and leave the people wanting more.

I miss him all the time. It's rare to have such a pure scumbag on display.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:02 PM on July 11, 2005

modernerd writes "Why does the press suddenly have some balls? "

It is probably a bad idea to start putting them in jail without a full-fledge censorship infrastructure in place - they will get annoyed and start asking the right questions...
posted by nkyad at 2:05 PM on July 11, 2005

So what if Bush pardons Rove? The damage that will do -- effectively an admission of guilt, and giving total lie to "we'll get to the bottom of this" rhetoric, hands dems a huge campaign issue: Bush will have helped his staff evade accountability for an act of treasonous thuggery. I say, pardon away Mr. pResident. Bring it on.

And me too on the "when did these sheep posing as reporters get their teeth back?"
posted by realcountrymusic at 2:13 PM on July 11, 2005

No, no, no, no - do not let Rove resign and slip away. I want my Frog March, dammit!
posted by soyjoy at 2:13 PM on July 11, 2005

Okay, the Judith Miller part has me confused now. She is staying in jail even after Rove has been outed because:

1) Rove is such a bastard he still won't let her reveal him as the source even after it's public knowledge. (And she is so principled that she won't say it even after others have)
2) What Rove told Miller was qualitatively different than what he told Cooper. (Specific name, that Plame was a covert op, or something that would show he perjured himself.)
3) There was more than one source and Miller has another name entirely.
Or am I missing something?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:16 PM on July 11, 2005

#3 - It's because Rove isn't Miller's source...
posted by SweetJesus at 2:17 PM on July 11, 2005

Do you really think "the American People" (that this White House keeps referring to) are going to stand for a traitor going to work each day in the White House? Voters expect al-Qa'ida to be the enemy of the U.S. - I don't think the same can be said for the President's Chief of Staff.

Regarding the press: It's easy to attract sharks when there's blood in the water. Too bad that the press can't also take credit for the administration's self-inflicted wound.
posted by spock at 2:21 PM on July 11, 2005

The press are a pretty much like most other predators. If they get the hint of blood in the water they'll be all over you. If they fear you or think you have any power whatever you're safe.

From here to the 2008 I think the press will be flexing more muscle. The good stories will be about the downfall of the supposed impregnable White House under bush. The drivel will be the failed Bush domestic agenda no one wants and won't ever pass.

Bottom line with a war on the press needs access to the White House. As the war becomes mundane drudgery the White House will need the press for it's actions more than the other way around.
posted by aaronscool at 2:24 PM on July 11, 2005

I say, pardon away Mr. President.

I'm with you on that- I'd love to see nothing more. I'd rank "Pardoning Karl Rove" right below "Overturning Roe v Wade" on my list of "Sure-fire tactics for galvanizing and re-solidifying a scattered Left Wing".

Oh, and dances_with_sneetches, please refuse from using the words "Judith Miller" and "principled" anywhere near each other. It hurts my sense of dignity.
posted by mkultra at 2:25 PM on July 11, 2005

Spock: In answer to your rhetorical question, I would have to say, "Yes, absolutely!"
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:26 PM on July 11, 2005

lying about wmds--yawns
lying about saddam--yawns
lying about memos stating bin laden will attack--yawns
lying about the situation in iraq--yawns
lying about everything under the sun--yawns
lying, and a reporter's in jail!!!--ding! ding! ding!

There is more than one administration source--Novak said so, repeatedly. Andrea "Greenspan" Mitchell said so too, i think--i'm sure she squealed right away, like Novak.
posted by amberglow at 2:28 PM on July 11, 2005

clevershark: *i was kidding*
posted by fungible at 2:30 PM on July 11, 2005

Here's a what-if scenario: what if Rove is letting this play out because there's exculpatory evidence to come? This would work something like the Rather memos: let everyone get excited and spend public attention on something that will go nowhere. The memos were proven fraudulent, the wind got sucked out of everyone's sails and now nobody talks about the facts that those memos contained. Same with this -- get everyone excited, pull the rug out from under them and the Plame investigation becomes a non-story, no matter what the truth turns out to be in the end.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:30 PM on July 11, 2005

G_S, that's so hideous it might be feasible
posted by NinjaPirate at 2:34 PM on July 11, 2005

what if Rove is letting this play out because there's exculpatory evidence to come?

i doubt it. i think you're giving him too much credit, and he didn't plan the rather memos. rove is reckless. remember, this is the guy who planted a bug in his own office right before the texas governor's elections but didn't plug it into anything.

if there was really exculpatory evidence, it would have come out already. this is turning into a PR disaster and they would headed it off at the pass.

it's been a pattern throughout this administration. think back to where all this case from -- including a widely-discredited piece of evidence in the friggin state of the union speech. the only difference is that it's really coming back to bite them in the ass this time, because fitzgerald is driving the bus, not the incompetent democratic party leadership.
posted by spiderwire at 2:34 PM on July 11, 2005

Video's bogged down. Anyone know of a mirror?
posted by mystyk at 2:36 PM on July 11, 2005

what if Rove is letting this play out because there's exculpatory evidence to come?

they're already trying that, with the lawyer's spin to every paper in the world, etc. Plus, they have every talkradio jerk, and FOX news, and a million GOP talking heads--there's nothing they can say--even Bay(ing) Buchanan just now on CNN ran away from the issue.

what spiderwire said.
posted by amberglow at 2:37 PM on July 11, 2005

Really, it's quite an accomplishment to get total strangers on a group blog to fear your evil genius.
posted by mecran01 at 2:37 PM on July 11, 2005

crooks and liars has it, mystyk.
posted by amberglow at 2:38 PM on July 11, 2005

hey, amberglow and i just agreed on something. quick, return to the circular firing squad position!

actually, what i was going to add is this clarification: i'm not going to deny that rove is a politically savvy guy. i'm just saying that his record indicates that he is also personally reckless, and that this instance fits that pattern of recklessness. seriously, just ask john mccain's illegitimate black child.

"no, clinton's teflon, he's a political wunderkind, there's no way this monica thing will stick to him..."
posted by spiderwire at 2:43 PM on July 11, 2005

CNN was going off about blogs, as a result of all this hoopla. They must think that they're credible sources of information.
posted by taursir at 2:43 PM on July 11, 2005

Here's a what-if scenario: what if Rove is letting this play out because there's exculpatory evidence to come?

Thats what I thought to myself yesterday when Rove's own lawyer fessed up. I said to myself, "they must know Rove is going to get off if they're admitting guilt this early in the game." Whether it be a pardon, other evidence in this case, or a partisan and/or incompetent prosecutor, they're going to get off. I think Rove probably learned enough from Clinton's scandal to make sure he gets away with as little damage as possible.
posted by SirOmega at 2:47 PM on July 11, 2005

amberglow, that's the link I'm having problems with, hence my comment. The page loads, but the movies time out.
posted by mystyk at 2:49 PM on July 11, 2005

This has been the longest honeymoon on record. I wonder if it's finally over. It's been a coddle fest.
posted by nervousfritz at 2:51 PM on July 11, 2005

How about giving crooksandliars a break on bandwidth, eh? Coral cache link to video
posted by Galvatron at 2:51 PM on July 11, 2005

What scares me is he allowed Cooper to name him. I can't think of any reason he would do that without some sort of at-least-Baldrician cunning plan. Someone please come up with one so I can stills have me hope.

On preview this has been mentioned directly above. Hope us!
posted by 31d1 at 2:51 PM on July 11, 2005

I think that plan was revealed today when he raised the "I didn't mention her by name, I just said His wife was a cia operative who sent him on the mission...", defense.

I think he's hopeing that because he was speaking in code he didn't really actually out Valerie Plame
posted by aaronscool at 2:57 PM on July 11, 2005

hm. someone over on daily kos suggested that cooper's email might suggest that rove might have actually been trying to reel in a story rather than put it out there.

the way that hypothetical goes is that someone (libby, cheney, etc) told miller, it got passed around, then a few days later (like on the 11th) rove started trying to reel it in once they realized that they probably shouldn't have been shopping around a CIA agent's name. (and maybe novak leaked it anyway.)

now, rove might just be falling on his sword.

it's a thought, anyway. it's striking me as more and more plausible.
posted by spiderwire at 3:00 PM on July 11, 2005

As I've said before, until you see Rove in and orange jumpsuit and shackles, calm down about this. The excitement we liberals are expressing about this could very easily come back and bite us in the ass. The main thing is to find out who did this and I don't think we have enough yet to say with any certainty that Rove was absolutely the guy - or guilty of breaking any laws.

For what it is worth, and not to derail, but he is guilty of looking like a frog.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:00 PM on July 11, 2005

Sure-fire tactics for galvanizing and re-solidifying a scattered Left Wing
there is no far left in America... just a far right.
posted by Phantast at 3:03 PM on July 11, 2005

love the page title!
posted by quonsar at 3:03 PM on July 11, 2005

thanks, Galvatron, for the coral cache link. Finally I get to watch the hilarity.
posted by mystyk at 3:06 PM on July 11, 2005

I think all of you are completely missing the point of the source confidentiality fight.

Cooper and Miller are not fighting to give themselves some kind of federal shield law or any such nonsense. It's a nice spin and a good moral wishlist, but it just isn't feasable, nor is it wise.
What they are doing is trying to hold onto their carreers. Face it, you can't be a good investigative journalist, and get the scoop on a story if no-one will trust you to keep them anonymous. If you reveal who your confidential sources are under a little pressure, no-one who wants to use the press as a political weapon will come to you ever again. And the fear among the media is that just by being associated with someone who turned evidence or broke that little promise of anonimity, they will lose the ability to be on the inside with politicians and lobbyists (among other key movers and shakers in the power industry). Face it, it's all about CYA and not much more.

However, it does dovetail nicely into a question of whistle-blower protections, which do carry federal shield statutes. The main question though, is why does Cooper and Miller get tarred and feathered and Novak (el Douche-Bag et Libertine) get to not only keep his job, but gets to keep acting like he's somehow untouchable. No one has yet to offer a valid explination for this.
posted by daq at 3:07 PM on July 11, 2005

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