Who's lying?
June 3, 2001 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Who's lying? The story that wouldn't die continues. "Most of the incidents described yesterday by White House press secretary Ari Fleischer were said to have occurred in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House. Pornographic or obscene greetings were left on 15 telephone lines in the offices of the vice president and White House counsel and in the scheduling and advance offices, Fleischer said. As a precaution, all phones were disabled and reprogrammed, he said."

OTOH, the GAO says it "could reach no further conclusions because the White House said it had no written record of damage".
posted by owillis (8 comments total)
you should have seen what caligula left behind
posted by clavdivs at 2:07 PM on June 3, 2001

My instinct tells me that staffers pulled some pranks, nothing all that serious, before they left. It also tells me this is a lame story that has pretty much nothing to do with anything. It doesn't prove that Clinton's staff was juvenile or bitter, and it doesn't prove that Bush's is prevaricating.

Basically it seems like a non-story unless you're so deep inside the partisan trees that you confuse them for the forest.
posted by FPN at 2:15 PM on June 3, 2001

"Dr. Livingston, I presume?" (partisan forest/jungle and all :)
posted by owillis at 2:25 PM on June 3, 2001

you should have seen what caligula left behind

*coca-cola through nose*
posted by SpecialK at 2:40 PM on June 3, 2001

The interesting part of the story to me is that Fleischer said no written records we kept because Bush wanted us to all move along after he became president. Then, when Democrats demand an apology for the lies Fleischer is supposed to have spread, they manage to produce an unverifiable list with some very specific accusations they culled from the memories of staffers.

It seems that Fleischer may have pulled of a press coup by making it impossible to disprove his story.
posted by drezdn at 2:47 PM on June 3, 2001

FPN, you’ll like this quote then: “The vandalism allegations proved to be a political tale that would not die, despite the absence of any nourishment in the form of new facts.”

Still though, you have some mild hypocrisy coming from the White House.

Fleischer said the agency had only "asked us if we had anything in writing to provide."

"The answer is 'no' because we did not keep track in writing -- consciously so, because the president wanted to look forward and not look backward," Fleischer said.

Well, that’s full-on bullshit. If what Fleischer was saying were true, then he wouldn’t have mentioned any of the pranks back in January. That is, if they truly cared about not being mired in the dreck of the previous adminstration, they would’ve stolidly cleaned up the mess and with uttering a word. Instead, they blew it up out of all sane proportion, now it’s biting them in the ass.

Lies unmasked once again.

Fleischer again: “All the White House comments were aimed at moving forward. It was all in the context of drawing reporters back from the story, because that's what the president wanted.

That’s as close to an apology as anybody is going to get. “We’re sorry we lead the press on so much, can we just forget it now, please?”
posted by capt.crackpipe at 2:49 PM on June 3, 2001

Some more back and forth in Monday's Post (Washington, not the NY tripe)
posted by owillis at 7:54 PM on June 3, 2001

Here's a picture of Ari Fleischer's "vandalism". Gimme a freakin' break!
posted by owillis at 8:06 PM on June 4, 2001

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