Political Animal


BUSH PRESS CONFERENCE ROUNDUP….So did reporters have to get questions pre-approved at Thursday’s press conference? The short answer seems be no, but here’s all the evidence one way or the other.

  • Radio reporter Nadja Middleton said in passing, “journalists’ questions had to be pre-approved by the White House.”

  • Les Kinsolving of WorldNetDaily quotes Ari Fleischer as saying, “It was me who gave the president a suggestion on the reporters to call.”

  • White House communications director Dan Bartlett, talking about the general theme of the press conference, told the Washington Post, “In this case, we know what the questions are going to be, and those are the ones we want to answer,”

  • Washington Post associate editor Robert Kaiser said in an online chat that “this administration (unlike some others) does not suggest questions to reporters in advance.”

So the order of questioning was certainly prepared beforehand, the general subjects of the questions were probably tacitly agreed on, but the exact wording of the questions probably was not. And that’s probably where it will stand unless something new crops up.


JERRY BOWYER AND RICHARD MELLON SCAIFE….A few weeks ago I posted a piece that was highly critical of an article Jerry Bowyer wrote for National Review Online. At the end, I linked to a TBOGG post saying that Bowyer was President of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy, which is partially funded by Richard Mellon Scaife. Today Bowyer emails to say:

A simple google search on the words “Bowyer” and “Scaife” would have led you to plenty of articles that would demonstrate that your facts are way out of date. I am not the President of the Allegheny Institute ? that info is almost three years out of date. I do not get any Scaife funding of any kind, and never will. In fact a little checking could have yielded the relevant information that not only am I not Dick Scaife’s “sock puppet” but Dick and I had rather public (therefore easily found by a conscientious fact checker) disagreement

Just for the record (although I doubt you will be interested in correcting the record): I disagree vehemently with what my party did in the 1990’s running over the cliff into crazy conspiracy theories about Clinton the mass-murderer, Clinton the drug runner, Clinton the Foster-cide, etc. I think Clinton’s blow-job in the white house was none of Ken Starr’s business, nor that of the US Congress and I rank Bill Clinton in the top quarter of US Presidents in the 20th Century. I have said these things hundreds of times publicly over the years. Fronting for Scaife? You oughta call that theory into my radio program sometime, you’d be laughed out of town by my liberal callers alone.

Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have relied on that TBOGG character. He’s an unreliable sort….


DID BUSH KNOW THE QUESTIONS BEFOREHAND?….Marc Sobel emails to point to this audio report from Nadja Middleton of Free Speech Radio news. In a report about yesterday’s White House fesitivities, she says:

During last night’s press conference, where journalists’ questions had to be pre-approved by the White House, very few, if any, challenging questions were asked of the president.

If this is true, it’s outrageous. And it’s even more outrageous that all the major news outlets would agree to keep it quiet.

I’d sure like to hear some firsthand confirmation of this one way or the other. There’s got to be someone from a major news organization willing to step up to the plate and tell us whether this happened.