'Pistol Whipping' the Press Secretary Still Wouldn't Work
Wilson visited the press room during the height of the Valerie Plame incident last July and witnessed the "courage" of reporters who wanted to know why Karl Rove wasn't going to be fired. When the name of the new Supreme Court nominee was announced, she was sure it was a "classic slick Bush move" to draw attention away from Karl Rove.
"When one atrocity draws too much fire, it is good to change the subject -- in this case, to the beliefs of John Roberts, the president's Supreme Court nominee. It was a classic slick Bush move, wholly momentum-puncturing. The press corps now had another job to do, and they could no longer pester McClellan about Rove without appearing obsessive, unprofessional and 'unfair.' Rove had officially become Old News."
Press secretary Scott McClellan started off one day's briefing with "a batch of statements that were such an absurdly Orwellian valentine to the administration, I thought he was delivering a blatant 'up yours' to his bloodthirsty audience. However, I was assured by veteran corps members that this was business as usual."
There were admiring words for Helen Thomas, who is "the Great Liminal Crone, custodian of Truth, Warning and Prophecy." Wilson reported that she "frontally attacked and bludgeoned Scott's hard line. It created a small, energetic jump-start."
What did Thomas ask McClellan?
"What is [the president's] problem? Two years, and he can't call Rove in and find out what the hell is going on? I mean, why is it so difficult to find out the facts? It costs thousands, millions of dollars, two years, it tied up how many lawyers? All he's got to do is call him in. "
On July 20, the day of John Robert's announcement, "It seemed somehow related to the Roberts nomination that there was an extra helping of snappy young Republicans humming around the White House on the 20th." She had unkind words to describe the clean-cut young conservatives: "Superclean motherf---ers."
The end of the article was a lament at not being able to nail Bush for Valerie Plame.
"But seriously, there is nothing more the corps could have done, those weeks in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. I was there. They could have ganged up and pistol-whipped Scott's molars into glue and punctured his eardrums with his own American flag lapel pin, and they would have gotten the same sunny, bleating drivel until he was unconscious or dead. He's a damn good soldier, that McClellan."
Finally there was the classless line that topped them all: "If any major player in this administration is ever kidnapped by al-Qaida and tortured for national secrets, we can only hope that it is he. Like a quality linoleum, Scott will never crack."