President Bush announced today that radio host Tony Snow will become his new press secretary. Here's how the blogosphere is reacting:
- Dean Esmay: "He's intelligent, well-spoken, and funny. He can even take on a vicious demagogue like Bill Maher and come off looking intelligent and reasonable."
- Captain's Quarters: "From his years of radio duty, Tony knows how to talk extemporaneously and engage in debate on a moment's notice. It would be hard to imagine Tony being at a loss for words or failing to present the best case for any position in which he believes.
- Hotline: Bush and Snow's "mutual respect stems from several sources. One is -- both are evangelicals. That link binds together their worldview and most especially, their view of their place in the larger scheme of things. Another is -- Snow seems Bush as a political gambler, in a good way."
- Protein Wisdom: "Glib, articulate, comfortable in front of the camera—just the kind of smiling fascist Press Secretary you’d expect the Bushies to install as a mouthpiece for their sinister imperialist agenda. Cue: leftwing apoplexy and the almost ritualistic, frothing invocation of Roger Ailes."
- Xrlq: "Scott McClellan was a disaster for [Bush's] agenda. He was completely inept at explaining Bush's policies, and embarrassingly bad at everything a press secretary has to do. Every day, he projected to the entire world a pathetic image of sad sackery– and with the presidential seal right there under his quacking face. To say Tony Snow would be an upgrade would be the quintessential understatment."
- Lorie Byrd: "On a lighter note, I will be watching those press conferences religiously, the way I used to watch the Rumsfeld press briefings. At least I will at first – certainly at least until I hear the first questions from Helen Thomas and David Gregory."
- Hog on Ice: "The White House needs to quit farting around and make more of an effort to communicate. We have record employment figures, an incredibly strong economy which Bush's actions may well have created, low tax rates, high tax revenues, improved national security, and a President with popularity figures in the thirties. Clearly, someone is dropping the ball."
- Joe Gandelman: Snow comes into the job with much more status than either of his predecessors which should allow him to control his relationship with the administration better.
- Betsy Newmark: "Some [pressecs] walk away from that with their reputation intact such as Marlin Fitzwater and Mike McCurry, but there is no guarantee that the media won't take out their resentment of not having a spokesman for Bush say what they want to hear on that spokesman. They have a habit of asking the same questions over and over that they know the spokesman can't answer and then saying that he is robotic in his answers."
- Pardon My English: "We have here an interesting moment in the newsworld. The network that Democrats once vilified (and some still do) as partisan hacks--lying, untrustworthy, blinded by ideology, journalistically undertalented--has produced a man that Democrats can't say enough good about today."
- Kim at Wizbang: "Conservatives all over the blogosphere cheered when it was announced that Tony Snow was in the running to replace Scott McClellan as White House Press Secretary. Such a positive reaction from the voice of the conservative base most likely confirmed for the Bush administration that Tony was the right choice."
- Radio Equalizer: "Because his radio talk show never really took off (and often competes against Rush Limbaugh where it is heard), giving up that side of his media career shouldn't be too big of a sacrifice. In addition, he could likely return to FOX News at the completion of any White House stint."
- Powerline: "His congeniality and media background will buy him some popularity with the reporters who cover the White House. But essentially all of them are partisan Democrats, so that good will will last for about a week. What the White House really needs is someone who can push back aggressively against the liberal tilt of the media, and make the administration's case directly to the people. Tony Snow is equipped to do this, I think; the question is, will he?"
- This Blog is Full of Crap: "Oh, Helen Thomas's face is frightful/ And her questions are so spiteful/ Since McClellan really wants to go/ Tony Snow! Tony Snow! Tony Snow!"
- Hugh Hewitt: "Perhaps the best thing about this appointment is the very hostile WH press corps is suddenly confronted by an individual who has already out achieved them in the world of media, which means he knows their tricks and he knows their vanities. There are some smart folks in the WH press room, but there are plenty of pretty faces as well, and they know that Snow is a whole lot smarter than they are."
- Ankle Biting Pundits: "I think Snow should turn down the job of press secretary for President Bush. [...] The media is circling over the president like buzzards. They aren't interested in being fair or even reporting the news. They are trying to end the Bush presidency. Who wants to combat that nonesense every day?"
And now for the lefty reaction:
- The Carpetbagger Report lists some of the more explosive things Snow said about Bush in the past and wonders, "I really doubt the White House press corps will push Snow on any of these previous comments, but they'll be worth holding onto. I have a hunch we'll be hearing them again, from time to time."
- Josh Marshall: "It's hard to know quite how to riff on the Tony Snow appointment since the joke sort of tells itself and it's hard to improve on that. But as TPM Reader JE asks, does Tony have to quit his job at Fox? Or can it be a joint appointment? And going back to the on-going debate about Valerie Plame, was Tony really a covert at Fox or was he just under light cover?"
- Ezra Klein: "He's a true believer, insistent that the White House's low poll numbers stem from an unwillingness to enact vastly unpopular, regressive economic policies [...] There's a reason conservatives keep that face in front of the cameras but out of the legislation -- cuts sound good in theory, but Americans don't much like them in practice [...] It's the old axiom: Americans are ideologically conservative and operationally liberal. If Snow really does get to wield some policy authority, I look forward to seeing him prove it right once again."
- Michael Crowley: "To me the danger here is if the White House gives Snow zero room to roam from his podium and he becomes a relentlessly on-message shill, like Ari Fleischer or Scott McClellan. In that case, both Snow and Bush will look even more ridiculous than if the job had simply gone to some GOP functionary who works, say, on Capitol Hill. And we'll all be subjected to tedious barrage of 'Snow job' jokes."
- ThinkProgress spots some liberal opining at AOL Online in the form of this headline: "He's Called Bush 'An Embarrassment' Now Tony Snow is His Spokesman."
- Crooks and Liars: "As a cancer survivor I wish him well."
- Anonymous Liberal: "I have a hunch Tony Snow will set the new gold standard by which all future press secretaries will be judged. A quick review of Snow's recent political columns has made one thing very clear to me: Snow really knows how to put lipstick on a pig. He was born for this job."
- DailyKos has had no front page post on Snow's appointment. I've noticed a number of liberal bloggers haven't said anything about it yet, either. The most popular Snow item for the Kos Kids seems to be this resuscitation of the old Jeff Gannon obsession.
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013