Friday, April 11, 2003

NOTES FROM A RADICAL MODERATE. Put Donald Rumsfeld in front of the microphone and I believe what I hear. I might as well be Rush Limbaugh. I see a stodgy-looking White Republican Male in a Suit, sure, but I hear a warts-and-all honesty and even some humor. I even find his exasperation endearing. The other day, when asked if the next phase of the war would be the really hard, unpredictable part, he reminded me of me when he began to foam at the mouth and said something like "Why must you people always start from the present?" What he meant, of course, was that first the first phase was supposed to be hard and unpredictable, and then the next phase was supposed to be hard and unpredictable, and so on. Why won't the media take that history into account rather than seeming to forget it ever happened?

I know why, actually, because I'm in the media. Reporters ask questions to elicit answers and good quotes. Their questions don't necessarily represent their personal viewpoints, and Rummy should understand that rather than taking everything so darn personally. Still, his reaction is an honest reaction. Honesty is good.

Put Ari Fleischer in front of the microphone, on the other hand, and well, I might as well be one of those idiots smashing Starbucks windows to get back at The Man and yelling "No war for oil!" (Right. It's all about the oil. That's why Norway is next. Watch out, Venezuela!)

Actually, there really isn't anything to believe or not to believe in what Ari says, because he really doesn't say anything. I hear inarticulate arrogance (not an easy thing to pull off, if you think about it) and obfuscation and answers to questions different from those that were asked.

"Is the president concerned about the slaughter of innocent civilians?"

"Yes, the president is VERY concerned about suicide bombers."

Again, I sort of understand. A flack can't speak with the authority of an actual official; he has much less to work with. But get away from the microphone if you aren't able to do either the press or your bosses any favors.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com