pardon “commutation” of Libby’s sentence did nothing else, it seems to have awakened our sleeping press corps for a moment or two. In a contentious press briefing yesterday, Tony Snow unsuccessfully tried to dance a tightrope under a barrage of questions that were insistent and even incredulous. The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank compared his performance to Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwock.
Logic suffered a…serious challenge when Bush press secretary Tony Snow, in his briefing, made the following points about Libby’s case:
· That Bush wasn’t “granting a favor to anyone” but that the case got his “special handling.”
· That it was not done for “political reasons” even though “it was political.”
· That it was handled “in a routine manner,” yet it was also “an extraordinary case.”
· That “we are not going to make comments” on the case, even though Bush had already issued a 655-word statement commenting on the case.
And if that makes sense to you, beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch.
“You’re insulting our intelligence,” one of the reporters advised Snow.
“How can you stand there with a straight face?” queried CBS News’s Bill Plante.
I’m including a video so that those of you who came of age after 1985 can see what the press used to be like before Ronald Reagan used his Everybody’s Granpaw image to turn them into weenies. There was a time once in the dim and distant past of legend and song when contentious briefings like this were standard, not isolated incidents fueled by outrageous political twisting of the justice system.
Now, if only they’d treat Bush himself with a similar unwillingness to accept transparent rationalizations and pretzel logic, we might actually consider that we’re getting somewhere.