I’ve just finished reading Scott McClellan’s kiss-and-tell book: “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.”
McClellan doesn’t come across as a very sympathetic character to me. “I did bad things, but I’m not a bad person; my mother loves me” is the central thesis of the book–along with “I was only following orders” and “It Washington’s Culture of Deception, not me, the White House Press Secretary to blame.” [these are not quotes from the book].
OK, enough catty name calling. Now to the reason I got riled up enough to write a blog entry. Among all the big issues about vanishing WMD and the outing of Valerie Plame sat an improvised explosive device that McClellan seemed not to find out of place in the Oval Office, and here I quote him from page 175, describing a plan to justify the Iraq war, WMD or no:
“For the next ten weeks, every significant opportunity on the president’s schedule would be used for pushing this message. Republicans in Congress and allies in the media, such as conservative columnists and talk radio personalities, would be enlisted in the effort and given communications packets with comprehensive talking points aimed at helping them pivot to the message whenever they could. … It was a determined campaign to seize the media offensive and shape or manipulate the narrative to our advantage.”
I suppose it would be too much to hope for that McClellan would name exactly which conservative columnists and talk radio personalities were coordinating their message to the Bush narrative manipulation offensive. By the way, is “pivot” the same thing as “spin”?