Sep 8, 2005

"I know that! Don't you think I know that?"

People who are nostalgic for old Saturday Night Live character Nathan Thurm must be happy to see his return, of sorts, in the guise of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. Through his last few press conferences (list here, with a Kos diary on the subject), McClellan has kept us all entertained with his hilarious plump robotic dismissals of increasingly pointed accusations that the administration mishandled this crisis. Which, of course, they did.

An example (full briefing here):

Q Scott, does the President retain confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security?

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, see, this is where some people want to look at the blame game issue, and finger-point. We're focused on solving problems, and we're doing everything we can --

Q What about the question?

MR. McCLELLAN: We're doing everything we can in support --

Q We know all that.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Q Does he retain complete confidence --

MR. McCLELLAN: We're going to continue. We appreciate the great effort that all of those at FEMA, including the head of FEMA, are doing to help the people in the region. And I'm just not going to engage in the blame game or finger-pointing that you're trying to get me to engage.

Q Okay, but that's not at all what I was asking.

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure it is. It's exactly what you're trying to play.

Q You have your same point you want to make about the blame game, which you've said enough now. I'm asking you a direct question, which you're dodging.


Q Does the President retain complete confidence in his Director of FEMA and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?

MR. McCLELLAN: I just answered the question.

Q Is the answer "yes" on both?

MR. McCLELLAN: And what you're doing is trying to engage in a game of finger-pointing.

Q There's a lot of criticism. I'm just wondering if he still has confidence.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and blame-gaming. What we're trying to do is solve problems, David. And that's where we're going to keep our focus.

Q So you're not -- you won't answer that question directly?

MR. McCLELLAN: I did. I just did.

I'd almost feel sorry for Scotty McFlopSweat if he wasn't playing childish semantic games instead of giving honest answers about the worst-handled natural disaster in history. But, I do think it's fair that the media ask different questions, as he must be getting tired of the same tough questions for a week straight.

Here's a couple of ones I'd ask.

"Mr. Press Secretary, suppose the President was a tree. Would he be a lying tree, an incompetent tree, or an obnoxious asshole tree?"


"Many people would call our President a wormy, cretinous imbecile, and recent events would seem to indicate that characterization is correct. With that in mind, my question is, do you like pudding?"

And so on.