As has been noted, we here in the Left Coast offices of the PR are big fans of “The Countdown,” with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, but last night’s show was a real corker. Keith predicted the resignation of Press Secretary Scott McClellan, for starters, and laid out the Bush Administration’s flip-flops over the Newsweek report that copies of the Qu’ran were desecrated by U.S. interrogators in Guantanamo.
Amid all the coverage of the controversy yesterday, only Olbermann pointed out that as recently as last week, the Bush Administration, in the person of Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that the rioting in Afghanistan was more related to “the on-going political reconciliation” than the Newsweek story.
But Monday afternoon, while offering himself up to the networks for a series of rare, almost unprecedented sit-down interviews on the White House lawn, Press Secretary McClellan said, in effect, that General Myers, and the head of the after-action report following the disturbances in Jalalabad, Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, were dead wrong. The Newsweek story, McClellan said, “has done damage to our image abroad and it has done damage to the credibility of the media and Newsweek in particular. People have lost lives. This report has had serious consequences.”
Whenever I hear Scott McClellan talking about ‘media credibility,’ I strain to remember who it was who admitted Jeff Gannon to the White House press room and called on him all those times.
Whenever I hear this White House talking about ‘doing to damage to our image abroad’ and how ‘people have lost lives,’ I strain to remember who it was who went traipsing into Iraq looking for WMD that will apparently turn up just after the Holy Grail will – and at what human cost.
Whereas I look at this story and just see typical GOP mendacity – the Republicans can never lose when they’re pumping up the Librul Media boogeyman they have invented – Olbermann probes deeper into the story. He suggests a scenario beneath this story in which:
The news organization turns to the administration for a denial. The administration says nothing. The news organization runs the story. The administration jumps on the necks of the news organization with both feet – or has its proxies do it for them.
That’s beyond shameful. It’s treasonous.
Olbermann concludes by saying that Scott McClellan should resign because of his ” tasteless, soul-less conclusion that deaths in Afghanistan should be lain at the magazine’s doorstep.” That – and the fact that he’s a serial liar. (I know, I know. It’s in his job description.)