Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tony Snow and the UN: Get Your Facts Straight. You Are the Press Secretary, Right?

Tony Snow, left, pictured with President George W. Bush and former Press Secretary Scott McClellan

You know I thought Tony Snow was a fairly smart guy. At least, that's what the reports implied when he was appointed Bush's new Press Secretary. He came on touted as an experienced journalist who was an “insider” in press circles.

However, this report from Think Progress makes me wonder about that. Basically, Snow said "thank you for the Hezbollah view" to Helen Thomas when she was asking him questions about the US policy regarding the current crisis in the Middle East.

When I read it my mind was screaming “noooooooooooooo, not another "looks good on paper" dimwit in the White House!”

It seems that Ms. Thomas asked Snow to discuss the United States’s veto of a UN Security Council resolution that would have called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah in the conflict which is wreaking havoc in Israel and Lebanon.

Snow simply did not have his facts straight as he denied that the US had vetoed this resolution in the Security Council. BTW, it was the US’s first veto of a Security Council resolution in almost two years.

What’s funny about this story is I’ve been tuned into CNN International for hours. They’ve been running the same tired pieces over and over (I have the TV on mute). They haven’t mentioned this incident once.

Is there a bias in the US owned media? Nah….couldn’t be.

Here is the transcript:

QUESTION: The United States is not that helpless. It could have stopped the bombardments of Lebanon. We have that much control with the Israelis.

SNOW: I don’t think so.

QUESTION: We have gone for collective punishment against all of Lebanon and Palestine. And what’s happening — and that’s the perception of the United States.

SNOW: Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view, but I would encourage you…

QUESTION: Nobody’s accepting your explanation. What is it say, to call for…

SNOW: I’ll tell you, what’s interesting is people have. The G-8 was completely united on this. And as you know when it comes to issues of…

QUESTION: Stop the cease-fire? Why?

SNOW: We didn’t stop a cease-fire. Let me continue — I’ll tell you what. We didn’t even veto — please get your facts right. What happened was that the G-8 countries made a pretty clear determination that the guilty party here was Hezbollah. You cannot have a cease- fire when you’ve got the leader of Hezbollah going on his television saying that he perceives total war, he’s declaring total war, when they are firing rockets indiscriminately…(CROSSTALK)

SNOW: Please let me finish. I know this is great entertainment, but I want to finish the answer. The point here is, they’re firing rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas. The Israelis are responding, as they see fit. You will note, the countries that disagree with the government of Israel in terms of its general approach on Palestine — many of our European allies agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, that the government of Lebanon has the right to control all its territory, that Hezbollah is responsible, and that those who support it also bear responsibility.

There is no daylight between the United States and all the allies on this. They all agree on it. This was not difficult…

QUESTION: That’s not the point. Why did we veto a cease-fire?

SNOW: We didn’t veto a cease-fire.

QUESTION: Yes, we did.

SNOW: No, we didn’t. There was no cease-fire.

QUESTION: But wasn’t there a resolution?


QUESTION: At the U.N.?

SNOW: No. You know what you’ve done — I see — what happened was that there was conversation about, quote, a cease-fire that was picked up on some of the microphone when some colorful language made its way into the airwaves yesterday.(LAUGHTER)

And the president was continuing a conversation he had had earlier with Prime Minister Tony Blair about staging. Would we like a cease-fire? You bet. Absolutely. We would love to see a cease-fire. But the way you stage it is that you make sure that the people who started this fight, Hezbollah, take their responsibility.

QUESTION: There was no veto at the U.N.?

SNOW: No. There hasn’t been a resolution at the V.N. — the U.N., whatever it is.
There haven’t been any…(LAUGHTER)

There hasn’t been.(LAUGHTER) I’ve been at (inaudible) in Germany too long. There has been no resolution at the U.N.

Good grief!!!

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  1. Isn't it wonderful when someone can adjust their own personal reality?
    That is either called denial
    When someone twists the reality of a situation to that of a delusion it is called Schizophrenia
    When someone knows the difference and relays to others facts contrary to their knowledge it is called a lie
    And when the Voice of America governmental broadcasting outlet directly contradicts you
    that would just make that person insane
    But what does it make the people that still approve of that person

    When I was in Europe the time difference had me wanting to fall asleep at 4pm in London, which meant i was up at 3am! Did you see a time shift issue with your move to Korea?

    Have fun with your blog!

  2. Well, I've been in Korea for awhile, over five years, so I've adjusted. It's when I go home or somewhere else that I'm dealing with jet lag.

    Actually, moving from California to Asia isn't so bad, going back is worse. I remember reading something about it years ago. Then again, it might be the other way around. I can't remember. I haven't traveled outside of Asia for a couple of years.

    As for Snow, too bad he's Press Secretary, so at a press conference he should be dealing with reality. Sad, ain't it?

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. You're being quite generous saying he didn't know the facts. My personal, ungenerous take? He just flat out lied. It's sort of a win-win situation then, for either likely outcome in the U.S. media.

    First, the U.S. media could completely ignore the story, and he would thus successfully have dodged/avoided the difficulty of explaining the U.S.'s behavior.

    Alternatively, even if the U.S. media does pick up on and report that he got it wrong, they will focus on his ineptitude/dishonesty rather than the underlying question - why DID the U.S. veto the resolution?

    Side note: for those of us who have to keep 9-5 schedules, adjusting to flying West is easier than flying East, so it is better to go from Cal to Asia.

  4. Thanks. I forgot which way was less painful. I really need to start traveling again. However, first, I should probably finish school so that any money I make isn't set aside for that.

    Anyway, you're assessment is probably right. I just hate to believe it. Ain't that just naive of me?

    I mean I already know that American will NEVER, I mean NEVER support a UN resolution that makes Israel do anything. The US vetoed this not because of the smoke screen that our UN Ambassador is trying to blow up our butts.

    The US sees this as a nice way to kick Hezbollah squarely in the guts and, as it's Israel, we'd never be critical of their military choices. Hell, we supply both loads of money and technology to the IDF.

    Any other country doing this and we'd be calling for a cease-fire and we would have not vetoed that resolution.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.