George Bush's little conference with the American soldiers in Iraq was shown to be carefully choreographed in advance. Yet Scott McClelland argued that this was not the case, at the same time as evidence of the very choreographing was shown all over the media. Media Matters for America notes this:
Discussing the event on the October 13 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank commented on White House press secretary Scott McClellan's handling of questions about the event:
MILBANK: Scott McClellan, who is a good and decent guy, has to get up there and say, This is not a rehearsed event, even when they've actually released the footage showing that it is a rehearsed event. So when he has to say up is down, and he has to go taking on challenging the motives of the press corps, he's obviously got a problem. I don't know how he could handle this any better, unfortunately.
Milbank calls McClellan a "good and decent guy" -- then, in the very same sentence, says that McClellan lied to Milbank's colleagues and the American people. Then he goes on to indicate that McClellan handled it as well as he could have. When did reporters start taking the position that lying to the American people constitutes handling things as well as possible? Wouldn't telling the truth be a better way to "handle this"? Why is Milbank defending McClellan's "challenging the motives of the press corps" -- Milbank's colleagues -- when he knows McClellan was lying?
Read the last paragraph of this quote again, it's that important. I'm beginning to see Mao's intent when he sent all the intelligentsia out to the farms for a while (though I don't agree with what he did, naturally). Some insiders in the media have lost their objectivity.