Spruiell: David Gregory Didn't Deserve A White House Apology

Steven Spruiell of NRO Media Blog offered a few thoughts on Tony Snow's apology to David Gregory for suggesting a question about how Bush is a failure was partisan in character. (To me, it had a bit of a "sorry I said the sky is blue" logic to it.) I'm more in line with Steve's POV than Noel Sheppard's praise for Snow's decency:

Snow's smart enough to realize that the White House simply doesn't enjoy the kind of popularity it would need to survive a war with the beltway media right now, and the last thing he needs is the Milbanks of the world attacking his credibility on the eve of a major policy change in Iraq.

One thing's for sure: Gregory was not owed an apology. His question was designed purely as an attack, not a serious inquiry into administration policy. So given that A) Snow must know that, and B) he went on Reliable Sources on Sunday and defending his handling of Gregory, his about-face today was a call for a truce before things get even uglier. A sad state of affairs in the White House briefing room.

In fact, I'd be stronger. David Gregory can be a completely petulant whiner, something the White House reporters would never tolerate in a briefer. How is Snow expected to have elephant-tough skin and then face reporters like Gregory trying out for 'The Princess and the Pea'? Snow has been much stronger in facing down reporters than I think Scott McClellan was, and his (polite) combativeness just what the Bush team needs -- when reporters start every day with the assumption that everything continues to fall apart inevitably for the White House.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis