President Bush announced today that radio host Tony Snow will become his new press secretary. Here's how the blogosphere is reacting:
- Dean Esmay: "He's intelligent, well-spoken, and funny. He can even take on a vicious demagogue like Bill Maher and come off looking intelligent and reasonable."
- Captain's Quarters: "From his years of radio duty, Tony knows how to talk extemporaneously
and engage in debate on a moment's notice. It would be hard to imagine
Tony being at a loss for words or failing to present the best case for
any position in which he believes.
- Hotline: Bush and Snow's "mutual respect stems from several sources. One is -- both are evangelicals. That link binds together their
worldview and most especially, their view of their place in the larger
scheme of things. Another is -- Snow seems Bush as a political gambler, in a good way."
- Protein Wisdom: "Glib, articulate, comfortable in front of the camera—just the kind of
smiling fascist Press Secretary you’d expect the Bushies to install as
a mouthpiece for their sinister imperialist agenda. Cue: leftwing
apoplexy and the almost ritualistic, frothing invocation of Roger Ailes."
- Xrlq: "Scott McClellan was a disaster for [Bush's] agenda. He was completely
inept at explaining Bush's policies, and embarrassingly bad at
everything a press secretary has to do. Every day, he projected to the
entire world a pathetic image of sad sackery– and with the presidential
seal right there under his quacking face. To say Tony Snow would be an upgrade would be the quintessential understatment."
- Lorie Byrd: "On a lighter note, I will be watching those press conferences
religiously, the way I used to watch the Rumsfeld press briefings. At
least I will at first – certainly at least until I hear the first
questions from Helen Thomas and David Gregory."
- Hog on Ice: "The White House needs to quit farting around and make more of an effort
to communicate. We have record employment figures, an incredibly strong
economy which Bush's actions may well have created, low tax rates, high
tax revenues, improved national security, and a President with
popularity figures in the thirties. Clearly, someone is dropping the
- Joe Gandelman: Snow comes into the job with much more status than either of his predecessors which should allow him to control his relationship with the administration better.
- Betsy Newmark: "Some
[pressecs] walk away from that with their reputation intact such as Marlin
Fitzwater and Mike McCurry, but there is no guarantee that the media
won't take out their resentment of not having a spokesman for Bush say
what they want to hear on that spokesman. They have a habit of asking
the same questions over and over that they know the spokesman can't
answer and then saying that he is robotic in his answers."
- Pardon My English: "We have here an interesting moment in the newsworld. The network that
Democrats once vilified (and some still do) as partisan hacks--lying,
untrustworthy, blinded by ideology, journalistically undertalented--has
produced a man that Democrats can't say enough good about today."
- Kim at Wizbang: "Conservatives all over the blogosphere cheered when it was announced
that Tony Snow was in the running to replace Scott McClellan as White
House Press Secretary. Such a positive reaction from the voice of the
conservative base most likely confirmed for the Bush administration
that Tony was the right choice."
- Radio Equalizer: "Because his radio talk show never really took off (and often competes against Rush Limbaugh where it is heard), giving up that side of his media career shouldn't be too big of a sacrifice. In addition, he could likely return to FOX News at the completion of any White House stint."
- Powerline: "His congeniality and media background will buy him some popularity with
the reporters who cover the White House. But essentially all of them
are partisan Democrats, so that good will will last for about a week.
What the White House really needs is someone who can push back
aggressively against the liberal tilt of the media, and make the
administration's case directly to the people. Tony Snow is equipped to
do this, I think; the question is, will he?"
- This Blog is Full of Crap: "Oh, Helen Thomas's face is frightful/ And her questions are so spiteful/ Since McClellan really wants to go/ Tony Snow! Tony Snow! Tony Snow!"
- Hugh Hewitt: "Perhaps the best thing about this appointment is the very hostile WH
press corps is suddenly confronted by an individual who has already out
achieved them in the world of media, which means he knows their tricks
and he knows their vanities. There are some smart folks in the WH press
room, but there are plenty of pretty faces as well, and they know that
Snow is a whole lot smarter than they are."
- Ankle Biting Pundits: "I think Snow should turn down the job of press secretary for President Bush. [...] The media is
circling over the president like buzzards. They aren't interested in
being fair or even reporting the news. They are trying to end the Bush
presidency. Who wants to combat that nonesense every day?"
And now for the lefty reaction:
- The Carpetbagger Report lists some of the more explosive things Snow said about Bush in the past and wonders, "I really doubt the White House press corps will push Snow on any of
these previous comments, but they'll be worth holding onto. I have a
hunch we'll be hearing them again, from time to time."
- Josh Marshall: "It's hard to know quite how to riff on the Tony Snow appointment since the joke sort of tells itself and it's hard to improve on that. But as TPM Reader JE asks, does Tony have to quit his job at Fox? Or can it be a joint appointment? And going back to the on-going debate about Valerie Plame, was Tony really a covert at Fox or was he just under light cover?"
- Ezra Klein: "He's a true believer, insistent that the White House's low poll numbers
stem from an unwillingness to enact vastly unpopular, regressive
economic policies [...] There's a reason conservatives
keep that face in front of the cameras but out of the legislation --
cuts sound good in theory, but Americans don't much like them in
practice [...] It's the old axiom: Americans are ideologically
conservative and operationally liberal. If Snow really does get to wield some policy authority, I look forward to seeing him prove it right once again."
- Michael Crowley: "To me the danger here is if the White House gives Snow zero room to
roam from his podium and he becomes a relentlessly on-message shill,
like Ari Fleischer or Scott McClellan. In that case, both Snow and Bush
will look even more ridiculous than if the job had simply gone to some
GOP functionary who works, say, on Capitol Hill. And we'll all be
subjected to tedious barrage of 'Snow job' jokes."
- ThinkProgress spots some liberal opining at AOL Online in the form of this headline: "He's Called Bush 'An Embarrassment' Now Tony Snow is His Spokesman."
- Crooks and Liars: "As a cancer survivor I wish him well."
- Anonymous Liberal: "I have a hunch Tony Snow will set the new gold standard by which all
future press secretaries will be judged. A quick review of Snow's
recent political columns has made one thing very clear to me: Snow
really knows how to put lipstick on a pig. He was born for this job."
- DailyKos has had no front page post on Snow's appointment. I've noticed a number of liberal bloggers haven't said anything about it yet, either. The most popular Snow item for the Kos Kids seems to be this resuscitation of the old Jeff Gannon obsession.
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013