Media Try to Bag Another White House Official: Scott McClellan

In an article entitled "Credibility lapse threatens job security for McClellan," PR Week reports that two years ago White House press secretary Scott McClellan "flatly denied from the podium that Karl Rove and Lewis 'Scooter' Libby were involved in the leaking of CIA officer Valerie Plame's name." But after special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation revealed some involvement, "the White House press corps has adopted a seriously aggressive posture in questioning McClellan's credibility."

McClellan's situation is so bad that "Washington oddsmakers are now keeping a close eye on McClellan."

One White House correspondent who wanted to remain anonymous "predicts McClellan, who replaced Ari Fleischer as press secretary in summer 2003, will soon be leaving his post. 'I'm expecting very big changes,' the correspondent says."

Deborah Mathis, a syndicated columnist and former White House correspondent for Gannett, says McClellan "does not have the aptitude to continue as the White House's top communicator."

"I've been through a lot of press secretaries," says Mathis. "There are some really good ones out there. There are some average ones out there. And there are a few who have no business there. And I would put Scott in that last category."

Connie Lawn, White House correspondent since 1968 and currently employed by USA Radio Network, became the first member of the press corps to ask him if he should resign.

So what are the nefarious words of Scott McClellan, worthy of his dismissal? Fortunately because of the Internet, you can now read the text of press conferences yourself, without relying on mainstream media filters.

On October 7, 2003, a reporter asked McClellan:

"Scott, you have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked?"

McClellan replied that indeed he asked them.

"I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did."

Responded a reporter, "So you're saying -- you're saying categorically those three individuals were not the leakers or did not authorize the leaks; is that what you're saying?"

"That's correct. I've spoken with them."

So this is what has raised the ire of White House correspondents, McClellan relaying the denials of others. Because he relayed Scooter Libby's denial, MSM reporters believe McClellan deserves the same punishment.

Valerie Plame Disclosure

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