Reports Editor and Publisher:
A not especially eventful press briefing at the White House today turned rancorous with NBC's David Gregory telling Press Secretary Tony Snow, "Don't point your finger at me," and Snow accusing the newsman of being "rude" and delivering Democratic talking points....
Snow got into a tussle with Gregory after the NBC journalist told him, in a lengthy remark, that the public may wonder why the president's statement and report today on the war on terror did not admit more failings on the administration's part. Snow observed that he had nicely summarized "the Democratic point of view," and Gregory took exception to this.
Q Actually, Tony, I don't think that's fair, if you look at the facts. If you look at the facts.
MR. SNOW: Well, I do, because -- no, because, for instance --
Q No, no, no. No, I don't think you should be able to just wipe that, kind of dismiss the question --
MR. SNOW: Well, let me --
Q It's not a Democratic argument, Tony.
MR. SNOW: Let me answer the question, David.
Q But hold on, let's not let you get away with saying that's a Democratic argument.
MR. SNOW: Okay, let me -- let's not let you get away with being rude. Let me just answer the question, and you can come back at me.
Q Excuse me. Don't point your finger at me. I'm not being rude.
MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.
Q Don't try to dismiss me as making a Democratic argument, Tony, when I'm speaking fact.
MR. SNOW: Well, okay -- well, no --
Q You can do that to the Democrats; don't do it to me.
MR. SNOW: No, I'm doing it to you because the second part was factually tendentious, okay? Now, when you were talking about the fact that it failed to adapt, that's just flat wrong. And you will be -- there has been -- there have been repeated attempts to try to adapt to military realities, to diplomatic realities, to development of new weapons and tools on the part of al Qaeda, including the very creative use of the Internet. So the idea that somehow we're staying the course is just wrong. It is absolutely wrong.