Thursday, July 06, 2006

White House Response To Lay's Death: Spin, Spin, Spin!

During this afternoon's press briefing with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, a reporter asked about President Bush's reaction to the death of disgraced Enron founder Ken Lay.

The response, for lack of a better word, was "sad."

Q What has been the President's reaction to the death of Ken Lay?

SNOW: I really haven't talked to him about it. I'll give you my own personal reaction, which is when somebody dies you leave behind those who grieve and I think they deserve our compassion. But I don't know, what do you think would be the appropriate thing to say?

Q I don't know. I don't know him. The President was his friend, not me.

SNOW: No, the President has described Ken Lay as an acquaintance, and many of the President's acquaintances have passed on during his time in office. Again, I think -- it's sort of an interesting question, but not answerable by me.

Even at a solemn time, the administration was playing politics. Lay, whom Bush had ties with since at least 1990 and nicknamed "Kenny Boy," is officially dubbed an "acquaintance." Lay, who provided Enron's corporate jet for Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign, whose company was the top Bush donor from 1993 to 2001, whose company had 112 contacts with the Bush Administration in 2001 alone, including 40 contacts with the White House, who was a member of Vice President Cheney's clandestine Energy Task Force, and who apparently had various members of Bush's first cabinet on speed dial as Enron was imploding, was now an "acquaintance."

Dictionary.com gives an interesting example of how to use acquaintance: "I have trouble remembering the names of all my acquaintances." Yeah, that's the kind of relationship that Bush and "Kenny Boy" had.

Why does the administration and its spokespeople always try to spin things? Do they really think that there are votes to be gained, hearts to be won, opinions to be changed, by spinning Bush's relationship with Lay? Are they really so calculating -- or is it naive -- to believe that somehow Snow can give conservatives an angle to charge the reporter with "liberal media bias" for presuming the friendship?

Like I said, the best word to describe this is "sad."

21 Comments:

Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

Snow was a tool unofficially at Fox. Now for Bush, he's an official tool.

He's come up with this crap for six years. He's good at lying for the cause. Why be shocked?

2:15 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Hey, the spin works for the White House.
Such spin allows the conservative-dominated media an out whenever faced with all the evidences of Bush's close and long-established relationships with criminals like Lay and Jack Abramoff.
Mission accomplished.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Click here to read how Bush himself referred to Lay.

Hint: He didn't call Bush an "acquaintance."

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Sherman A1 said...

a true conservative

in this case truly conservative with the truth.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous savemefromdumbya said...

what is an aquaintance

the ones you have dinner with frequently?

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Jon8503 said...

Again, shows what kind of a press we have. Why do they allow that which is the obvious to not come into question. An acquaintenance is not someone you label with a nickname. An acquaintenance does not loan you a jet or give you milliions for campaign funds.

The press is braindead as usual.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inquiring minds want to know.
But we lack any inquiring minds from Bush con-servatiles.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Matt Browner-Hamlin said...

I think there’s a desire on the part of the Bush administration to create and preserve an aura of flawless, mistake-free, goodness around the President. He doesn’t make mistakes, he doesn’t have regrets, and he certainly wasn’t friends with a dead crook.

Politics aside, it’d be nice to see humility and honesty in the White House, a president who could admit when he’s made a mistake either in policy or in his choice of friends.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt that Ken Lay was a big financial supporter of President Bush and the Republican Party, but are you guys really as ignorant of Enron's ties to the Clinton Administration as you appear to be? I wonder.

Plenty of money was passed from one to the other in the 90s, and it bought a lot of access to the highest levels of the Clinton Administration. Clinton and Lay were no strangers to one another, and Ron Brown and other Commerce Secretaries under Clinton hosted frequent trade junkets for Enron execs.

Just as Clinton was constantly awarding contracts to Haliburton, (Oh my!) so too was Enron lobbying and benefiting from its White House contacts long before GWB was elected. Get a grip on reality, guys.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

The above post is mine.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Trinity, you're changing the subject.

The post is pretty clear. Snow tried to downplay Lay's friendship with Bush. Why spin, Trinity?

5:17 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, as usual, is that the best you can do is change the subject to Clinton?
I would ask for your opinion below on the Bush Administration disbanding the Bin Laden unit, but I suppose your response would be: "Well, Clinton failed to capture Bin Laden, too!" Naaa. Naaa!
If you want to dredge up Clinton, let's get one thing straight.
Clinton was a successful president. He was greatly admired and respected throughout the world and continues to be to this day.
His approval ratings would shame those of Bush.
Bush is a failed president. He has achieved getting himself and the U.S. almost universally hated.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

rob of wilmington, del. said...
"The post is pretty clear. Snow tried to downplay Lay's friendship with Bush. Why spin, Trinity?"


Rob, to some of you, everything that any conservative ever says is considered spin, and that's just a fact.

There is a definite difference between a true personal friend, and an acquaintance and/or supporter, even one with whom you have frequent dealings. It's not for you, me or anyone else to take it upon ourselves to characterize what someone else's relationship to another person might be.

I gave a perfunctory read to correspondence between then Gov. George W. Bush and Kenneth Lay that were posted on thesmokinggun.com, and although the two men were always very cordial to one another, it appeared to be the sort of relationship you would expect to exist between the governor of a state and the CEO of a large corporation from that same state.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/bushlay1.html

As for the nickname, "Kenny Boy", that GWB dubbed Kenneth Lay, how is that different from any other of the dozens, perhaps even hundreds of nicknames that President Bush has bestowed upon people he meets and interacts with? He is well-known for assigning sobriquets to the people around him. If a nickname denotes friendship, then the President has a shitload of "friends" in the Washington D.C. press corps. NOT!

The point that I was trying to make, is that while President Bush was in office, he didn't give Kenneth Lay any more access than President Clinton himself did when he was in the White House. Check out this photo....

http://www.mediaresearch.org/stillshots/2002/myers022602.jpg

If you'd care to see that video, here's the URL where you can access it.

http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020226.asp

With regard to twot's assertion that Clinton was a successful president, and that Bush is a failed one, I would only say that I hope he realizes that not all Americans feel that way.

As for old, socialistic Europe, whose collective butts we have saved on more than one occasion, (as well as some other misguided countries worldwide) their anti-American sentiments are well-known, and as they continue to experience the atrocities of Islamo-fascist extremists, they will come to understand that what the U.S. is trying to do to fight this evil ideology is not just the right option, but the only option.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

Trinity, once again you've nailed it.

Liberals find a letter with Bush making chit-chat and calling Lay his friend. A few photos pop up with the Bushes and the Lays together in social settings. C'mon, liberals, that's what politicians do! Pow! Clinton probably called Lay his friend, too, right? I bet there's a letter somewhere, not that I expect you liberals to find it. And if he didn't call Lay his friend, you know he thought it, right Trinity?

And Trinity, you're dead-on to ignore the point JABBS made about Enron being Bush's top donor from 1993 to 2001, and giving Bush the corporate jet during the 2000 presidential campaign. C'mon, liberals, wake up and smell reality.

Lay was close with Bush's dad. That's how Bush and Lay even knew each other. The younger Bush probably came up with "Kenny Boy" just to make his dad happy. That's probably why he called Lay his friend in the letter, and so on. He didn't mean it, right amigo? He was just being a politician -- or a politician's son. Or both.

Like Trinity says, Clinton gave Lay just as much access. But Lay didn't get the policy changes he wanted, I guess, so he started backing Dubya. Nothing wrong with that, liberals. It's called habeus corpus. Clinton didn't scratch Lay's back -- too busy with Monica, right Trinity? -- and Lay saw the future, and helped put his energy buddies, Bush and Cheney, into the White House.

"With regard to twot's assertion that Clinton was a successful president, and that Bush is a failed one, I would only say that I hope he realizes that not all Americans feel that way."

Pow! Trinity, you know how to teach liberals a lesson.

Look at the polls, liberal America. Clinton's popularity when he left office was 68%. Bush's popularity now is 41%.

Do the math, liberals. A solid 32% of Americans were pissed with Clinton. You know who those people are? Proud conservatives. They stood up for their values.

They were right then, and they're right now, right Trinity? The 41% supporting Bush are the dead-on accurate 32% who were pissed with Clinton, plus a few RINOs. Name a liberal who has 41% of the country behind him. Can't do it, right liberals?

And if 41% support Bush, then clearly "not all Americans" consider Bush a failure, just like Trinity said. Stop with the hyperbole, liberals.

Pay attention to people like Trinity, liberal America. He'll show you what's what, right buddy? Pow!

12:51 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

The fact that Bush was chummy with the biggest corporate crook in history is only part of the story. We have the fact that Bush refused to allow the federal government to step into the California electric crisis, so Enron traders could unabated raise costs in the state for innocent electric consumers and force the state's utilities into bankruptcy, the fact that Lay and other Enron executives played a big role in drafting U.S. Energy policy UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION and the fact that Cheney refuses to release the records of those meetings to the public after the Enron scandal surfaced, the fact that Bush's PR flack did a "Snow" job on the press and lied about Bush's relationship with Lay (although as JABBS points out in a post above Bush has contradicted his own flack), and the fact that conservatives see absolutely nothing wrong with any of the above, tells you a lot about what everyone should know about conservatives. "Pow!"
But of course, conservatives see no reason for concern with Bush having cozied up Abramhoff and Osama Bin Laden's family as well.
"Pow!".
We have the usual lame conservative defense, if someone is powerful and makes a lot of money, they are too be respected. It does not matter how wretched how criminal how corrupt, how many lives they have destroyed, and how wrong they are. "POW!" I think I nailed it.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

"We have the fact that Bush refused to allow the federal government to step into the California electric crisis, so Enron traders could unabated raise costs in the state for innocent electric consumers and force the state's utilities into bankruptcy,"

C'mon liberals, do you really think the Bush Administration is going to get in the way of our great capitalist system?

You're focusing on one time when maybe the federal government should have done something. What about the thousands of times when capitalism works well? Think of all the times that you bought groceries, a car, a house, without forcing a state agency into bankruptcy. Do you really expect the Bush Administration to be on top of things so closely as to know which one time to do something? Be realistic, liberal America.

And let's face facts, California is one of the most liberal states in America. Not a lot of incentive for the Bush Administration to help "innocent electric consumers." Stop your whining, liberals. People in California are rich, at least the legal ones. Bunch of liberal Hollywood types, and all those liberals in San Francisco. A lot of them deserve to be humbled by living in darkness.

"the fact that Lay and other Enron executives played a big role in drafting U.S. Energy policy UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION and the fact that Cheney refuses to release the records of those meetings to the public after the Enron scandal surfaced"

You clearly don't understand how government works. It's e pluribus unum, buddy boy. Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. You think that Lay and the rest of Enron were Bush's top donor from 1993 to 2001 because they liked Bush? Of course not. They wanted access, and that's what they got.

And do you really think that they'd want access to do the "right thing"? C'mon, liberals. Wake up and smell reality. Lay wanted access to do the right thing for Lay. Bush and Cheney knew that, too. No one's in the dark here, except for you liberals.

Maybe if some earthy-crunchy types wanted to, they could pledge $1 billion or so to Hillary or someone, get her in the White House, and then have access oon clandestine meetings on environmental and energy policies. Then they can do the "right thing." Until then, though, stop whining. Instead, start going door-to-door in Vermont or Massachusetts. Pow!

3:50 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

You missed my larger point that conservatives do not find any problem with the highly questionable company that Bush tends to surround himself, Lay, OBL, Abramhoff, and the bigger question of how such relationships may be influencing policy.
Bush was repeatedly fully briefed on what was going on in California and still made a conscious decision not to take action. If we had an unbiased press, this decision would be looked upon as yet another huge blunder and gross incompetence of the Bush Administration.
It is all "business as usual" in the conservatives mind -- that is until it is seen within a Democratic administration.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous MrToffeeLovesYa said...

"If we had an unbiased press, this decision would be looked upon as yet another huge blunder and gross incompetence of the Bush Administration."

Wake up and smell reality, liberals. We don't have an unbiased press.

Think about how newspapers use "liberal" and "conservative," and not just in political coverage. Newspapers say a movie director was "liberal" with his use of special effects. Does that mean conservatives can't enjoy the flick, too? Has the liberal Hollywood agenda taken over? Not on my main street, buddy.

Newspapers say a recipe needs a "conservative" use of cream. If I'm a conservative, and I want to fill my strudel with cream, why the hell should the liberal media care? Who made them the recipe gestapo?

"It is all "business as usual" in the conservatives mind -- that is until it is seen within a Democratic administration."

The liberal media does a great job of pointing out Bush blunders, buddy bud. It's just that nobody listens to them. Michael Moore preached to the choir, so it didn't make a difference. When Charlton Heston stars in a movie about Bush's blunders, folks in Kansas will pay attention.

The same liberal media pointed out Clinton's blunders. You know why people listened? Because sex sells, amigo. If the New York Times had a story about Ken Lay in a stained dress, folks in Kansas would pay attention. Pow!

5:48 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

You still ignore my larger point. Why do conservatives not find any problem with -- and explain away like you and Trinity have done above --Bush close associations with some of the biggest criminals and tyrants in history.
And why to conservatives fail to even acknowledge -- much less comment on -- what influence on policy decisions these relationships might have?

Not to go off the subject, but I would love to hear conservatives explain away, like Bush Administration Ambassador Nicolas Burns did on Meet The Press so clearly and irrefutably did yesterday: HOW BUSH HAS ALLOWED NORTH KOREA TO ORIGINATE AND DEVELOP A NUCLEAR ARMS PROGRAM SINCE 2000.

11:10 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity says fighting Islamo-fascist extremists is the "right and only option."
So how is fighting insurgents in Iraq related to fighting Islamo-fascist extremist? Maybe you should find something to do other than parroting Bushie talking points.
A very small percentage of the movement in Iraq is comprised on such people, and they are only there because Bush created the terrorist training ground by invading Iraq. WAKE UP.

1:19 PM  
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5:42 PM  

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