Snow Spins That Woodward's Sources Weren't "Key Players"
When it comes to politics, there are always two sides -- if not more -- to any story.
But what if one of the sides presented is pure drivel? Should it be given consideration, or should it be challenged?
That's a question someone should be asking Christopher Cuomo, anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, who either was woefully unprepared for his interview yesterday morning with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, or couldn't bring himself to challenge a false claim.
Snow claimed that author Bob Woodward didn't rely on "key players" within the Bush Administraiton in reporting his book State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III, which portrays President Bush as presenting to the public a misleadingly upbeat assessment of progress in Iraq.
But Woodward's sources for the book reportedly include Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, retired U.S. Army Gen. Jay Garner, the former head of reconstruction in Iraq, and former White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr., among others.
And the White House cooperated with Woodward on the two predecessor books, Bush At War and Plan of Attack.
So what was Cuomo thinking during this exchange:
CUOMO: Tony, is the president in a "state of denial" when it comes to Iraq?
SNOW: No, and I think Bob may have lots of sources in the administration, but they obviously weren't key players. ... Again, Bob may have lots of good sources, and I'm sure he's quoting them accurately. The problem is, they're like people sitting on the outside of the room speculating about what's going on on the inside.
CUOMO: At this point, do you believe it's a fair expectation that things will get worse in the next year in Iraq ...
Either Cuomo, in preparing for his interview, didn't read either a summary of State Of Denial, as was available in the Oct. 1 and Oct, 2 editions of the Washington Post, as well as in Newsweek, or he was unprepared for Snow to offer such a bald-faced lie about Woodward's sourcing.
When Bush At War was released, the White House posted excerpts on its website. Now that Woodward's tone has changed, it's open season on his reporting skills.
Rather than address the claims made in the book, and provide its own take on events or information that Woodward either failed to use or discounted, all the White House can do is play "kill the messenger."
It's weak, and Cuomo for one should have acted like a journalist and played fact-checker.