Thursday :: Apr 8, 2004

Initial Media Reactions To Condi

by Steve

I suspect when all is said and done, most of the mainstream press will gloss over Condi Rice’s testimony today and follow White House attempts to “move on, nothing to look at here.” There is already evidence of that in some of the first media accounts of today’s session, where Tom Raum of the AP gives Rice good marks, as does Business Week. And you can be sure that the Washington Post editorial page tomorrow will adopt the Bush line as well.

But it’s interesting that there isn’t even agreement within the AP on how Rice did today. While Raum gave the White House what it wanted by praising Rice, his colleague Calvin Woodward certainty didn’t, pointing out some of the new developments and discrepancies in her remarks. Terrence Hunt of the AP also gave a more balanced account than Raum. Noticeably, CBS News isn’t buying the exoneration attempts either.

Rice also claimed that Woodward’s quote in “Bush at War” that the administration “didn’t feel a sense of urgency” about the Al Qaeda threat actually dealt with killing Bin Laden. It will be interesting to see how Woodward responds to Rice in essence saying he screwed up. Furthermore, Rice did everything she could to blame the FBI and CIA for not bringing information forward and connecting the dots for her and Bush. Since Tenet and Mueller testify next week, and the spooks truly know what was sent up to the White House, it will be interesting to see what gets leaked next from the Agency.

Once again, Rice wanted to make the point that the Bushies were only in office for eight months and couldn’t be expected to have an anti-terror plan ready to go that wasn’t “swatting at flies.” Yet after being out of office for eight years this regime came into office with well-developed plans for remaking the Middle East, but somehow didn’t have any plans for dealing with Al Qaeda? Sorry, no sale.

Richard Clarke had the opportunity to refute some of her claims on-air with ABC News, which he did effectively while shrewdly saying that her testimony actually corroborates his claims.

The Center for American Progress has already done an analysis of the discrepancies and hypocrisies in Rice’s Q&A and opening statement against the record.

Bill Clinton testified for three hours in closed session today after Rice did, and he will have the chance to refute Rice’s attempts today to blame the previous administration for 9/11. Let’s keep an eye out to see what now gets leaked about his testimony.

Steve :: 4:05 PM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!