Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Liar is Dead, Long Live the Liar

Thomas Nast took down Tammany Hall. Herblock and Conrad helped take down Nixon (ok, along with a couple obscure reporters and the rest of the country) . Now Candorville has claimed its first victim: White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Of course, the White House will spin this to try and convince us all that McClellan quit for personal reasons. They'll tell us he's simply tired of toying with, and telling blatant lies to, an increasingly indignant press corps. They'll say he's tired of trivializing Dick Cheney's tendency to shoot friends in the face, even while he knew that friend had suffered a heart attack as a result. He's tired of rationalizing Mr. Bush's non-response to Hurricane Katrina, of lying (or being kept in the dark) about White House leaks. He's tired of lying about Mr. Bush's record and ducking legitimate questions about important matters. He's tired of having his ass handed to him over and over again by a woman old enough to be his grandmother (who happened to be the only reporter in the press corps who was never intimidated by the White House's bullying tactics). He's tired of demanding apologies from legitimate news organizations for their despicable tendency to have reporters occasionally report on the Administration, and their underhanded practice of reporting on how the President's war is going.

McClellan's frustration with the Media is understandable. They spoiled this Administration by not asking tough questions, by allowing themselves to be intimidated, by fearing that they'll be called "liberal," or even find their access to sources pulled, if they appeared too confrontational. Then, one day, the White House press corps woke up from its four and a half year coma, and without so much as a word from Scotty, completely changed the rules on him. From that point on, it's been all downhill for the embattled Press Secretary. One bungled crisis after another, one scandal come to light after another. It's enough to make a man want to spend more time with his family. And that's exactly what the White House will tell us.

But obviously, all this is just a smokescreen. We all know McClellan resigned just to spite Candorville. This is a blatant attempt to rob a humble comic strip of one of its most effective recurring devices: Scott McClellan as the embodiment of the most hilariously mendacious White House in modern history.

What they didn't count on was that the satire gods always step in to rescue columnists and stand-up comics, talk show hosts and even forsaken cartoonists: Fox News is reporting that Tony Snow, a Fox News reporter, is in the running to become the next White House spokesman. As Josh Micah Marshall put it today, "isn't this more of an interdepartmental transfer?"

If our leaders are going to keep writing the cartoons for me, I'm going to have to send them royalties.


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Rick S. said...


Don't worry. This administration will continue churning out funny stuff for you until 2009. Sad, but true.

By the way, I liked Candorville today (05/14/2006). I suppose you could go back to when the English and Dutch were colonizing the East coast if you wanted. Perhaps the only immigrants not perceived as a menace were the ones brought here against their will.


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