One of the best shows in Washington these days in the daily contest between Tony Snow, the ex-Fox newsman and current White House flak (we mean, spokesman), and David Gregory, the silver-haired NBC News correspondent.
Every day, it seems, Gregory asks a question that Snow finds highly irritating, if not totally partisan. Snow then engages in an empty rhetorical tap-dance, throws Gregory's question back at him, and accuses Gregory (and, by extension, the entire WH press corps) of bias.
Earth to Tony: Answering hard questions is part of the job. If anything, WH reporters has been too docile during the Bush years, letting the president and his people get away with ill-conceived policies (the Patriotic Act) and too many lapses in judgment (remember those WMDs?).
Yet the ever-partisan Mr. Snow never fails to find partisanship in tough questions, as if the role of the press is to sit on its hands and pretend that all is well in Washington and the world. It's not, and even George Bush would be better served by a press secretary who acknowledged the fact that democracies need reporters who routinely challenge authority.
To our way of thinking, David Gregory is serving the citizenry by pushing for more information and more honesty at the highest levels of the Executive Branch.
You can usually catch highlights of the Snow vs. Gregory contest on Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" program on MSMBC. Recommended viewing for the 71 percent of us (see previous entry) who think that Bush has blown it badly in Iraq.