Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Blustery Snow: White House press spokesman Tony Snow and his boss (and his boss’s boss) have been fiercely critical of The New York Times for its decision to publish a story about the Treasury Department’s efforts to track terror funding by trawling through private bank records. The National Review then ran an editorial calling on the White House to withdraw the Times’ press credentials.

But if Bush, Cheney and Snow are right, and The New York Time (and the L.A. Times and The Wall Street Journal, which also ran stories on the subject) really did put national security at risk, then the National Review’s proposed punishment seems modest, the least a concerned administration would do under the circumstances. So why does Snow say there will be no denial of access to the Times?

Greg Sargent, at Eat the Press, cuts to the chase: “Either officials won’t act aggressively against an institution they’re claiming puts American lives at risk, because it's politically untenable. That would mean the administration is putting politics ahead of aggressively prosecuting behavior it says endangers American lives. Or the administration doesn't genuinely believe The Times has put our national security at risk at all, and hence won't act. If this is the case, both Snow and Cheney blatantly and repeatedly lied….

“Either the administration is putting politics ahead of national security and won’t act aggressively against an institution it says is endangering American lives—because it would be bad for Bush. Or the administration’s claim that The Times endangered national security is just the latest in a long string of lies it has told to the American people. Which is it?”Greg thinks he knows the answer. So do I.

Tony Snow has not been in the job very long, but he needs to learn than in the real world—as opposed to the media cocoon that is Fox News—bluster is not a PR strategy.

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