McClellan Originally Wanted to Attack Media, Defend Bush
By Matthew Sheffield Posted in Scott McClellan | The White House — Comments (5) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Although today his book is being touted by left-wing reporters and pundits, his initial plans for the project show former White House press secretary Scott McClellan intended to take a much different approach, one that was more sympathetic to President Bush but also quite hard on the "liberal elites" of the Washington press corps and their "hostility" toward the administration.
Reading through McClellan's original book proposal, obtained by Politico.com, it is clear that before his editor Peter Osnos took the book on a sharp leftward turn, McClellan wanted to turn the tables on foes in the press gallery including far-left columnist Helen Thomas and NBC correspondent David Gregory.
"I came to know and respect those who were assigned to the White House beat. They are solid professionals, but rarely scrutinized or put under the microscope. I will take a look at notable personalities in the White House Briefing Room, including David Gregory and Helen Thomas. I anticipate an entire chapter about the former," McClellan writes in his proposal.
According to McClellan, America's elite journalists have a dramatic problem with political diversity which in turn leads them to skew the political debate in a leftward direction. The media are in a "constant state of denial" when it comes to admitting this.
Read on . . .
I will look at what is behind the media hostility toward the President and his Administration, and how much of it is rooted in a liberal bias.
The public holds the national media in low esteem. I think there are several reasons why, and I intend to write about them in some detail while discussing ways the media could improve their image. It is more than just the perceived arrogance, cynicism, gotcha-journalism, and lack of accountability. The establishment media does not tend to reflect Main Street America, or spend enough time focusing on the issues that matter most to the general public, and too often sacrifice substance for process. They tend to reflect the liberal elites of New York and Washington that are part of the social circles in which they run, and it shows in their reporting. Yet, they live in a constant state of denial when it comes to acknowledging such an obvious fact.
Fairness is defined by the establishment media within the left-of-center boundaries they set. They defend their reporting as fair because both sides are covered. But, how fair can it be when it is within the context of the liberal slant of the reporting? And, while the reporting of the establishment media may be based on true statements and facts, is it an accurate picture of what is really happening?
The fact that McClellan's revised, Bush-bashing book is being so heavily promoted by the top media outlets is a testament to the veracity of McClellan's original thesis. It is also a validation of one of the right's biggest critiques of the Bush Administration--its loyalty fetish. Scott McClellan should never have been appointed to his position. He only obtained it because of his personal connections, not through his merit or affinity for conservative principles. That he turned on Bush is not exactly surprising.
Full text of McClellan's proposal.