The Times got beat by both Politico.com and the Washington Post on the Scott McClellan tell-all, so it has an update today in which it suggests that the book is the result of sour grapes on McClellan’s part after “three tumultuous years” in the White House.
The Times has this quote from current press secretary Dana Perino:
“Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House,” she said.
If McClellan was given the chance to respond to that quote, we are not informed of it by the Times.
And at the end of the story, the paper returns to that trope [emphasis added].
He does have a number of kind words for Mr. Bush, particularly from the April day in 2006 when Mr. Bush met with Mr. McClellan after he learned he was being pushed out. “His charm was on full display, but it was hard to know if it was sincere or just an attempt to make me feel better,” Mr. McClellan writes. “But as he continued, something I had never seen before happened: tears were streaming down both his cheeks.”
Sounds pretty interesting, right? I either didn’t know or had forgotten that McClellan had been “pushed out.”
It’d be even better if the Times had bothered to tell me just what happened, or was said to have happened, with McClellan.
But the paper of record…doesn’t!It’s just, “tumultuous years” and “pushed out” and then we’re left to ascertain the rest for ourselves.
Which is a disservice both to McClellan, as it plants a thought in the reader’s head (“disgruntled”) but provides no context or explanation or balance, and to the reader, who would like to know more.
It’s just sloppy, lazy, lousy journalism….