When under fire, Bush and his aides use language with great cunning. Some observers of Bush's comments on Tuesday, for instance, could have walked away thinking he had definitively denied that partisan politics played a role in the firings. But in fact, as I wrote in yesterday's column, all Bush really said was that "there is no indication that anybody did anything improper." The existence of a transcript creates the possibility that reporters will follow up and ask him what that really means.For years now, Rove and gang have been able to stoke up their wingnut scream machine to have everyone believe the MSM truly is extremely liberal. Leaving aside that it's nonsense, they've been able to use this perception to shame the journalists into silence. Instead of doing their jobs and asking the tough questions, they've kept silent so as to not appear overly attack-dog-ish and thus liberal. As a result, this administration has had it easy for many years -- much, much easier than Bill Clinton had in his two terms.
Elite Washington journalists are notoriously averse to doing anything that might get them labeled as liberals -- but there is nothing remotely partisan about grilling administration officials relentlessly about their resistance to creating a public record on a matter of such significance.
I thought the MSM was waking up to all of this manipulation, but many still appear to be intimidated by it and cower. Sad.