Though things have begun to turn around in Iraq and Bush's perseverance is in route to vindication, don't expect any mea culpas from the Bush bashers. Predictably, we're just witnessing new tactics in their seven years war to destroy him.
They thought they'd hit the jackpot with the excerpts from the new book by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. McClellan claims, "I had unknowingly passed along false information (about Scooter Libby and Karl Rove's role in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case). And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the Vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the President himself."
From Chris Matthews to Keith Olbermann to David Shuster, mainstream-media talking heads thought they'd uncovered another smoking gun in the president's hand. The print big boys took their cue.
The Los Angeles Times apparently saw this as an opening to resurrect an older story first appearing in The New York Times on April 1, 2007, detailing how ex-Bush aide Matthew Dowd had "lost faith in Bush."
Dowd, a Texas Democrat, had signed on with Bush because he "was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington." But after being part of Bush's "political brain trust" for six years, he decided that Bush was not living up to his promise.
But that's old news, right? Not quite. The Los Angeles Times rehashed the story again last week in what appears to be a shameless ploy to pile on Bush with this "Bush insiders turn on Bush" theme.
As usual, this is just more hot air with no substance. As for the mainstream-media spin that McClellan claimed Bush deceived him on Plame, Peter Osnos, head honcho of McClellan's publisher, Public Affairs Books, flatly says that McClellan "did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him." Osnos said Bush told McClellan what "he thought to be the case." And, McClellan believes that "the president didn't know it was not true."
Don't expect any retractions from the mainstream media since their original story will continue to serve their purpose of painting Bush, Cheney and Rove as despicable demons.
But how about the dramatic turnabout of Matthew Dowd from confidence to disappointment in Bush? Though the headline fits the mainstream media's "Bush is evil" template, what does the underlying LA Times story reveal?