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Friends in High Places Speaking Truth to Power: Go Knox!

chicago dyke's picture

Well now, all you naysayers should take note: our friend Mr. Knox earned his cookie today.

What kinds of conversations does executive privilege protect?…What are the limits on privilege?'' a newspaper columnist wrote in the spring of 1998 on a subject strangely familiar today.

"Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration,'' the columnist wrote. "Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything.''

"Sounds like you're reading an old column of mine,'' Tony Snow, the Bush administration's press secretary, said today, readily recognizing his nine-year-old words read back to him today at a press gaggle in which Snow was arguing for Bush's right to protect the internal deliberations of his White House staff.

In March 1998, Snow wrote for the Detroit News, in which this column appeared. Today, he is press secretary for another president confronting an aggressive Congress. It's a different situation, Snow insisted.

With credit to Olivier Knox of Agence France-Presse for a deft piece of document research, here is a copy of the column that Snow published in the Detroit News on March 29, 1998:

See, some of the SCLM do know how to use google and the blogs. Nice job, tough guy!

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Jakebnto's picture
Submitted by Jakebnto on

let's hope Olivier, and all his journo buddies, keep it up.


Submitted by lambert on

Thanks for putting that picture in my mind, FL. Thanks a lot.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

It's worth noting that the brave soul who asked Snow about his hypocracy was working for the French. Why, oh why, can't our press do a better job. It's not as though this whole business with Clinton was some obscure, long forgotten event. Most of these guys were active participants, and even merely interested observers like me remember what was said by the right then.