Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary
FOX Anchor, Radio Host Faces Low-Blow Oppo Tactics
For the FOX News Channel-hating "mainstream" press, it's too good to pass up: with Bush poised to select the next White House Press Secretary from the ranks of the Murdoch- owned outlet, here's a fresh chance to skewer his administration.
Suddenly, mild-mannered TV news anchor/ radio talk show host Tony Snow has become Insta-devil to the left, while previously not a major target.
Why not? Because rather than readily engage in partisan bomb-throwing, Snow has always been far more cautious.
While that has sometimes made his radio talk show a bit on the tame side, it's an excellent quality when performing under pressure at the White House.
Given his substantial background in politics and broadcasting, it's hard to imagine a better possible pick. That may be what has Democrats so up in arms over his selection. Take a look at his background:
Snow previously served as host of FOX News Sunday (FNS), the FOX Broadcasting network's Sunday morning public affairs program. As host of FNS from 1996 to 2003, Snow interviewed numerous world leaders, including National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice; Secretary of State Colin Powell; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Sen. Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.; Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.; Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf; and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Before joining FOX News, Snow was a nationally syndicated columnist with The Detroit News from 1993 to 2001. He was also a columnist for USA Today from 1994 to 2000. Earlier, he served as an editorial writer at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, VA; editorial page editor of The Daily Press in Newport News, VA; deputy editorial page editor of The Detroit News; and editorial page editor of The Washington Times. Snow's career in journalism began in 1979 when he was an editorial writer for The Greensboro Record in North Carolina.
In 1991, Snow took a sabbatical from journalism to work in the White House for President George H. Bush. He first served as the deputy assistant to the president for communications and director of speechwriting, and later as deputy assistant to the president for media affairs.
Because his radio talk show never really took off (and often competes against Rush Limbaugh where it is heard), giving up that side of his media career shouldn't be too big of a sacrifice. In addition, he could likely return to FOX News at the completion of any White House stint.
One major consideration: his health. Snow has been battling colon cancer for some time, how this might factor into the situation isn't clear. Reuters is reporting he's now been given a green light, after tests conducted earlier this week.
Neither Snow's mild-mannered behavior nor his cancer battle will quiet lefty critics, who reflexively dislike anyone connected with Bush. With just a quick search, look what turned up:
(Kos commenter) This is a huge gaffe, and now the cork can't go back in the bottle. Think of it. "Ex-Fox anchor" will follow Snow around, wherever he goes. Attention will be paid to his vile lies of the last 5 years, which he will now have to publicly defend. I think Ailes thought the free publicity would be good, but this is about to become a train wreck for Fox whether Snow accepts or doesn't.
It's lose-lose for Fox all the way. If he turns down the "offer," he looks like a chicken sh-- wimp too afraid to defend der Führ fearless Leader for the loss of free bagels in the green room. If he accepts the offer, he becomes the story and may rival Kerik in terms of the speed of his resignation.
On Snow and race issues, more Kos crapola here.
Snow has had a recent bout with colon cancer- (not uncommon for clench-sphinctered Republicans) which accounts for his hollow-eyed, narrow-foreheaded, Frankenstein look lately.
It's probably a good move for the beleaguered White House, whose fearless leader's approval ratings dropped to 32% today in the new CNN poll. That's a point drop from the weekend's Fox poll which gave him 33%.
The left-leaning TVNewser with a warning:
Tony Snow Is About To Be Scrutinized
Question from The Note: "Can you name the news organization or interest group that has already done the most thorough analysis of Tony Snow's columns and television and radio appearance transcripts, on not just gas prices but the full range of topics? Answer: OH, YES, WE CAN."
At David Brock's O'Reilly/FOX-obsessed Media Matters, Snow is an outright liar (but curiously, Al Franken isn't):
Even more Tony Snow falsehoods
Summary: Media Matters for America documented a number of Tony Snow's false or misleading claims when it was reported that he was on the shortlist for the position of White House press secretary. Following are numerous additional claims advanced by Snow in print and on the air.
With Snow's likely selection, today could be Day One of a true turnaround in the Bush Administration's fortunes. That's the last thing these guys would like to see happen.
UPDATE: New York Times reports Dems using Snow's recent criticism of Bush against him. Nice BBC spin, Snow is reduced to merely a "radio presenter".
Newsbusters has an excellent round-up of Snow-related commentaries, including some nasty words from the left.
Get a load of the anti-Snow Frankenspin at this ABC story!
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Top Snow image: David A Lunde