Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Tony Snow Doublethink Award

In George Orwell's 1984, "doublethink" is the ability to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accept both of them. I know poor Tony's only just started, but it looks like this is going to be fun. Here's a morsel from his first White House press briefing on the topic of the most recent NSA domestic spying scandal:
MR. SNOW: .... Again, I would take you back to the USA Today story, simply to give you a little context. Look at the poll that appeared the following day. While there was — part of it said 51 percent of the American people opposed...but something like 64 percent of the polling was not troubled by it. ...

Q: But there are polls that show Americans are very concerned about it.

MR. SNOW: The President — you cannot run a security — you cannot base national security on poll numbers. As the President of the United States you have to make your own judgments about what is in the nation's best interest.

Q: You just brought it up, though.
Check out these favorable poll numbers! What? An unfavorable poll? You can't trust poll numbers. Classic.

And that's not all. During the same exchange, after discussing how Americans are unperturbed by the NSA's activities, Snow made the following mind-numbing utterance:
Having said that, I don't want to hug the tar baby of trying to comment on the program — the alleged program — the existence of which I can neither confirm nor deny.
So, he's willing to comment on how Americans allegedly feel about a program that he can't even confirm the existence of? Another Orwell quote comes to mind, this one from "Politics and the English Language":
Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
A little more evasion and ham-handed nonsense from Tony and he could legitimately run for president. I hope he doesn't, though, because these press briefings look like they're going to be damned entertaining.
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