Patterico's Pontifications

7/12/2008

AP Urinates on Tony Snow’s Memory

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:57 am



Tom Blumer at Newsbusters catches the AP attacking Tony Snow’s memory with tried-and-true techniques of liberal bias:

With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster’s good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook if not always a command of the facts he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses.

….. During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates

Not a single incorrect factual assertion by Snow is documented, and not a single critic is named.

If you could strap the reporter down to a table and waterboard him (you can’t, despite our best efforts to get such a law passed), he would eventually confess that the “critics,” none of whom he bothered to name, are him and his buddies at the water cooler. That’s how journalists get their opinions out there: simply attribute them to unnamed “critics.”

The AP would tell you they need balance in the story. But critics of the AP suggest that they are soulless ghouls and partisan hacks who were embarrassed by Snow’s superior command of the facts while he was alive — so they waited until he was dead, and couldn’t fight back, to urinate on his reputation.

56 Responses to “AP Urinates on Tony Snow’s Memory”

  1. Hm…well, what is the standard here? Let’s say this was someone like Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore, or Ralph Nader. Should there be no mention of the criticism leveled at them? Should their obits be entirely glowing?

    Anon (0f1104)

  2. And before I get grief for it, let me say that I don’t know much about Tony Snow, but he certainly seemed likable enough, and I have never wished him ill.

    Anon (0f1104)

  3. I don’t recall the AP attacking Tim Russert this way and they were right not to. An obituary isn’t the time or place to settle scores.

    DRJ (cfa65f)

  4. They want their press release, they want their sound bite, they want enough of incoherence and gaffes (Sorry, Scott McClellan) to justify their spin, they want stupid answers to “gotcha” questions (Sorry again, Scott McClellan), and Tony Snow was not cooperating. Damn! Just who did he think he was? Didn’t he know they had to put fresh fruit on the table for their children white wine and cheese for their guests?

    nk (0826e5)

  5. I didn’t read any of Russert’s obits, but I wouldn’t have been bothered if there had been criticism of him.

    Let’s take Jimmy Carter. I know that there are many on the right who have criticized his post-president activities. Should his obit mention this? I don’t think it would bother me too much if it did.

    Anon (0f1104)

  6. Tony Snow was never a controversial figure, by any measurable realistic standard. He was a journalist, a talk show host, a speechwriter, a newsman and a press secretary. Comparing him to politicians or a bomb thrower like Moore is somewhat inane.

    The most controversial thing Tony ever did was accept the WH press secretary position. That is enough to engender such disdain and even outright hatred for him among the proggressive left. Those are insane people.

    Pablo (99243e)

  7. I don’t think Douglass K. Daniel and Jennifer Loven can help themselves. Loven especially.

    Paul (ae2fbe)

  8. Comparing propagandist hack Moore to Snow should earn a banning…

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  9. Pablo, okay. So the standard is that it is okay to mention criticism of deceased politicians and controversial figures, but not otherwise? How about Dan Rather? So it will not be okay for any conservative publication to mention criticism of Dan Rather in his obituary?

    Anon (0f1104)

  10. It would be classless to put unfounded smears in Rather’s obit. References to actual history are another matter. You’ll note which of those are in the Snow piece.

    Pablo (99243e)

  11. I’ll say it again; Tony Snow fielded “reality based” delusionally nonsensical questions from such lions of the press as David Gregory and Helen Thomas, and answered them with a smile and a quip. Now the AP believes that David Gregory and Helen Thomas are “lions of the press”. Those of us who are not delusional, disagree.

    May he rest in peace, and my condolences to the widow and family.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  12. Pablo, I guess I would not care at all if some obits said things like, “Critics have accused Dan Rather of being driven by ideology rather than solid investigative reporting.” (In fact, I think it is true.) However, I could imagine that others would perhaps consider this to be a smear.

    I guess I do think that the AP obit was a bit tasteless, but I guess I would consider it more to be one of degree, rather than a transgression across a clear-cut line.

    As you can tell, I don’t have strong feelings either way about the AP obit. Just a bit surprised by the degree of feeling it seems to have generated. I think that if I had read a similar obit about Clinton’s press secretary in a conservative publication, I would not think twice about it.

    Anon (0f1104)

  13. anon – your a typical liberal, you start w/

    Hm…well, what is the standard here? Let’s say this was someone like Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore, or Ralph Nader. Should there be no mention of the criticism leveled at them? Should their obits be entirely glowing?

    and then when the standard is spelled out, i.e. tim russert’s obit you then change tact w/ this gem

    but I wouldn’t have been bothered if there had been criticism of him.

    why dont you go join the lovefest over on DKos, they are certainly more your kind. or hey, maybe Patterico will extend his Helms challenge w/ Tony Snow comments in place of Helms comments. you’ll come up w/ another line of “reasoning”, you “progessives” get so much pleasure out of spitting on the dead since you cant even begin to reach their height of accomplishments.

    chas (12a229)

  14. Such as when Michael Moore kicks the KFC bucket, it would be a smear to call him a liar who couldn’t find his ass with both hands, a flashlight and trained guide horses.

    It wouldn’t be a smear to state that he won a ‘Best Documentary’ Oscar for a movie that did not qualify as a documentary under rule 12 of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Documentaries have to be non-fictional).

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  15. anon

    Patterico’s point was that unnamed critics are pissing on a guy who didn’t deserve it.

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  16. think that if I had read a similar obit about Clinton’s press secretary in a conservative publication, I would not think twice about it.

    find any conservative publication (not some extreme right wing john birch type group’s newsletter) that has published a obit w/ insults and such in the last 5 or 10 years.

    chas (12a229)

  17. Anon, we get your point. However, might I point out that when Ted Kennedy announced his tumor, all the respectable right wing blogs expressed condolences and prayers to him and his family, although diagreeing with him politically, they did not wish him this suffering. Yeah, you could find some hateful blogs, but they are not the ones Republican candidates cater to, or invite to conventions, ect. Can you not see the difference? I know you can’t wait to get out your vitriol. Would it be to much to assume you are of the party of love and tolerance? God bless Tony Snow, and God bless Patterico and his other commentators for their respect.

    James Piper (59c408)

  18. “So it will not be okay for any conservative publication to mention criticism of Dan Rather in his obituary?”

    The difference is that any criticism of Rather’s career could include his reporting of known fraudulent “facts” in order to smear a President in the last stages of a campaign. If they’re going to accuse Snow of “not knowing all of the facts,” then they have the obligation to publish an example of same. Since they didn’t, it’s typical ass – hattery from a biased news source, and displays a complete and utter lack of class and journalistic responsibility. They couldn’t pin anything of substance on the man while he was alive, so they choose this moment to fling some poo at him – disgraceful.

    Dmac (416471)

  19. Moore’s ass can be seen on Google earth, and no one would care if Moore didn’t show it at every chance.

    Snow was unfailingly polite, gracious even when vigorously opposing an opinion. He consistently was able to disagree without being disagreeable.
    Moore is none of those things.

    I’m extremely agitated to have Snow mentioned in the same breath as Moore and think anon outta at least strike Moore from his list

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  20. Vague, unspecific attacks based on unnamed “critics”.

    That’s the professionalism we’re supposed to be in awe of?

    Crap.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. Should there be no mention of the criticism leveled at them?

    This wasn’t mention of criticism. This was actual criticism. In his obituary.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  22. #21 – it goes beyond criticism, they called him a liar, because of political differences they slander him after he passes away.

    and “anon” comes on and trys to “respectfully” bash him. i suspect anon is a regular poster scared of the ban bat so cowardly takes his shots behind a veil of secrecy. what a chickenshit.

    chas (12a229)

  23. It will interesting to see what the so-called paper of record will say about Tony in Sunday editions. Ditto for LAT. I don’t recall how they played up Saddam Hussein’s execution by Iraqi government, but know some of my neighbors were upset about the “execution” of his satanic sons Uday and Qusay.
    Aren’t many obits written up well beforehand? I suppose Loven’s vitriol gushes forth talking about anything the least conservative. One might compare the treatment given to Russert, Buckley, Snow and Helms. I wouldn’t bash Fatboys Teddy or Moore when they die, but I’m sure the left go out of their way to lionize both. Ditto for Jimmuh Carter. The spectre of watching a regal state funeral replete with hyperbole and highest praise would make me vomit.

    madmax333 (e278cc)

  24. Why not join me in declaring AP, like Reuters, Andrew Sullivan and others to be a waste of perfectly good electrons and stop reading them?

    Larry Sheldon (86b2e1)

  25. This wasn’t mention of criticism. This was actual criticism. In his obituary.

    Thank you, Jim. As always, you hit the nail on the head.

    Which reminds me, I need to go shopping for some new stogies.

    Helo at Drumwaster.com (381655)

  26. Why not join me in declaring AP, like Reuters, Andrew Sullivan and others to be a waste of perfectly good electrons and stop reading them?

    I was never a fan of Sullivan. He’s the drama queen of the blogosphere who is always looking for some reason to hate someone or something, preferably whatever he latched onto so he can have a reason to continue his journalistic rants and raves. It’s easy to come up with new material when you are the so-called victimized minority.

    Helo at Drumwaster.com (381655)

  27. Darn! I already banned AP because of its Luddite policy toward bloggers, including charging $2.50 a word for their reporters’ incandescent observations.

    Now I won’t be able to quote a word of the truth from AP’s brilliant obituary on Snow.

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  28. Jennifer Loven: Living proof that obnoxious, medium-talented, female party hacks can make a good living in journalism.

    Is this a great country or what?

    MarkJ (7fa185)

  29. It wasn’t enough serious criticism, it was SNARK at the time of a good man’s DEATH!

    Patricia (f56a97)

  30. I was relieved to see the LAT posting at Top of the Ticket, a very nice piece on Snow. One that his family could read and not despair over.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/07/breaking-news-t.html

    Snow reminded me of a man born out of time – when integrity, optimism, gentlemanliness and faith were respected qualities, and not snickered at. His family is tremendously blessed to have had his care and influence in their lives. As often occurs, his faith and love only increased as he decreased.

    Rest in peace.

    Dana (aec96d)

  31. It would be classless to put unfounded smears in Rather’s obit.

    Define “unfounded smears.” Rather’s many ‘critics’ believe he was unsuccessful at hiding his liberal bias. Without naming names, would such an obit passage be out of bounds?

    Was it classless for CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller today to reflect on Tony Snow as “unabashedly partisan?”

    As Press Secretary, Tony Snow broke a mold. Going toe to toe with, among others, NBC’s David Gregory, he was still good-natured, decent and honorable. Even when it got personal:

    SNOW: Before I get to that, I want to address something else. Because you and I had a conversation last week that got a whole lot of play in a lot of places, where I used the term “partisan” in describing one of your questions.

    And I’ve thought a lot about that, and that I was wrong. So I want to apologize and tell you I’m sorry for it.

    GREGORY: Thank you.

    SNOW: And the reason I do that is not only because it’s the right thing, but because I want people in this room and also people who watch these to understand that the relations in this room are professional and collegial.

    And if I expect you to do right by us, you have every right to expect that I’ll do right by you.

    So, at any event, I just want to say I’m sorry for that.

    steve (05516c)

  32. Snow reminded me of a man born out of time – when integrity, optimism, gentlemanliness and faith were respected qualities, and not snickered at. His family is tremendously blessed to have had his care and influence in their lives. As often occurs, his faith and love only increased as he decreased.

    .

    Those are timeless qualities, and lots of people have them – in spite of the qualities being the object of ridicule for being “quaint” or “weak.” He chose a more public life, and still stuck to his principles. That his faith and love were durable to the end is a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit – and I’m sure Tony would agree with that. He believed he was a God-made man, he was a Christian, and he was unabashed in asserting so.

    cboldt (3d73dd)

  33. cboldt- yes, they are timeless qualities, or should be regarded as such.

    When I use the term man born out of time, I have in mind perhaps not necessarily a gentler time but a time where the expectations of behavior and decorum were more clearly agreed upon by society.

    “As often occurs, his faith and love only increased as he decreased.”

    His testimony to the living God he served and was clearly at work within him as his outer man perished.

    Dana (aec96d)

  34. Anon –

    In Comment #1 you wrote: “Should there be no mention of the criticism leveled at them?” With all due respect, Patterico went out of his way to point out that “Not a single incorrect factual assertion by Snow is documented, and not a single critic is named.”

    In this context, “Critics suggested …” might as well read: “Scuttlebutt is …” Before you press the case for including said criticism, why don’t YOU locate some of it? Something from a regular paid contributor to a legitimate non-partisan source, from sometime before today; something that cites sources and documents instances where some of the alleged behavior took place. Until then, please try to understand our skepticism.

    In comment #2 you wrote: “I don’t know much about Tony Snow, but he certainly seemed likable enough, and I have never wished him ill.” I believe you, but how can you not recognize that the AP writers do wish ill to his reputation? Even if there is something to them, can you at least acknowledge that as written these are ad hominem attacks?

    The question isn’t so much one of “Do you include criticism in an obituary?” as much as it is one of “How do you accurately describe the entirety of a person’s life?” Responsible journalists don’t resort to hearsay in order to paint a portrait that, without factual verification to back it up, cannot be taken at face value AT ALL. At the very least the piece is badly written; at worst, it’s a hit job against someone who is incapable of defending himself, along with a grieving family to whom this is the last thing they need to see.

    Icy Truth (2c3b80)

  35. So, you are defending, justifying the AP “Hit Piece,” Anon?

    Let me guess, hmmm, LiBrul or Conservative??

    RFLMAO

    Mike (f9cedd)

  36. Define “unfounded smears.” Rather’s many ‘critics’ believe he was unsuccessful at hiding his liberal bias.

    See, the post, steve, particularly the bolded bits in the quote. Those are unfounded smears, because they have no foundation. They are anonymous opinions, not facts. As Patterico notes:

    Not a single incorrect factual assertion by Snow is documented, and not a single critic is named.

    Thus, unfounded.

    Pablo (99243e)

  37. Tony Snow is one of the few media personalities I will miss. The AP has been bought and paid for by Saudi sub corps. Do your homework and witness global corruption of information.

    I wish I could “not miss” some others right now. Slobbering Crispth mmmMathmews, keruuchi Keeeth Obermouth, obnonxious O’Reilly come to mind.

    Too David Gregory and Helen Thomas are pathetic embarrassments to their occupation and to their nation. I define journalism as asking tough questions, but “NOT” becoming the news, or rudely making unsubstantiated assertions, not so well disguised as questions.

    Tony was above it all most of the time.

    God forgive me but I wish David Gregory and Keeeth Obermouth both could have traded places with him.

    seneca69 (83aad2)

  38. It is rare that a public person and his subsequent death makes one to soberly examine their own behavior, attitudes, and outlook. Tony Snow was such a man. His obvious decency, intelligence, and respectful stance toward even those with whom he strongly disagreed shone thru.
    Those who have taken the time to degrade his person, his memory, and his life are showing themselves to be heartless spiritually destitute creatures. Woe unto them who call Good evil and Evil good. May God comfort his family in their loss. He is at peace with the True One who he knew and served.

    Tanya (c36902)

  39. The piece began with, “Tony Snow, Conservative writer and commentator…” When was the last time you saw any writer, commentator, politician, etc. presented as “Liberal”? It NEVER happens because they protect their own.

    Bill (d21ed3)

  40. Shame on you AP for any critical or negative remarks in an obituary. How lucky we all were to have a gentleman in our mists. Tony Snow consistently did his homework, was cordual to all he encountered and he consistently was repectful to all he encountered. Why would you be disrespectful to his family?

    Doug L. (11e9a7)

  41. Shame on you AP for any critical or negative remarks in an obituary. How lucky we all were to have a gentleman in our mists. Tony Snow consistently did his homework, was cordual to all he encountered and he consistently was repectful to all he encountered. Why would you be disrespectful to his family?

    Doug L. (11e9a7)

  42. AP = Al-Qaeda Propaganda. If this was 1944, these gutter snipes from the AP would be facing the gallows for treason.

    Nobama (9831d8)

  43. An obituary isn’t supposed to be an attack ad.
    Mr. Snow didn’t “spar” with reporters, he corrected them or just cut them off when they started the political left wing gibberish.
    His facts were researched to a fault. Show one he didn’t have right!
    And what “critics” are the ap talking about, themselves as they sat there and coffee clatched?
    A good man has died, at least allow him and his family the dignity of stopping the attacks for just a little while!

    RogerM (fcb36c)

  44. Unreal, kick him when he can’t defend himself, the last dig, stab in the back. What is wrong with America? Why arn’t people SCREAMING about this!

    Robert Page (d7b4e1)

  45. This type of liberal bias is the reason many of us no longer read new papers!!!!!!

    It is time to CHANGE this part of the news industry, if not we will no longer be a fair reasonable nation.

    Russ (10ae45)

  46. I believe the best advice here comes from our mothers and Thumper (in Bambi)…If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything! It is not “good manners” to “shoot bullets” at people unable to defend themselves. It is cheap and ignorant.

    Miss Manners (b57fa2)

  47. Iwas scanning the posts pretty fast, and if this is redundant I apologise, but everyone seems to be missing an important point.

    The AP item was NOT a news story…it was an obit…a vastly different thing in the journalism world.

    A week…a month down the road there will be an appropriate time to cover Tony’s life and work with a critical eye, and we can decide what kind of job we think he did.

    However, in an obit, with the body not yet cold, the AP piece was completely inappropriate and whoever approved it’s release should lose their job.

    Bob Hayles (0d169b)

  48. Bill O’Reilly did a very good piece on the AP’s remarks about Tony Snow today.
    As for my opinion, I don’t recall the AP attacking Tim Russert this way and yes they were right not to, but I did hear and see tributes to him constantly for 3 to 4 days on every TV station. Tony Snow was not a controversial person at all. But being he was a Bush spoksman they couldn’t ever wait until he was in the ground! He was nothing but a fair and honest GENTLEMAN at all times.
    May he rest in peace, and my condolences
    and prayers to his widow and his family.

    DD2 (1462bf)

  49. It takes a special brand of journalistic courage and integrity to resume stabbing a Caesar when he is cold on the floor. It is fitting that Snow, even in his passing, has managed to illuminate the darker, gutter-sniping side of today’s “objective” news industry. Heartfelt condolences to Snow’s family.

    Jim Williams (10c475)

  50. So…when Tim Russert died, or when Peter Jennings died, you saw lots of AP and Right Wing attacks on their good names…right?

    Wrong. Its called class, and one day, when you grow up, you’ll understand.

    Dan Rather was fired (let go) for betraying journalism integrity (LOL!), so I am sure that will be brought up in his final “write up”, but Snow deserved the same respect that Jennings or Russert got.

    Jrod (973058)

  51. Why the uproar. It is not like they credited
    him with the phrase SNOWJOB or said his last job
    consisted of lying to the nation everyday.

    The truth (a64c32)

  52. Hard to believe that the AP has sunk to this low- to attack a decent person by way of slandarous obit.

    Gone are the days when an AP piece could be believed as truth.

    Attacking via obit- a new low, even for you, AP.

    Terry Sublett (95f89d)

  53. As a former editor for most of the past 21 years, I can say that The AP is an organization that often provides copy to subscribing newspapers that is inferior in quality and shockingly does not even abide by its own AP Style guide.

    It consistently has misspellings, subject-verb disagreements and factual errors.

    The problem with The AP is the most editors and reporters will simply reprint whatever AP sends, without first ensuring accuracy, as well as spelling and AP Style.

    I’ve hired dozens of journalists over this period of years, and only one hire has been what I would consider “conservative.” I never gave anyone a litmus test nor did I discriminate against anyone for any reason, but I can assure you that liberal newspapers will not hire conservative editors very often.

    So when AP’s obituary on Tony Snow was shown for the unethical piece it was, especially when compared to Russert’s obit, why should people be surprised?

    AP is run by liberals; it is staffed by liberals; and it has a liberal bias. That’s why I don’t trust AP for anything.

    Glenn (5ed24e)

  54. As a liberal and a Democrat, I think the AP’s decision to jab at Mr. Snow after his passing was crass, ill-considered, and bordering on revolting. When you consider the size and reach of the AP’s replication, and when you consider how many people regurgitate whatever the AP gives them, such an act should have been stopped much earlier on.

    That being said, Tony Snow told lies, misrepresented facts, and openly and repeatedly said things that were not only untrue in literal and figurative senses but were to the disservice of the people of the United States. I think that Mr. Snow did what he thought was best for the values he held — but please don’t try to make him out as blameless and a perfect saint. God abhors a liar, and many of you know full well that Mr. Snow said many untrue things.

    None of that really matters, of course — what matters is that a man is gone and his memory should be honored, not spat upon. Moderation in all things, though, is best.

    Lathan James (1c4ae6)

  55. I just hope that Mr. James has friends who will treat him precisely as he treats Mr. Snow and his family in that post.

    Trying to look all understanding while repeating yet more nastiness over a dead person is typical.

    Fact is, the second paragraph in the post above was not necessary.

    It always makes me shake my head when I read how the progressive Left is full of empathy and understanding, and evil Republicans full of bile.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  56. Nice job of backhanded spitting, Lathan. We’ll mark you down in the “trying to hide I’m a slime” category.

    SPQR (26be8b)


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