Dan Froomkin reviews Tony Snow’s premiere:
A White House press corps smitten with the telegenic, emotional nature of Tony Snow’s first formal briefing yesterday — he laughed! he cried! — largely neglected to mention a few salient aspects of his performance.
Like, for instance: His inconsistent responses; his sloppiness with certain facts; and his embarrassing verbal gaffe.
Repeatedly questioned about the National Security Agency’s collection of data on domestic telephone calls, Snow acknowledged the existence of the program enough to defend it in general terms — but when it came to answering specific questions, he refused to admit it existed.
He misreported poll numbers when it served his purposes — then refused to answer questions about poll numbers he didn’t like.
He got away almost scot-free using a term — “tar baby” — that many consider racist.
Plus, he brusquely rebuffed an inquiry about Karl Rove — along with several other legitimate questions — without even the pretense of explaining why.
Yes, Snow’s congeniality is a pleasant change from Scott McClellan’s robotic droning. But in terms of content, Snow was hardly an improvement.
Too bad this show has a guaranteed run for two more years. Anywhere else it would close out of town.