I hate press secretaries, especially White House press secretaries. Their job is to look into the camera, or speak to the reporter, and with an absolutely straight face repeat something they know is a lie — and that they know you know is a lie. Press secretaries are disgusting people.
But Dana Perino, the last of several people to hold that position in the Bush administration, seems to want to separate herself even from that vile pack and distinguish herself as a particularly ridiculous specimen by continuing to tell ridiculous lies even when she’s not getting paid to do it anymore. Here’s what she said on Fox News this weekend:
PERINO: But there was an incident today where the President signed the Travel Promotion Act — not a huge bill by any stretch of the imagination. But usually, that is something that the White House press corps would get to cover. They didn’t today. And then later on in the day, the White House decided through its own media — they have a robust new media shop and they’re creating their own news and they’re posting it, and all the networks said that they’re not going to show it. But creating your own news is something that happens in repressive regimes. And a democracy is — it is critical to have a good, strong free press in a democracy.
Okay, let me get this straight….if the White House actually makes a video promoting a policy they’re undertaking, that’s “something that happens in repressive regimes” and it undermines a free press — even if it’s not intended to be on the news at all but is merely posted to a White House website. If Obama does it, that is. As the New York Times reported in 2005:
Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government’s role in their production.
Not to mention that the Bush administration was repeatedly caught paying journalists to write articles to support their policies and print those articles in the media.