Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ministry of Truth

A common Beltway definition of “gaffe” is when someone accidentally tells the truth. What happens when a White House gaffe is caught on tape? They try to wash it down the memory hole.

At the Oct. 31 briefing, David Gregory of NBC News stated the following question to McClellan about White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby: "Whether there's a question of legality, we know for a fact that there was involvement. We know that Karl Rove, based on what he and his lawyer have said, did have a conversation about somebody who Patrick Fitzgerald said was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. We know that Scooter Libby also had conversations."

The official White House transcript states that McClellan's response was "I don’t think that's accurate."

But two outside news agencies, Congressional Quarterly and Federal News Service - which provide transcripts for a fee -both reported the response as "that's accurate."

The differing accounts have sparked a flurry of buzz on numerous blogs, such as, Wonkette, Eschaton and DailyKos. They say a video of the press briefing reveals McClellan saying "that's accurate."

White House officials contacted the news outlets and ask for a change to their versions of the transcript.
The news agencies aren’t having it, thankfully. It’s a different press corps than the one from 2003. They’ve moved back with us into the reality-based world, except for those who want to forever remain in Bush’s fantasy world – they just up and quit.

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