Tony Snow has a verbal facility I envy

Steve Inskeep interviewed Tony Snow on NPR.  It was an interesting display of style.  Inskeep was on the attack:  You deflect questions by actually focusing on what reporters say, rather than what they mean.  (Implicit was the "How dare you?")  Are you hiding information from us?  Will you hide information from us?  Why won't you answer our questions? 

In the perpetually tense relationship between a press corp and a White House press secretary, some of Inskeep's pre-emptive hostility might well have been merited.  I don't presume to judge.  What fascinated me was how adroitly Snow handled Inskeep.  Essentially, he kept him honest, by pointing out poorly phrased questions and redundant questions (what we lawyers call "asked and answered").  He listened well, kept his answers to the point, and displayed an impressive wit and humility.  I envy that kind of verbal facility. You should listen to the interview and see what you think.

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  • erp

    I was uneasy about Tony Snow’s appointment simply because since he has a long paper trail, I thought he’d become the issue instead of the president’s agenda. He has kept the questions to the issue at hand and today we heard him deflect Rush as well.

    Rush is a very poor interviewer. He thinks his are the more important and interesting opinions and has developed a real love affair with the sound of his own voice. The rare interviewee doesn’t get to say much. This afternoon Tony good naturedly and politely disagreed with Rush and got the president’s points across. He tangentially also got across that he agrees with the president and has long said so on his radio program pre-dating becoming press secretary.

    As usual, the president knows what’s best for our country and I’m only to happy to say, I was wrong and he was right. This actually happens a lot.

  • Ymarsakar

    Well, if Bush won’t hire a master propagandist like Dick Morris or a propaganda operators, Toni Snow is the next best deal.

  • Ymarsakar

    Rush who?

  • erp

    Rush is the main reason we’re having this conversation. He started talking about things we scattered conservatives thought only we were thinking.

    He used to be much funnier and did silly stunts. Now he’s older and an elder statesman, he’s become a bit stodgy.

  • Ymarsakar

    No, really, Rush who? Are you refering to Rush Limbaugh the son or someone else named Rush?

  • Ymarsakar

    5:54 That’s good Toni right there.

    Toni artfully laid it out in way that can be summarized as “Bring it On”.

    You can try to bust Toni when he makes bad phrases, but Toni will also bust the press for making bad phrases. Bush, as we all know, is a too courteous to do that, to anyone. When Bush makes jokes, it is usually about himself and how he speaks. He never makes jokes about how other people speak. Even when he made that joke about Arnold, he was talking about himself mainly and mainly making fun of himself for pronouncing California and nuklear.

    I prefer a more… aggressive stance, which fits Toni. Toni says “Bring it on” You wanna fight me with fire? I’ll fight back with fire. And that’s good, and proper, because that is how free speech works. Strongest speech wins. If you opt out like Bush, for courtesy reasons, then you’re a goner.