During the administration of President George W. Bush, reporters at the daily White House briefings were routinely dismissed, disrespected and lied to as press secretaries Ari Fleischer, Scott McClellan, Tony Snow and then Dana Perilo arrogantly refused to answer tough questions on hot-button issues such as Iraq, Katrina, CIA leaks, illegal wiretapping and torture. Bush himself was dismissive and showed a general disdain for the media during his press conferences, on the few occasions he actually held them. He often ridiculed and chastised reporters who pushed his many buttons a little too far, ignoring their questions with a smug "I'm just not gonna answer you," as he did with NBC's David Gregory in one such notable and highly contested exchange.
To be sure, the Bush administration was the most secretive in history, blatantly marginalizing and demeaning the press as it cavalierly reshaped American politics and national security with relative media impunity.
And now the hypocritical Republican crybabies at Fox are outraged over a heated exchange last Thursday between President Barack Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs and their White House correspondent, Major Garrett, over unsolicited emails allegedly being sent out by the White House to shore up support for Obama's health care reform. It seems like this is all the network can talk about since, incredulously asking "Where are all the other reporters? Why are we the only ones digging into this issue?
Email spamming? Are they for real? Where was Fox News and Major Garrett as thousands of U.S. soldiers were dying, and tens of thousands more injured and maimed, in Bush's unjust Iraq war? Where was Fox and Garrett as Bush, Cheney, Rove and Scooter Libby were outing CIA agent Valerie Plame and putting her and other agency operatives in danger as retribution over her husband Joe Wilson's 2003 NY Times op-ed "What I Didn't Find in Africa" (regarding the bogus claim about Saddam selling yellow cake uranium to Niger). Where was Fox and Garrett as Bush embarrassed and humiliated the U.S. by botching the post-Katrina rescue and recovery? Where was Fox and Garrett during the Abu Ghraib crimes and the Bushies' contention that only a "few rogue soldiers" were responsible? Where were Fox and Garrett when Bush was breaking FISA laws so he could spy on whoever the hell he wanted? Where were the tough questions then? Where was Fox and Garrett's outrage then? Where was the respect for the Constitution and the rule of law then? Where was the concern over Americans' right to privacy then? Spamming has them fired up? Cheney please....