Newsweek suggested Snow may break from White House message -- even after Snow acknowledged he would not

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey suggested in Newsweek magazine that new White House press secretary Tony Snow will act independently or break from the White House message, but made no mention of Snow's April 26 interview on Fox News, during which he claimed that, as press secretary, he will cast aside his own beliefs and present the administration's message.

Reporting on the April 26 announcement that Fox News host Tony Snow will replace Scott McClellan as White House press secretary, Newsweek magazine senior White House correspondent Richard Wolffe and White House correspondent Holly Bailey wrote that "reporters may indeed come to love him [Snow] -- but for reasons the president could live without." According to Wolffe and Bailey: "After more than five years of tight-lipped message control, the White House is now handing the press-room microphone to a man who has strong opinions on many topics and hasn't been shy about voicing them -- even when it got him crosswise with the White House." However, in suggesting that Snow will act independently or break from the White House message, Wolffe and Bailey made no mention of Snow's April 26 interview on Fox News, during which he claimed that as White House press secretary, he will cast aside his own beliefs and present the administration's message.

From Wolffe and Bailey's article in the May 8 edition of Newsweek:

Last week Bush announced the 50-year-old Snow was coming aboard to replace McClellan. "I like his perspective," Bush told reporters. "I like the perspective he brings to this job, and I think you're going to like it, too." Bush could be right about that. If Snow's past is any indication, reporters may indeed come to love him-but for reasons the president could live without. After more than five years of tight-lipped message control, the White House is now handing the press-room microphone to a man who has strong opinions on many topics and hasn't been shy about voicing them -- even when it got him crosswise with the White House.

Snow is telegenic, supremely self-confident and quick with a zinger; the daily scuffles with the press corps will be easy. But those same qualities may make it hard for him to abide by the first law of flacks: relay the news, don't make it.

However, on the April 26 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Snow made clear that he does not believe his job is "to come in as a surrogate president and say what I believe matters." From the April 26 edition of Special Report:

BRIT HUME (host): Last question, one you're going to get. You said, among the things critical to this president, for example, on September 30 of last year, "No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives." How do you plan to deal when asked with your past criticism of this president?

SNOW: Well, the pretty simple answer, which is there are probably a lot of people in the press room who from time to time say, "I wish I hadn't written or said that." Here's the key. When I will be giving advice to the president, it will be my advice. And if I have differing opinions with some people, I will express them.

But on the other hand, the job as press secretary is not to come in as a surrogate president and say what I believe matters, because frankly what matters is what the administration has decided to do, and that I will express as forcefully as I possibly can.

Network/Outlet
Newsweek
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.