Snow demands reporter change 'twisted words' in article
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White House press secretary Tony Snow took time out from answering questions at Wednesday's briefing to lecture a veteran reporter on journalism and demand that he change the "twisted words" in an article he had written.
Towards the end of the briefing Snow called on Les Kinsolving, a long time correspondent and talk radio host, famous for his sometimes bizarre questions and cantankerous attitude, whose website touts him "as one of the few who has the guts to ask probing questions and even providing comic relief." Kinsolving asked Snow whether the President thinks it would be a good idea for all Americans to prepare an emergency survival kit for a possible terrorist attack or natural disaster.
Snow quickly said he couldn't comment, and then proceeded to take time out to lecture Kinsolving on his job, "Let me just point out," Snow said, "that you need to ask questions that bear on the President's responsibilities."
Snow continued to press Kinsolving, "I saw the piece you wrote the other day, that has been thoroughly twisting[sic] out of context." At this point Kinsolving tried to get a word in, but Snow was having none of it, "You know what I don't care, because the fact is, if someone is going to take questions about things that don't fall under the president's purview, and I answer that question, and it gets twisted, it is a disservice to this White House and the craft of journalism."
It was never clear exactly what piece Snow was objecting to, but he was annoyed enough to suggest, "that if I were you, I would pick up the phone and tell them to start cleaning up or writing corrections."
After being scolded, Kinsolving moved to his next question without missing a beat, asking if the President would call a lame-duck session of Congress to try and pass immigration reform again.
In his latest World Net Daily column, publisher Joseph Farah stands up for his White House correspondent.
Farah writes, "Since talk radio has been largely credited with having led to the defeat of the Bush-Kennedy 'Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill,' the press room resentment of Kinsolving has been apparent not only from Snow – but from unidentified members of the press corps."
Referring to Snow's words on Wednesday to Kinsolving, Farah writes, "This is a rebuke, and a threat, and an attempt to control Les Kinsolving and WND's right to ask questions at the White House."
Oddly, Farah complains that longtime correspondent Helen Thomas has been "treated with with respect – even deference by Snow," when compared to Kinsolving. However, the most notable occurrences inside the briefing room the last few years have been the contentious battles between Thomas and the White House secretary, including the time when Snow thanked her "for the Hezbollah view."
Farah's column also announces that "Kinsolving will no longer attend" the "Tony-Snow-censored White House news briefings."
"We do most sadly regret that under the pressure of such low ratings for President Bush, his press secretary – who puts up with so much abuse from Old Big Media reporters – has decided to discriminate against Les Kinsolving, who will continue to be our White House correspondent..." Farah adds.
From now on, WND plans to "publish one question from WND, one from our White House correspondent, Les Kinsolving, and one selected from among our 8 million readers."
"If Snow answers any of these three questions, we will be happy to so report," Farah adds. "What we suspect, however, is that rarely will such questions be either answered, or asked, in the presently Tony-Snow-censored White House news briefings – which Kinsolving will no longer attend."
The following video is from The White House broadcast on July 25.