Tony Snow has begun his new gig at CNN, and ancient declaimer of non-sequitirs Larry King's heart is so a-flutter that you'd think CNN had just hired a lissome blond, 50 years his junior. Snow brings to the table many years of work over at CNN rival Fox News, who he still says he loves. He has even recently said that he would "walk over broken glass" for Bill O'Reilly -- which sounds impressive until you realize that walking barefoot over broken glass is far more pleasant than listening to him. He also served about a year and a half as the Press Secretary for the Bush White House, but he eventually had to step down, citing the mounting cost of his health care. I guess flacking for the plutocracy doesn't exactly pay the bills! It's enough to make one deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply, deeply suspicious of the validity of trickle-down economics, and I cannot sarcastically overemphasize this enough.
It may be a tall order, even for CNN, but one would hope that Snow would bring to his new job a renewed commitment to resecting the suffixes from the word "truthiness." But, if his past is any indication, this will be no mean feat for Snow to pull off. Here are numerous reasons why:
December 2007: Snow goes before the graduation ceremony at Oklahoma Christian University and tells them that there is a "War on God" going on the United States, and that "The average Iranian is more Pro-American than virtually any college faculty in this country."
And maybe CNN should have vetted Snow a little better, because in the same month, Bill O'Reilly told Snow, "But you can't go over to CNN. I mean, that's the devil over there. You can't. You know. You're a religious guy. You can't go into the pagan throne over there."
July 2007: Snow assesses the surge thusly: "I think what you've seen is a declining level in the overall pace of attacks." All true, so long as by "declining" you mean to say, "Why won't they stop attacking us? Didn't we tell them that the Surge was working?"
And here is how Snow captured the awesome moral struggle his boss underwent in deciding to forgive bootlicking jerkoff Scooter Libby: "I will simply tell you that the President, after long consideration, weeks and weeks of consideration, came to the conclusion that 30 months in jail was excessive, and that he is comfortable with the punishment, which is still quite severe, of $250,000, a felony conviction, and two years of probation."
And also, this:
June 2007: Snow demonstrated tremendous proficiency this month in a time-honored Bush tradition, namely: pretending that widely reported on White House promises were never made.
Reporter: Are there any members of the Bush family or this administration in this war?
Snow: Yes, the president. The president is in the war every day.
Reporter: Well, that isn't my question.
Snow: Well, no, no. If you ask any president who is the commander in chief ...
Reporter: On the front lines, wherever?
Snow: The president.
And, from The Daily Show:
April 2007: Snow says that the White House never ever ever attempted to link Saddam Hussein to 9-11, and the Dorian Gray-like self-portrait Snow hides in a closet at his home grew several more rancid-looking pocks as well as some jagged, gangrenous scars.
March 2007: Snow tells reporters that the Democrats' Iraq plans were a "recipe for defeat." But when asked to describe what the "recipe for success" was, Snow couldn't answer, because Cindy McCain hadn't found it on the Food Network website yet.
He was also cynical enough to assert that Congress had "no oversight responsibility over the White House." Suck on that, Separation of Powers!
And who could forget Snow's brilliant defense of sending poorly trained troops to surge themselves silly in the middle of a combat zone? "Well, but they can get desert training elsewhere, like in Iraq."
February 2007: On the White House's plans for war in Iraq, Snow says, "I'm not sure anything went wrong." So, the Iraq War went perfectly according to plan? If so, that's terrifying. How terrifying? Uhm...a lot terrifying. ALL terrifying.
Of course, months later, Snow had a difficult time explaining why - if the war in Iraq was going so swimmingly - there was a need for a War Czar.
Plus, what on earth are we going to do when Greenpeace gets the bomb and starts indiscriminately nuking whalers and baby seal clubbers?
November 2006: Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! And prepare to witness the brain-inflaming sight of Tony Snow, clumsily going on background - or maybe not...but maybe so! - right before your very eyes, using only the power of flimsy deception!
September 2006: George Bush announces that "We will stay the course" in Iraq. But Tony didn't get the memo, or hear Bush say that, or have even a dimming awareness of White House policy, because he told reporters, "The idea that somehow we're staying the course is just wrong. It is absolutely wrong."
Also, Tony Snow worked hard to obfuscate the truth about the poor pre-war planning, insisting, "I'm not going to hold Donald Rumsfeld accountable." Months later, holding Rumsfeld accountable became the thing to do inside the Beltway.
August 2006: Tony Snow admonished that a vote for Ned Lamont was the equivalent of voting for another 9-11. So people voted for Joe Lieberman instead, which was a vote for appeasing the perpetrators of 9-11. The system works.
June 2006: Here's how Snow tastefully commemorated the news of the 2,500th fatality in Iraq: "It's a number, and every time there's one of these 500 benchmarks people want something."
Oh, and perhaps most interesting thing you will learn about Tony Snow is the fact that way back when, Snow used to say all kinds of things about Dubya. Different things. Mean things! But then Snow went to work for him, which is like waking up every day of the week, coming face-to-face with the stern and unforgiving visage of your own conscience, and voting "present."