Evasive maneuvers

Scott McClellan knows which reporter to call on when things get rough.

Published July 13, 2005 10:32PM (EDT)

Has Scott McClellan found the new Jeff Gannon? Not quite, but the embattled press secretary has found someone to help him avoid further questions about Karl Rove: Raghubir Goyal of the India Globe and Asia Today.

During all three press briefings this week, McClellan has called on Goyal when the rest of the press corps seemed unwilling to relent on Rove. And each time, Goyal has come through for him. On Monday he asked about Osama bin Laden. On Tuesday, it was Kashmir. And Wednesday, Goyal tossed McClellan a query about an impending visit by the prime minister of India.

Playing the Goyal card is nothing new. Former spokesman Ari Fleischer must have tipped McClellan to the fact that Goyal the Foil is always good for a sharp change of direction when reporters get surly.

To be fair to Goyal, he's no Jeff Gannon. He's a real reporter, doing his job for the folks back home. In the process, he just happens to make Scott McClellan's job a little bit easier.

By Aaron Kinney

Aaron Kinney is a writer in San Francisco. He has a blog.

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