What Scott McClellan said, Part 2

Why is the White House making it hard to see what the press secretary said about the Plame case?


Tim Grieve
November 11, 2005 10:52PM (UTC)

We noted yesterday that the White House has engaged in some revisionist history of late by trying to persuade editors at Congressional Quarterly and the Federal News Service that Scott McClellan didn't say what he said at a press briefing last week. At a press briefing on Oct. 31, NBC's David Gregory listed what we know now about the administration's involvement in leaking Valerie Plame's identity. McClellan interjected the words, "That's accurate." But the White House insists that what McClellan really said -- despite transcripts from CQ and FNS to the contrary -- was, "I don't think that's accurate."

You'd think it would be easy enough to answer the question by watching the videotape of the press conference, and indeed it is. If you watch the tape on the White House Web site, you'll see McClellan say, "That's accurate," and you won't see or hear any sign of the words "I don't think."

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But that's only if you have time to sit through the whole video and watch for the magic moment. If you pull up just about any other White House press briefing on the White House site, you'll get a Real Player window with a slider that allows you to move instantly to the portion of the briefing you want to see. But as a War Room reader notes, that functionality just doesn't seem to exist for the Oct. 31 briefing in question. Coincidence? You decide.

Update: The Real Player slider is working now. A War Room reader reports that it wasn't working yesterday, and it wasn't working when we checked it ourselves earlier today.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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