CSpan Q&A: Kathleen Parker - How Dare Scott McClellan Tell The Truth Now?

[media id=5711] [media id=5712] (h/t Heather) On Sunday's Q&A, host Brian Lamb sat down with National Review columnist Kathleen Parker to discu

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On Sunday's Q&A, host Brian Lamb sat down with National Review columnist Kathleen Parker to discuss her take on the comings and goings in Washington DC. My buddy Heather noted this odd little bit of unsound morality and logic. Parker wrote a scathing piece on McClellan's book What Happened for the NRO, coming thisclose to likening him to a serial killer (No, I'm not kidding, read it yourself). See, for Parker, McClellan has reached the apex of immorality, because he listened to the Bush administration's plans, apparently put up no fight (of course, this is according to the White House, whose veracity should have dubious credibility) and then said nothing until he left the White House and wrote a book.

Don't get me wrong, if I had been in Scott McClellan's position, you could be damn sure I would be speaking up loudly and longly while in the White House. And I'd probably be out of a job and smeared within an inch of my life by the Karl Rove machine (see how they treated Paul O'Neill as an example). But for Parker, the fact that he left the White House and then spoke up makes him more deplorable than those he spoke up against.

Parker: ... I've met Scott and he is, comes across as just the sweetest, nicest fellow. I took great umbrage at this primarily because, whether the... you know, if... if he were... if he sat in those meetings where evidence was being trumped up and people are actually dying and never so much as cleared his throat or raised an eyebrow--which is what I'm told by everyone in the White House--then I think that he is guilty of something much greater than whatever he presents to the public in this book. You don't sit there and listen to what you now consider lies and know... you walk out the door. An honorable man walks out the door. And you can go and call a press conference if you are the Press Secretary of the President of the United States. You can call a press conference. You can walk out and get a book contract that day, but you don't sit through it for years and years and then say 'well, I think I'll go get a book contract and you know present basically my notes that I've taken all these years knowing that these people were doing wrong.' So I simply don't trust a person like that.


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But you'll trust the ones that did the lying and put the Americans in harm's way and continue to do so? They are actually LESS offensive to your mind than someone whose conscience was so burdened that he left the job and spoke out against what happened?

Methinks someone needs their moral compass re-calibrated.

Transcripts below the fold: (thanks to Heather)

Lamb: In this particular column, this is not that long ago, May 30th, 2008 "Sometimes the answers to our most perplexing questions can be found on the playground. Take Scott McClellan. Is he dishonest? Dishonorable? Disloyal? Is he telling the truth that the Bush administration conducted an organized propaganda campaign in order to lead the country to war?" What is your analysis of Mr. McClellan?

Parker: Oh wow that's, you know I've met Scott and he is, comes across as just the sweetest, nicest fellow. I took great umbrage at this primarily because, whether the... you know, if... if he were... if he sat in those meetings where evidence was being trumped up and people are actually dying and never so much as cleared his throat or raised an eyebrow--which is what I'm told by everyone in the White House-- then I think that he is guilty of something much greater than whatever he presents to the public in this book. You don't sit there and listen to what you now consider lies and know... you walk out the door. An honorable man walks out the door. And you can go and call a press conference if you are the Press Secretary of the President of the United States. You can call a press conference. You can walk out and get a book contract that day, but you don't sit through it for years and years and then say 'well, I think I'll go get a book contract and you know, present basically my notes that I've taken all these years knowing that these people were doing wrong.' So I simply don't trust a person like that.

Lamb: Well let me take you to the other side for the purpose of getting you to expand on that. Let's say that he started working for George Bush, which he did, as you know, back when he was Governor and running for President and that he was not particularly high in the organization. He goes to Washington; he's in the press office and they need a Press Secretary and they say-- this is the cynical view of it-- send old Scott out there 'cause he'll just do exactly what we tell him to do.

Parker: Right.

Lamb: So he goes out there, and in this case, it would be somebody like Karl Rove, lies to him. And he says I'm...and he's steaming about this. You talk about the rage involved. He sits there and says 'Someday, I'm going to get back at these people.'

Parker: Well that's fine but you don't do that while people, if people are going to be killed by your inaction.

Lamb: How are people killed by his inaction?

Parker: Because if he knows that something is wrong, then you have a duty to say so. (crosstalk) I mean we all respond, we all react and depend on the quality of the information and we make our decisions accordingly, so if you know that the administration is lying, and as a consequence of those lies, people are being killed in Iraq and American lives are being sacrificed, then you have a duty to say something, immediately. Not, not, not later, not to build your case of revenge. We can all understand that human emotion but I think the, the stakes are raised too high here for that kind of, that kind of biding one's time.

Lamb: What was your reaction to the media coverage of the book? In general. Did it get as much as it deserved or should it have gotten less?

Parker: Oh I think it got plenty of attention and I... I suspect that Scott has, is going to have a long career around his book. I think he did very well, didn't he?

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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