Ari Fleischer on D.L. Hughley Breaks the News talking about the White House press corps and how "tough" David Gregory was on him but a straight shooter when it came to his reporting.
Fleischer: David Gregory D.L., he started out in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I knew him a long, long time ago and he worked his way up and became a White House reporter and then became the host. But what you have to understand is that room is a TV show. It's not the reality. This is where they posture. They show I'm tougher. They know their editors are watching and they know their colleagues are watching. So they're going to show I'm the toughest guy. I can take down the Press Secretary.
Hughley: Who irritated the hell out of you? Somebody had to.
Fleischer: David Gregory. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. But, having said that, that's because that was a TV show in that room. David was the toughest interrogator I had but when it came time to go on the air the man was always fair. What he put on the air was straight down the middle. So that's the bigger story about life at the White House. They can be one thing in that room. The reality is when they come into your office ten times a day and are talking to you privately. They're gathering facts and background information, that's the real work that goes on and most of them are actually pretty polite at that point in their lives, but they're not so polite in that briefing room.
Greg Mitchell has a slightly different take on that in his article at the HuffPo:
That was written back in June of 2008. I see some things never change. Fleischer is still using the same tired talking points and claiming Gregory did his job as a reporter. I think if that were true, he might have spent a little bit of time covering this-- Pictures of Anti-War Protests from Around the World-- and a little less time doing this.
As noted by Think Progress Fleischer was also still claiming that Saddam Hussein was at fault for our invading Iraq: Fleischer: On Iraq, ‘Saddam was the big liar.’.
Fleischer: We were wrong about weapons of mass destruction being in Iraq. […]
Hughley: When you found out that you were wrong, how did that make you feel?
Fleischer: You just scratch your head and say, “How could we be wrong?” It wasn’t just us that thought he had weapons of mass destruction. The Egyptians thought it, the French thought it, the Germans thought it the United Nations thought it, Bill Clinton’s CIA though it. We all thought it. Saddam was the big liar here.
Nothing like a little revisionist history on those weapons in Iraq Mr. Fleischer. And could D.L. Hughley have given this man any more of a softball interview? Hell he was harder on Bay Buchanan than he was Fleischer.