Tony Snow has a rough first day
New White House press secretary Tony Snow suffered a couple missteps in his first question-and-answer session with the White House press corps Friday. Snow danced around several queries by saying he did not know enough to answer. And although he had at times been harshly critical of President Bush as a Fox News commentator and conservative radio host, Snow clearly was being careful not to step on the wrong toes now that he speaks on behalf of Bush.
For instance, one reporter asked about the government's abrupt end this week to an inquiry into a warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance. Snow deferred that one to deputy press secretary Dana Perino. "There's a very limited number of people who are briefed on that program," she said.
As the discussion continued, reporters complained that they couldn't hear the soft-spoken Perino. Snow took over, read a few talking points from a sheet of paper and then ended that line of questioning. "As the new kid on the block, I'm not fully briefed on the issue," he said. All of this created an atmosphere of contention among the elbow-to-elbow press corps.
I haven't seen any video of it yet, but I'm looking. E&P has more...