Friday, May 26, 2006

Exchange between Tony Snow and Helen Thomas

From an MSNBC article entitled "Artful Dodging" which argues that Tony Snow, the new White House press secretary, is charming but evasive:
During Tuesday afternoon’s press briefing, [Helen] Thomas was grilling Snow on what role, if any, the United States was playing in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over a two-state peace deal. Snow told Thomas that Washington was operating “the same as it’s always been” and was working with Israel and “when possible” with the Palestinians.

“Then why is it bankrupting the Palestinians?” Thomas shot back.

Snow clutched the side of the podium. “The Palestinians are not being bankrupted, Helen,” Snow said, smiling. “Hamas is a terrorist organization. We do not give money to terrorist organizations.”

“They were democratically elected,” Thomas insisted.

“They were democratically elected, and they’re still a terrorist organization,” Snow replied.

“By your designation,” Thomas snapped.

“Yes, thank you very much, Helen,” Snow shot back.
The point of this anecdote in the article is the next bit (which I left out of the excerpt): what Snow went on to say to diffuse the tension. It is funny that the authors, Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey, don't seem to expect their readers to make anything of the sheer lunacy of Thomas's position.

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