Sunday, May 24, 2009

"You Know That Comment I Made Eight Years Ago...."

The Washington Post gives an infamous Ari Fleischer comment the benefit of the doubt:
At issue was a line in Milbank's humorous May 12 Washington Sketch column about Rush Limbaugh's towering ego. After quoting White House press secretary Robert Gibbs's disapproval of a joke about Limbaugh and the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, Milbank wrote: "It had an unfortunate echo of Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer's denunciation of comedian Bill Maher after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: Americans need to 'watch what they say.' "

Fleischer quickly e-mailed Milbank: "You're not the first person to write that I said that about Maher - but in fact that's not what I said about him
Fleischer's quick with the email today, and the Post's interpretation of the transcript is quite credible, but I'm left wondering... why wasn't Fleischer quick to defend himself (and remove the negative light the popular interpretation cast on the Bush Administration) eight years ago. It's not as if he would have had difficulty finding a microphone and a room full of reporters who were hanging on his every word. Why wasn't he shouting it from the rooftops the first time somebody "got it wrong", and why weren't his bosses insisting upon it?

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