After all of Bill O’Reilly’s complaining that Scott McClellan backed out of appearing on his show and going on NBC’s programs instead, and then the rebuttal from McClellan’s publisher about how O’Reilly never actually tried booking McClellan, word arrives that on Monday night, McClellan will appear on The O’Reilly Factor. Apparently “McClellan’s publicist begged – yes, ‘begged’ was the word – to have ole Scotty on The O’Reilly Factor.”
Set your TiVos. And your pacemakers.
The best part of Katie Couric’s broadcast last night, somehow, didn’t even make it to air.
She sat down with White House foe Scott McClellan to talk about his new book, and she actually proved to be wearing her Reporter Gravitas Hat:
Couric: Weren’t you the ultimate complicit enabler, though? I asked a tough question before the Iraq War and you personally called an executive at NBC News and you threatened to deny access to us.
McClellan: I did?
Couric: Yes, you did, once the war began.
McClellan: Me personally? I don’t, I don’t remember that.
Couric: But did you strong-arm people into not questioning the administration?
McClellan: My style usually wasn’t that way.
Couric: Well, it was you who made the call.
McClellan: I just, I just don’t remember that. That may be but I certainly don’t remember that incident. In terms of my style of working with reporters, it was usually straightforward when we were dealing with each other; I think I had that reputation with White House reporters. I just don’t recall that specific incident.
That part of their conversation, while appearing in the show’s transcript, did not appear on TV. [TVN]
Who knows. Maybe Katie Couric actually has the most interesting evening news broadcast around, but producers just hide all the good parts.
The smearing of Scott McClellan continues!
Gay escort turned White House lapdog Jeff Gannon caused a sensation yesterday when he wrote that he ???knew??? McClellan better than anyone on the right wing end.
The comment, of course, had people wondering if Gannon and his party peers were gearing up to paint the former Press Secretary pink.
To describe his feelings about Barack Obama, former White House press secretary and current White House target Scott McClellan is using the word “intrigued.” That’s what he told Katie Couric on CBS, and similarly repeated to ABC. So why is he “intrigued by Sen. Obama’s message”? Because “it’s a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000.” [Politico] Well isn’t that quite the endorsement that Obama doesn’t exactly want, slash need.
Meanwhile, for all his pomp, circumstance, and publicity, McClellan’s book, which it’s fair to say, rocked Washington, did little to pad his pocket. A sum of “under $100,000″ was paid to him by publisher PublicAffairs Press for What Happened. [Salon] Compare that sum with advances paid to Karl Rove ($1.5 million), Barack Obama ($1.9 million), or Hillary Clinton ($8 million). Not that McClellan carries their degrees notoriety, but there’s not a work in Clinton’s book, even about her husband, that’s as riveting as what McClellan has to say. Too bad it’s only liars like James Frey and JT Leroy who get huge upfront sums.
The real victim of Scott McClellan’s bombshell book? Not the Bush White House, which has always lived inside its own bubble and rendered moot any criticism of its policies. Rather, it’s Hillary Clinton, who would really like to remind you that she’s still running for president.
After all Bill O’Reilly’s whining over trying to book Scott McClellan, he’ll have to watch the former White House spokesman on NBC’s Today show this morning like everybody else. And then, later tonight, he should TiVo Keith Olbermann’s show, because that’s where McClellan will also be making a stop. [Variety]
Yesterday we brought you O’Reilly’s rant about not being able to book McClellan, which went something like this: “I said, ???Hey Scott, come on the program, you know the Factor sells more books than any other show. Absolutely want to have you.??? Then he said he was gonna come on and now he???s not. That shows me he???s a weasel. Then who does he sign up with? The crazy left. Now when you do that, and I???m saying to myself, ???I???ve got no axe to grind against Scott McClellan.??? I mean I just want to ask him questions about his book. The same thing I do with Hillary Clinton. But now I see what the marketing strategy is: Go to the Bush-hater people and that???s where we???ll sell our books.”
Now, via a comment left by someone claiming to be from McClellan’s publishing house, we learn how O’Reilly lost out on the big get:
Scott McClellan’s book hits next week, but it’s already getting a huge PR push this week, thanks to its early circulation among media types. Oh, and the fact that he pulls a 180 and slams the Bush administration! (Except for that little, touching part where he says George Bush started crying when he fired him).
Naturally, everyone is looking to book McClellan. He’s this week’s big get! On the list of interview hopefuls? The big bad man, Bill O’Reilly, who was yammering on on his radio show about how Scott turned down his request to come on the show. Imagine!
If nobody will put Baby in a corner, then Scott McClellan, who spent 2003-06 lying to the press for President Bush, certainly won’t be seated there.
The man who watched his hairline gradually recede on live television is back from the shadows with a new book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington???s Culture of Deception, where he spells out how the Bush administration has screwed up everything it could get its hands on. Which is everything.
Handy bullet points from Politico, which eschewed the publisher’s press embargo and bought its copy from a store, include:
??? McClellan charges that Bush relied on ???propaganda??? to sell the war.
??? He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.
??? He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be ???badly misguided.???
??? The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them ??? and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.
??? McClellan asserts that the aides ??? Karl Rove, the president???s senior adviser, and I. Lewis ???Scooter??? Libby, the vice president???s chief of staff ??? ???had at best misled??? him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame???s identity.
All of which leaves us with just one question: He’s charging only $27.95 for this masterpiece? We would not see Sex and the City three times for just one crack at this doozy.
• Katie Couric may be the perkiest of them all, but that still doesn’t get her a Pulitzer.
• Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes shock the world by having a real baby — no aliens, beach balls, Greirs, or boys — just a real baby girl named Suri, which stands for something or other … our favorite being “Party“.
• Bonnie Fuller manages not to ask us for coffee or punch us in the face at her book party. And she wants Angelina Jolie’s baby real bad.
Say goodbye to the double chin. Say goodbye to the on-the-cusp-of-sweating forehead. Say goodbye to the not-so-subtly snide remarks made to the press corp. We’ll miss you, Scott McClellan — but not as much as NBC’s drunk dialing David Gregory, who fondly refers to McClellan as a “jerk.”
The real question, of course, is why this announcement wasn’t made at 9pm on Friday.
Staff Overhaul Continues at White House [John O’Neil, NYT]
Somehow NYT regular Nichloas Kristof expects news media to suddenly care less about Jennifer Wilbanks and Jude Law’s cheating (though he doesn’t mention Jude specifically, we take Kristof for an Us Weekly kinda guy) and more on serious issues. Like, say, the genocide in Darfur.
Rounding up Nick’s points so you needn’t click on over:
• The rough treatment received by journalists covering Condi Rice’s visit to the region garnered more coverage than the genocide itself.
• In the past year, the networks devoted just a few minutes to the Sudanese crisis. ABC offered 18 minutes, NBC had five and CBS just three, or about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. “In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks.”
• NBC has yet to send one of its own correspondents into the region. (Though how many did they send Cali to cover the Michael Jackson trial?)
• Diane Sawyer traveled to Africa, but merely to interview Brad Pitt.