Tony Snow and White House Reporters Slam The ‘Hateful,’ ‘Polarized’ Blogosphere

Think Progress
Wednesday, February 21, 2007  

In a press roundtable at the National Press Club tonight, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow led a discussion with White House correspondents about the impact of the internet on their respective jobs. Their conclusion? They don’t like being challenged by blogs.

NBC News’ David Gregory bemoaned how political coverage has “become so polarized in this country…because it’s the internet and the blogs that have really used this White House press conferences to somehow support positions out in America, political views.” Tony Snow admitted he sometimes reads blogs (”I’ll occasionally punch it up”) only to find “wonderful, imaginative hateful stuff that comes flying out.”

Newsweek’s White House correspondent Richard Wolffe added, “[Bloggers] want us to play a role that isn’t really our role. Our role is to ask questions and get information. … It’s not a chance for the opposition to take on the government and grill them to a point where they throw their hands up and surrender.”

Watch it:

Alternative WMV link

Transcript:

David Gregory, White House correspondent for NBC News:

“I think politics and political coverage has become so polarized in this country…because it’s the internet and the blogs that have really used this White House press conferences to somehow support positions out in America, political views. And they will clip and digitize portions of these briefings to fit into their particular argument.”

Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary:

“You’ve got this wonderful, imaginative hateful stuff that comes flying out. I think one of the most important takeaways is — it’s the classical line — not only should you not believe your own press, you probably shouldn’t believe your opposition blogs either.”

Richard Wolffe, White House correspondent for Newsweek:

“They want us to play a role that isn’t really our role. Our role is to ask questions and get information. … It’s not a chance for the opposition to take on the government and grill them to a point where they throw their hands up and surrender. … It’s not a political exercise, it’s a journalistic exercise. And I think often the blogs are looking for us to be political advocates more than journalistic ones.”

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