Scottie McClellan was a prolific liar as White House Press Secretary, but he never really had a big appetite for it, and near the end his self-loathing was a little more evident with every day on the job, the "who's on first?" double-talk a little more nonsensical and desperate, the beads of sweat on his forehead a little bigger and oilier.
Scottie's successor, once and future FOX News hack Tony Snow, worked diligently at lying to the press, but his attitude was always more one of bureaucratic, obligatory condescension. He never showed that man-on-a-tightrope vulnerability of McClellan.
And, certainly, neither man ever showed the joy of the sport--the sheer, exuberant love of lying to the press--of the original article, Ari Fleischer. For Ari, lying wasn't a job, it was a calling.
That's why it's great to know that Ari's back in the game.
With Congress in recess for the summer, the debate over Iraq policy has moved from the Capitol to the airwaves with direct appeals to the public through multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns.
Freedom's Watch, a conservative group, plans to launch a $15 million advertising campaign in 20 states today. The group's spokesman, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, says the goal is to tell people that the buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq is working.
"We want to get the message to both Democrats and Republicans: Don't cut and run, fully fund the troops, and victory is the only objective," Fleischer says.
Ari Fleischer: Nobody does it better, though sometimes I wish someone would.
And what's this Freedom's Watch business all about? Getting the message to "both Democrats and Republicans?" Joe Sudbay at Americablog makes a shrewd guess:
They must be losing the support of GOP members of Congress in droves. That makes sense because Congress has been home -- and the Republican Representatives and Senators have probably been getting the crap kicked out of them for sticking with Bush on Iraq.
Update: Looks like it's more than just a shrewd guess: The first list of targets for Freedom's Watch is out, and Gordon Smith is one of 37 Republicans on it, compared to 4 Democrats.
(Image via Needlenose.)