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McClellan Flips and Flops

On Friday, Scott McClellan let loose on Hardball with this bombshell allegation:

MATTHEWS: Did you see FOX television as a tool when you were in the White House, as a useful avenue for getting your message out?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I make a distinction between the journalists and between the commentators. Certainly, there were commentators and others, pundits, at FOX News that were helpful to the White House.


MCCLELLAN: Certainly, we got talking points…


MCCLELLAN: … those people.

MATTHEWS: Did people say, call Sean, call Bill, call whoever? Did you do that as a regular thing?


MCCLELLAN: Certainly. Certainly. It wasn‘t necessarily something I was doing, but it was something that we at the White House, yes, were doing and getting them talking points and making sure they knew where we were coming from.

MATTHEWS: So, you were giving them talking points…


MCCLELLAN: But I would separate the journalists.


MATTHEWS: No, no, this is important.


MATTHEWS: You were using these commentators as your spokespeople?

MCCLELLAN: Well, certainly. I mean, certainly. I think that happens to both ways, when people go on other networks, as well, that are—that are favorable towards Democrats and so forth.

Olbermann jumped all over it:

OLBERMANN: That Rupert Murdoch put neocons on the air under the leadership of GOP operative Roger Ailes is no secret, but FOX has always maintained with more or less a straight face, that it was striving for some sort of journalistic objectivity.

Over the phone tonight, Scott McClellan told us it was done frequently, especially on high-profile issues and COUNTDOWN asked whether FOX ever gave the White House its results. Scott said, “Yes.”

We asked the White House about McClellan‘s statements on HARDBALL, current press secretary, Dana Perino said, quote, “I‘m not aware of that” and declined to comment further.

Now, it seems, McClellan is backtracking:

The newest wrinkle to the Scott McClellantalking points story twists the whole situation 180 degrees. McClellan now says FNC anchor Bill O’Reilly never received White House talking points.

Johnny Dollar has the audio from today’s Radio Factor, in which McClellan appeared as a guest. “The truth is I messed up. I was specifically not trying to single anyone out, including you,” said McClellan. “There were people, not you, but there were people.
As for the response to his comments: “Some people tried to paint it in a black and white term to their preconceived notions,” said McClellan. “I should not have left it open to interpretation.”
Regarding MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who conducted the original interview, O’Reilly said, “Matthews played you. He played you.”

Well, Scott, did Keith Olbermann, when he called you, confuse you as well?
What’s really remarkable is that neither Matthews or Olbermann felt the need to question this latest bombshell. The obvious questions of, “why wasn’t it in his book?” and “why wasn’t it brought up in any interviews prior to Friday?” should have been asked immediately.


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