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Scott McEllan’s Expose on the White House Should Have Been Given...

What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture by the third press secretary for George W. Bush will be released on June 2, 2008, but copies are popping up in stores. Politico bought a copy from a Washington bookstore and provided a review of it. Scott McClellan talks in his book about the pervasive lies that the administration told to the American people about the Iraq war and the propaganda machine the White House used to perpetuate those lies.

"I still like and admire President Bush," McClellan writes. "But he and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war. – In this regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those involved directly in national security."

He goes on to write about how the supposed left wing media failed to do its job in reporting.

"The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. – In this case, the "liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served."

I think its gross that McClellan will earn money off of this book when he was complicit in retelling these lies but it is a story that we probably need to read. I’ll check my copy out from the library.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Rebecca
    May 28, 2008 @ 11:38:10

    McClellan publishing a book doesn’t bother me. Actually, all these tell-all books are a good thing – from any administration.

    The more people who leave any administration who feel able to share what they were actually thinking while in the midst of doing their job, the better.

    Also, I am cynical (and I think realistic) in believing that all administrations lie.

  2. whey
    May 28, 2008 @ 11:44:55

    Can’t agree with you more. Makes that anger simmering below the surface (not just inside me but in the American public) bubble up. Luckily, I can vent a little “YAHHH! Bush Administration YAHHH!” (a la Soulja Boy) whenever I start Righteously Percolating.

  3. (Jān)
    May 28, 2008 @ 12:47:24

    Eh, I’m with Rebecca. If book deals get them to talk, let ’em sell the books. All administrations lie, and insiders only tell the truth later if it makes them money because they’re scummy to begin with. It’s just good that the truth eventually comes out.

  4. Rebecca
    May 28, 2008 @ 13:52:23

    Here’s a short and kind of funny look at tell-alls:

  5. Gwen
    May 28, 2008 @ 14:11:25

    Without having read it, I can’t say if your outrage is deserved or not. I tend to think not, but that’s purely my bias.

    However, I will say that I think it’s unfortunate that large portions of the public seems so ready to rush to judgement of people who have had to make horrendously difficult decisions with the best information they had at the time – far more information than you or I will ever see. And yet we have the balls to criticize them. I just think that’s a bit narcissistic of a person until they know all sides to the story.

    Bandwagons often don’t have a driver you can see – and that’s dangerous.

  6. Zee
    May 28, 2008 @ 15:43:56

    It appalls me too that McClellan should make a dime on this – this administration seems to have more former employees/advisers capitalizing on the mistakes made while they were in the public sector. What’s even more appalling is that, even now, someone is calling him “brave” for writing this book. Gag – brave would have been to have resigned his position – and stopped contributing to the misinformation the liberal media was too stupid to see for what it really was – and gone on record early on and then written his memoir. Or, wait, join the press corps and help uncover the truths…Oh, but that’s not as lucrative, and entails a smaller publishing contract, fewer royalties and smaller speaking fees.

    Look, I know this sounds naive, but I work in politics, and, though it’s rare, spines and integrity do exist. This book makes me think McClellan has neither. He can’t have been as “misguided” as he claims and still have filled a book. He was a party to the lies and propaganda he writes about.

    Ok, off soapbox now. BP returning to normal…

  7. Jennie
    May 28, 2008 @ 17:38:40

    He goes on to write about how the supposed left wing media failed to do its job in reporting.

    Isn’t that a bit like a pursesnatcher blaming his victim for not holding onto her purse hard enough?

  8. Janet/Robin
    May 28, 2008 @ 18:23:48

    Sooo, all this stuff is only wrong, now, when McClellan can make a buck off talking about it?

    What really irks me about this is that if the very people McClellan targets had doggedly exposed the lies when they were spoken, they would have been hit with the “they hate America == they’re not patriotic” crap.

    Every time I think we can’t sink any lower, the bottom falls out once again.

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