Tony Snow Expires

One week after the death of Jesse Helms (and, alas, Thomas M. Disch), the universe illustrated once again that, despite its many abominations, it still maintains a self-correcting impulse. Tony Snow, the smug apologist for President Bush’s disgraces, finally expired after a bout with colon cancer. He was 53.

It was a particularly fitting way to go. For Tony Snow was far from a sweet man, and certainly neither a nice nor a reasonable one. On February 13, 2007, when CNN’s Ed Henry calmly asked the perfectly legitimate question about Iran’s purported influence in Iraq — a claim unfurled by Snow and company without a single shred of evidence — Henry was told by Snow to “calm down.” Snow, of course, could not provide a reasonable answer. It was a typical instance of Snow’s regular insults to reporters, something that also came to light when reporters asked Snow about Scooter Libby’s commuted sentence. (During this conference, one reporter declared, “You are insulting our intelligence.”)

Granted, one does not look to any White House Press Secretary as any particular upholder of the truth. But then Tony Snow was an innate liar even before he had taken the position. He claimed that evolutionary theory was comparable to intelligent design, that it “isn’t verifiable or testable. It’s pure hypothesis.” He defended the Swift Boat Veterans charges, despite tenuous evidence. And, of course, there were numerous other falsehoods. Snow’s inability to grasp the truth also made him perfectly qualified to serve as Bill O’Reilly’s permanent fill-in host. Swindling the public came natural to this confidence man, who took on the job of spinning implausible yarns to the public despite previous sullies against the Bush administration.

Snow demonstrated that if you served up enough hypocrisy and possessed nothing in the way of ethics, you too could live the spin doctor’s dream. You could even nestle your way into the baby arms of government itself. But even this utopia wasn’t good enough for Snow. He needed more than $168,000 a year to get by and was prepared to tell any lie to get more money.

But Snow’s lies weren’t those of the amicable “dog ate my homework” variety. They were deeply unsettling efforts to occlude a truth that has killed 4,000 American soldiers and untold thousands of Iraqi civilians.

Snow was the last somewhat savvy guy who could take on the job of White House Press Secretary and live with his daily hypocrisies. And it’s a telling indicator that Snow’s porous replacement, Dana Perino, didn’t even know about the Cuban Missile Crisis when she signed on.

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7 Comments

  1. In wartime…truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies

  2. Nigel:

    A) You really should get into the habit of attributing your quotations.

    B) In the context you use it, Churchill’s soundbite is a sinister bit of doublethink that Goebbels himself would have agreed with, undoubtedly. In fact, along those lines, the master himself said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” How’s that? Or how about: “During a war, news should be given out for instruction rather than information.” You’ll probably love this one, too: “It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.”

    What you fail to grasp is that the “war” you refer to is the war of a government against its own citizens, and the rest of the planet, for the sake of absolute power and vast, vast sums of money.

  3. You have, in the very first paragraph of your rant, made at least ONE untrue statement. Tony Snow did NOT die of pancreatic cancer… he died of colon cancer. There is a vast difference and trust me, as a nurse I know the difference. I lost a brother to pancreatic cancer, and had a brother survive colon cancer.

    But if this is any example of your intelligence, or obvious lack of it, you have truly demonstrated why people would be wise not to believe everything they read on the internet, as any idiot can write, spin, and twist whatever subject they wish to reflect their opinion.

    However, obviously you also demonstrate one of the great treasures of this nation… the right to your opinion as gospel, even if others do not agree with it. Even if you use the most blatent of lies to stubstantiate your stance. And you can state whatever, wherever you wish.

    I only noted your site due to a google search regarding pancreatic cancer, not because of your obvious psychotic ravings. I felt compelled to respond this once, but will NOT further waste my time here.

    What a miserable being you obviously are, to delight in the death of a person, just because you deem yourself capable of judging him to not be worthy of living. Hmm… wonder how many people might feel just the same about you?

  4. Thanks for the correction. Actually, I thought “colon” and typed in “pancreatic.” These things happen from time to time. Ask any writer. And why shouldn’t one dance a jig on the grave of someone who caused so much damage to America (including lives with his lies)? Why, it’s almost like NOT acting that everything is hunky dory! As to whether you or anybody else deems me worthy of living, well, that’s just your opinion. It might help if you knew how to spell “blatant” correctly. (You see! We’re all capable of mistakes!)

    Your brothers’s bouts with cancer, incidentally, have nothing to do with Tony Snow. I merely said that it was fitting that Tony Snow died from colonic cancer. But I do wish you condolences all the same.

  5. Steven,

    I am perfectly aware of the context within which Churchill made his remarks. His words were used here with humorous intent.

    The only thing I fail to grasp is how someone who evidently holds some pretension to sophistication, can be such an rude, disrespectful jerk.

  6. Nigel:

    You apparently reserve the right to trash the f-ck out of people in the safe little clubhouse of your blog… then your tail gets whupped, rhetorically, out in comment land and you reach teary-eyed for the sanctimony and the ad hominem. Do you think you’re the son of the king; one standard for you and another for everyone else? Have you considered running for office, man? You’ve got all the makings of a dodgy candidate running on a morality platform.

  7. OK, a little civility might be in place here. Just because of what Tony Snow have done and said, that does not justify calling his fatal illness an expression of karmic justice.

    But I’m sure that Ed meant no generic insult to other victims of mouth cancer. Of course he did not mean to suggest that all who get cancer of the mouth “deserve” it. Tony Snow’s mouth cancer was merely referred to in a metaphorical/rhetorical context.

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