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'Politico': Scott McClellan Hits White House in New Book.

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is re-emerging, at least, with a memoir due out next week, titled "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception" (Public Affairs, $27.95).

Mike Allen, with a preview copy, calls it, at, a "surprisingly scathing memoir." He reveals: "A few reporters were offered advance copies of the book, with the restriction that their stories not appear until Sunday, the day before the official publication date. Politico declined and purchased 'What Happened' at a Washington bookstore."

The New York Times, following that, posted a story on its site later on Tuesday but added little to the Politico quotes. It did observe that the McClellan, calls the news media "complicit enablers" in the White House's "carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval" in the march to the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003.

Karl Rove, on Fox News, responded by saying that in the quotes he'd read his former colleague McClellan "sounds like a liberal blogger."

Here is a sampling of the "explosive revelations" as described by Allen. (You might say that President Bush doesn't get off Scott-free.) The entire preview is at

* McClellan charges that Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war.

* He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war. McClellan repeatedly embraces the rhetoric of Bush's liberal critics and even charges: "If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq.

"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."

* He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be "badly misguided."

* The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them -- and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

* McClellan asserts that the aides -- Karl Rove, the president's senior adviser, and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's chief of staff -- "had at best misled" him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

* [A]fter Hurricane Katrina, the White House "spent most of the first week in a state of denial," and he blames Rove for suggesting the photo of the president comfortably observing the disaster during an Air Force One flyover. McClellan says he and counselor to the president Dan Bartlett had opposed the idea and thought it had been scrapped.*E&P Editor Greg Mitchell's new book is So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq.

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Author:Mitchell, Greg
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 27, 2008
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