Scott McClellan: Et tu, Brute?

Ok, here comes yet another book from someone closely involved with the White House. With this book former Bush White House press scretary Scott McClellan joins the ranks of George Tenet, David Kuo, Richard Clarke and others. It is hard to take such folks too seriously because you never know what their real motivations are. At the same time it would be unwise to disregard such books completely. Clearly “mistakes were made” and when they were made Mr. McClellan was a part of it. Trying to come clean now doesn’t absolve him of all the responsibility. He was obviously not just another insider. As the public face of the White House one could argue that he should have been privy to most of the decisions prior to them being made. Waiting for so long to come out with his version can be construed as being somewhat disingenuous. At the same time it can be “positioned” as wanting to make peace with oneself. In any case, it is sad to see seeming loyalists turn against the boss after the fact.

Irrespective of Mr. McClellan’s motivations the Bush White House has yet another media crisis to deal with. Not surprisingly, the White House criticized the book. Dana Perino, White House Press Secretary said, “Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House,” she said. “For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew.”

Expect Karl Rove and the Fox Network to go after Scott McClellan in a big way over the next several days and weeks while the so-called liberal media goes to town with specific interpretations of various excerpts as the book hits the stands.

The media now has a new story to slice and dice. McClellan will no doubt sell a lot of books and enjoy the limelight. Unfortunately, success of such books is likely to lead to more such books and the same cycle will carry on with the media. It is questionable as to whether these books serve any larger purpose than to keep the cycle of controversy going in Washington and making some public figures richer than they already are. Thankfully, with the elections round the corner and the democratic party nomination mess in the offing, I suspect that this story is unlikely to stay around for long.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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