- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2007

Snow’s return

The White House press office yesterday told Jon Ward of The Washington Times that top Bush administration spokesman Tony Snow will return to work on Monday.

Mr. Snow’s colon cancer was found late last month to have returned and attached itself to his liver. Mr. Snow underwent surgery to remove as much cancer as possible, and will continue to receive treatment.

One source said the cancer attached itself to the outside of his liver but that has not penetrated the liver, and that Mr. Snow will not have to undergo the most-debilitating forms of chemotherapy.

Amazing’ troops

American troops in Iraq are winning the admiration of reporters — even those who are skeptical of the U.S. mission there, Jeff Emanuel reports at RedState.com.

“Absolutely amazing,” Spanish reporter David Beriain told Mr. Emanuel at the Combined Press Information Center (CPIC) in Baghdad. Mr. Beriain and a Spanish photographer had been embedded for two weeks with troops of the 1st Infantry Division.

“In Spain, it’s embarrassing — our soldiers are ashamed to be in the army,” Mr. Beriain told Mr. Emanuel. “These young men … are so proud of what they do, and do it so well, even though it is dangerous and they could very easily be killed.”

Mr. Emanuel, an Air Force veteran of the Iraq war and University of Georgia student, has returned to Iraq as a civilian reporter. He writes, “Beriain explained that the company he had been embedded with had lost three men in the span of six days while he was there one to a sniper and two to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). … Despite this, he said … the soldiers’ resolve and morale was unshaken in the long term, and they remained committed to carrying out their mission to the best of their ability for the duration of their tour here.

“It was in the process of performing that mission, of coping with the loss of loved ones, and of just being themselves as American soldiers, that these young men were able to win over the admiration and affection of more than one journalist who had arrived in their midst harboring a less-than-positive opinion of the Iraq war, and of those who were tasked with prosecuting it.”

Dean vs. press

The chairman of the Democratic Party said yesterday that the best way to get presidential candidates to talk frankly about issues is to lock out the press.

During the Mortgage Bankers Association conference in Washington, a banker expressed frustration with candidates who only talk in sound bites and wondered how that could be changed. Howard Dean, once a presidential candidate, offered a simple solution.

“I suggest you have candidates in to meetings like this and bar the press,” Mr. Dean said.

The Democratic National Committee chairman criticized press coverage, arguing that networks such as CBS used to put content first and didn’t mind losing money for the prestige of delivering a quality news report, the Associated Press reports.

“The media has been reduced to info-tainment,” Mr. Dean said. “Info-tainment sells. The problem is they reach the lowest common denominator instead of forcing a little education down our throats.”

Mr. Dean added: “Politicians are incredibly careful not to say anything if they can possibly help it, except if it is exactly scripted. And if you want to hear anybody’s true views, you cannot do it in the same room as the press. If you want to hear the truth from them, you have to exclude the press.”

Bush’s helpers

“Today, it is the height of political irony that the president’s most ardent detractors may yet bolster his flagging support,” Gary Bauer writes at www.weeklystandard.com.

“A hint of a backlash was evident in March when, after news of the January vandalism at the U.S. Capitol hit the media, thousands of fed-up citizens took action, pouring into D.C. from all over the country to protect the monuments and make it clear that the anti-war Left doesn’t speak for them. Later, as the anti-war march crossed the Memorial Bridge into Virginia toward Arlington Cemetery — where over 300,000 war heroes from all 12 American wars lie in peace — it was met by a large gathering of vets who unfurled a banner reading, ‘You dishonor our dead on hallowed ground.’

“Further rallies to support the troops have been planned. Rolling Thunder, an organization that works on behalf of POW-MIA issues, has organized a rally in Washington D.C. to take place on Memorial Day weekend,” said Mr. Bauer, president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

“Even more revealing are the opinion polls showing little public support for the extremes of the anti-war Left, which demands nothing short of immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq, cutting off of all funds for the troops, and the impeachment of President Bush. … Clearly, while the country may be suffering a loss of confidence in how the war is being managed, that concern is not translating into an alignment with the activist anti-war crowd, for whom victory is never an option.”

Green favorites

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton topped a presidential poll conducted by a coalition of environmental groups that wants to make sure global warming is a top issue in tonight’s Democratic debate.

The New York Democrat was favored by 31 percent of Democratic voters in the poll, released yesterday by the Conservation Voters of South Carolina Education Fund and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.

Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, was close behind at 27 percent while 22 percent of Democrats were undecided, according to the poll, reported on The Washington Times’ blog Fishwrap yesterday.

The poll, which can be found at www.heatison.org/scpoll, showed that 24 percent of Republicans chose Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, while 22 percent were undecided and the other candidates ranked much lower.

Iran engagement

National Review Online’s Jim Geraghty notes that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had “a relatively quiet event” when she spoke yesterday at the National Jewish Democratic Council, even though the New York Democrat spoke in favor of engagement with Iran, which has vowed to wipe Israel off the map.

According to Mr. Geraghty, who writes NRO’s “Hillary Spot” blog, “Senator Clinton was applauded when she talked about re-engagement with Iran, a position that I suspect would be more controversial with other Jewish organizations.” He quotes the former first lady and current presidential hopeful as saying:

“We cannot, should not and must not allow Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons … But I think it’s important to look at all options — some have been narrowed by the choices of this administration. If the Bush administration had been smarter, and had been engaged with Iran, Syria and others, I’m not saying dangers would be lessened, but that the process of direct engagement is important. This president’s attitude is ‘I don’t talk to bad people.’ I don’t think that is a smart way to manage the threats we face.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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