Fox News Meme: Publisher ‘Got To’ McClellan, Forced Him To ‘Spice It Up A Little Bit’

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"Fox News Meme: Publisher ‘Got To’ McClellan, Forced Him To ‘Spice It Up A Little Bit’"

In response to Scott McClellan’s scathing new memoir criticizing the Bush administration’s deception, current and former White House officials have blanketed the media to bash the former press secretary. They have called him a “traitor” and dismissed him as “disgruntled.”

Fox News and its guests, however, have put the blame on McClellan’s publisher. According to this new Fox News meme, McClellan isn’t responsible for the revelations in the book because his publisher made him do it:

Brad Blakeman, former White House staffer: “A publisher got to him and he waved a lot of money, I’m sure, in front of him and he took the bait and that is just unfortunate.”

Trent Duffy, former White House deputy press secretary: “It’s like he just turned over the pen to a publisher and signed his name at the bottom and got a big fat book contract.”

Bill O’Reilly: “McClellan is in it for the bucks, keeping in mind his publisher also distributes books by George Soros and other far left people.”

Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary: “And I talked to Scott yesterday and Scott did tell me, that his editor, this is Scott’s words, ‘tweaked some things closely in the last few months.’ And I think what did happen, Bill, was the book was pretty much done and set and Scott went back in, and I think his editor wrote a lot of it.”

Newt Gingrich, former House speaker: “Here is this guy who want to sell books. He’s cut his ties to the administration and his publisher says, ‘Now look, you can spice it up a little bit.’”

Steve Doocy: “Apparently the publisher did some tweaking. How much? That’s a really good question.”

Watch a compilation:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/05/publishermc.320.240.flv]

This meme is nothing but an attempt to dismiss reality. The right wing is acting as if McClellan was manipulated by a nefarious ghostwriter. He wasn’t; the words are his own. Peter Osnos, founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, which is publishing McClellan’s book, told the Politico, “This was a book that he wanted to write.” “No one has ever done a book for us just for the money,” said Osnos. “I can say that with absolute certainty.”

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell yesterday reported that she spoke with “publishing sources” who said that “there was probably not a very large advance paid for this book,” debunking the claim that McClellan sold out his former boss for a big pile of money.

Update

Open Left’s Matt Stoller also caught a Twitter message by Bush-Cheney eCampaign Director Mike Turk, which read: “Feeling for Scott McLellan. Nice getting savaged for saying what everyone knows to be true anyway.”

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