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Conservatives Try To Smear McClellan By Calling Him A ‘Left-Wing Hater’ Reciting ‘Blogworld Talking Points’

By Amanda Terkel on May 30, 2008 at 6:16 pm

"Conservatives Try To Smear McClellan By Calling Him A ‘Left-Wing Hater’ Reciting ‘Blogworld Talking Points’"

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mccc.jpg The White House and its allies have gone out and attacked former press secretary Scott McClellan as “disgruntled,” a “traitor,” and even “Judas.” But one of the insults increasingly popping up is probably, to the Bush administration, the most insulting: comparing McClellan to a left-wing blogger.

Today, for example, the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes went on The Diane Rehm Show and tried to undermine McClellan’s allegations by saying that he was simply reciting “left-wing blogworld talking points” in order to get attention:

HOST: Steve, do you think this deserves all the attention it’s getting?

HAYES: I don’t know that it deserves all the attention it’s getting, and I think, as Eamon points out, Scott’s not necessarily saying much that’s new, he’s just saying a lot that’s new for him. And you know, to see Scott go from White House talking points to these new, almost left-wing blogworld talking points, is enough to make our colleagues in the Washington press corps pay close attention to it.

Listen here:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/05/shayesdrlb.320.40.flv]

Some more examples of this right-wing meme:

Former White House aide Karl Rove: “First of all, this doesn’t sound like Scott. It really doesn’t. Not the Scott McClellan I’ve known for a long time. Second of all, it sounds like somebody else. It sounds like a left-wing blogger.”

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer: “We were wrong about whether Saddam had a WMD but that didn’t mean the president manipulated anything. And Scott uses the very same words that the far-left uses and I find that troubling because I find it inaccurate.”

Former counselor to the President Dan Bartlett: “But he uses these very infammatory and explosive words like, ‘shading the truth,’ ‘propaganda,’ all these touchstones of the liberal left, which really makes me pause to think, ‘are these Scott’s words or are they the words of a liberal publisher who’s the guy behind this book.” [The Mike Gallagher Show, 5/30/08]

The Politico’s Mike Allen also said that Scott has adopted the “vocabulary, rhetoric of the left-wing haters.”

The right wing needs to get over its conviction the “liberal left” is responsible for any criticisms of the Bush administration. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, 67 percent of the American public disapproves of the job Bush is doing. Sixty-seven percent also disapproves of the way he is handling the Iraq war. It’s highly doubtful that all these people are left-wing bloggers.

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