Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Q & (non-)A: a notable quote

At today's press briefing, Bush White House spokesman, Tony Snow, eschewed using a standard part of speech, as he danced around the finer points of a question he would prefer to completely avoid:

Reporter: Can you attach an adjective here?

Snow: No, I try to stay out of the adjectival business.

For the rest of the exchange, you'll have to check out this link from Salon's War Room. The above Q & (non-)A are the 5th between AP reporter Holland and Snow.

* * *

Later on in the same interview, Snow attempted to distinguish between backpedaling and minimizing a vast, metaphysical question.

Reporter: That sounds like backpedaling.

Snow: No, it's not backpedaling. It's just it seems to me to be such a vast, metaphysical question.

* * *

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find small comfort in knowing that the Bush White House's spokesman can even use the word metaphysical in a relevant context... whether hyperbole or not.


certifiedprepwn3d said...

This whole exchange is both fun and painful to read - and it gets back to that conversation last week about - How do you say things to the press without actually telling them anything? Kudos to the reporter for looking under that rock to see what wriggled -

William Timberman said...

Somehow, these are conversations I wouldn't want to have, would avoid having even if it meant moving to a desert island.

Snow only moonlights as GWB's Presidential Press Secretary. He's actually the Vogon poet laureate.

Frankly, my dear, ... said...

I'm just glad that 'metaphysical' isn't an adjective, what with Tony not being in the adjectival business and all. Oh, wait ...

WT: He's actually the Vogon poet laureate.

Now, that's funny.

Karen M said...

Okay, so I had to google Vogon Poetry to get the joke (very funny!)... but now, I'm wondering why it hasn't been included in the latest edition of our torture manual.

F,md: I know... the irony of it all.

WT, I think that comment from you has yielded a "notable quote."

Jeff W said...

Shorter version:

Snow says September is not a pivotal moment but "the first opportunity to be able to take a look at what happens…"

Reporter: But the president says it's a "critical moment."

Snow: "I will let the president do the characterizations."

Reporter: The president says "We'll know whether it's working in September." So is September the right time to judge whether the surge is working?

Snow: It's a vast, metaphysical question.

Snow: "…what you're going to get a preliminary look…"

which reduces to:

President says X, you say Y.

Snow: I'll defer to president.

Well, is it X?

Snow: That's a vast, metaphysical question—but, now that I've rambled on long enough to avoid a direct but embarrassing comparison with what the President has said, it's Y.

Karen M said...

I meant to say, Jeff, when I first read this, that there could be space here for the occasional small playlet.

In fact, you could call them something like "The Shorter Version."