Scott McClellan: White House Fed Fox News Talking Points. Right Wing Talk Show Hosts Who Were Invited To The White House For A Private Meeting With President Bush Just Prior to the 2006 Election Are Shocked!

July 26, 2008 · Filed Under 2008 Election, Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, Kind of Satire, Media 

Talking Point: An idea which may or may not be factual, meant to provide the most effective attack to saturate discourse and frame a debate. When used politically, the purpose is to propagandize by continuous repetition within media outlets until accepted as fact.

“I’ve been here from the beginning, and have never seen a White House “talking points.” — And I don’t know anyone else who’s seen one either. I asked senior management if they have ever seen a White House talking points. No one had.” Bill O’Reilly reacting to Dan Rather’s accusation that FoxNews gets White House Talking Points. 12/06.

“There were (FOX) commentators and pundits who were useful to the White House.” Former Bush White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, Hardball, 7/24/08

Similar to how the Communist news outlet, Pravda, and Nazi propaganda chief, Josef Goebbels, offered information to the Folks™, Scott McClellan admitted that Bush White House used Fox commentators as their spokespeople feeding them what they wanted the Folks™ to believe.  At least that’s what Scott McClellan now has acknowledeged. 

For those of you not as politically savvy FoxNews viewers, here’s the technical way talking points work: The Bush White House told Fox News what to say and Fox News said it.

For example, let’s say the Bush White House wanted to lead the Folks™ to believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9-11. They would send a note to Fox News and Fox News in turn would lead the Folks™ to believe he did by reporting it without letting the Folks™ know it was actually a White House talking point.

Or…if the Bush White House wanted the Folks™ to believe that Iraq had WMD, they would send a note to Fox News and Fox News would report it without letting the Folks™ know it was actually a White House talking point.

Or…if the Bush White House wanted the Folks™ to believe that if you questioned anything about the Bush White House’s approach to their Iraq invasion, you were against the troops.

Here’s an example…

Bush White House Talking Point: We don’t torture.

Bill O’Reilly Talking Point Memo: We don’t torture.

See. It’s easy. Here…you try it.

Bush White House Talking Point: We didn’t lie.

You: We didn’t lie.

Close. You see, sometimes, part of handling a talking point properly, is to not say it’s exactly as it’s written.

Let’s see how Bill O’Reilly would have handled it.

Bush White House Talking Point: We didn’t lie.

Bill O’Reilly Talking Point Memo: “There is absolutely no proof that the White House lied us into war. That’s a fact. Everyone knows it. Anyone who thinks differently is dopey. And that’s a memo.”

See. That’s how a pro handles it.

Now, you give it one more try.

Bush White House Talking Point: Barack Obama refused to see wounded US troops while in Germany.

You: Did Barack Obama refuse to visit wounded US troops while in Germany? We’ll be back in one minute to discuss this potentially shocking disregard for our injured heroes by the Democratic messiah.

Wow. You’re good. You could have your own show at Fox.

Now Bill might add that if you question his talking point, “you’re a pinhead” or “hate America,” but the White House gives FoxNews guys the latitude to make their (the White House) point more palatable to their particular audience. That’s called “spinning.” Like when you say you’re a “No-Spin Zone” and all you do is spin. In comic circles it’s called satire. At Fox, it’s called “News.”

Keep practicing. Who knows?  One day, one of those White House talking points will make their way to you and you could be well on your way to a lucrative career at Fox News.

Did I get that right, Dana?

Steve

Comments

28 Responses to “Scott McClellan: White House Fed Fox News Talking Points. Right Wing Talk Show Hosts Who Were Invited To The White House For A Private Meeting With President Bush Just Prior to the 2006 Election Are Shocked!”

  1. Tom on July 26th, 2008 3:30 pm

    Now I know why I felt like throwing up everytime I’ve watched FOX “news”.

  2. Valerie, Houston, TX on July 26th, 2008 5:42 pm

    Now I know why they attack Obama and his wife the way they do. I guess it should be no doubt how they manipulated the trip to see the troops in Germany and then fed it to the FOX news staff. Every show had a piece of paper quoting what the pentagon had said,…Hmmmmmmm!!!!

  3. Craig on July 26th, 2008 6:36 pm

    So where’s the quote from McClellan saying the White House fed Fox talking points?

  4. Steve Young on July 26th, 2008 6:56 pm

    McClellan validates it all…”Certainly we got talking points to (Fox).”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/25853581#25853581

  5. Dennis Shepherd on July 26th, 2008 7:32 pm

    Scott McClellan was in hiding until he wrote his piece of fiction. Seems like he can’t keep his mouth shut now. He should have resigned if he truly believed the garbage in his book. I guess a paycheck was more important. Now he must keep his name out there so someone might buy a book.

  6. iamjmbb on July 26th, 2008 7:46 pm

    important safety tip: if fox news makes you sick, stop watching it!!
    it’s right up there with: ‘if you find yourself at the bottom of a hole, stop digging!!’
    however, the fox news spin on it would be:
    fox: ‘but, you’re not at the bottom, you need to keep digging’
    re: ‘but, i am at the bottom’
    fox: ‘no, you’re just at the present bottom’
    re: ‘logically, i wouldn’t be at the bottom until i reach china’
    fox: ‘there ya go, then you’d have to turn around, and start digging again …you want the truth don’t ya?’
    re: ‘but, that would end up as sort of a ‘china syndrome’ of honeycombs of truth, and not truth at all’
    fox: ‘yes, that may well be, but it would keep you busy, and out of your betters hair’
    re: ‘that sounds like just spin to me’
    fox: ‘well yes, that’s what the earth does, …it’s spins on it’s axis’
    re: ‘now, you’re reframing the issue’
    fox: ‘it’s unamerican to think this much, …….you need to be reported!!!!!’
    re: ‘I CAN DIG IT, OR VOMIT BACK ALL YOUR FRAMED TALKING POINTS!!!!!’
    fox: ‘SEE, EVERYONE IS REDEEMABLE!!!!’
    re: ‘NO, EVERYONE HAS THE POSSIBILITY TO BE DELUSIONAL’
    fox: ‘now, you’re just being ridiculous’
    re: ‘i’m sorry, isn’t that your area of expertise??’

  7. Mike S on July 26th, 2008 9:17 pm

    Talking in general if you are the least bit educated at all,you would of never fallen for the Fox News propagansa to begin with.

    George Orwell is spinning in his grave.

  8. Chris Green on July 27th, 2008 8:53 pm

    The idea the Fox News simply waited to receive instructions from the White House and then, regardless of what they thought of them, forced their talk show hosts to repeat them is ridiculous.

    What I got from the interview was this:

    A conservative White House sent memos to a conservative news network detailing their point of view and facts that supported their point of view, and the conservative talk show hosts on this network (not the hard news journalists) tended to express points of view that were consistent with those memos. Does it really come as a surprise to anyone that the opinions of a conservative talk show host would be similar to talking points from a conservative administration? Of course they were useful. They would have been useful to the administration even if there had been no communication between the two at all. All this, of course, came from someone with an ax to grind with the administration.

    McClellan offers no evidence that Fox News Management didn’t just throw away the memos (even though this is highly unlikely). I’ve heard O’Reilly( with my own ears) disagree violently (in his bombastic way) with the policies of the administration from time to time, and the idea of O’Reilly just waiting around for a memo, changing the words around, and then vomiting it back out regardless of his own opinions is ridiculous.

  9. Steve Young on July 27th, 2008 11:38 pm

    Chris,
    Point: O’Reilly said he or Fox News never recieved any talking points. Why did he lie other than the fact that’s what he does?
    SY

  10. p. anthony allen on July 28th, 2008 8:35 am

    Chris Green adds;“A conservative White House sent memos to a conservative news network detailing their point of view and facts that supported their point of view, and the conservative talk show hosts on this network tended to express points of view that were consistent with those memos.”

    Thats not how it’s supposed to work. A news organization is supposed to “ask” questions to get answers. Not get the answers first without questioning. Moreover, the government should not be in the “news” business at any level. At the very least, if a political pundit is going to shill for the government, they should let us know.

  11. JV on July 29th, 2008 4:18 am

    Geez Mr. Dennis Shepherd, your reply “sounds” like a talking point. Is there an right wing echo in here?

  12. OmegaZ on July 29th, 2008 3:39 pm

    Y’all need to watch the documentary about FOX: Outfoxed. The ‘memos’ didn’t come from the white house, they came in the form of direct emails from Rupert Murdoch. I thought you knew!

  13. DB on July 29th, 2008 6:54 pm

    “Geez Mr. Dennis Shepherd, your reply “sounds” like a talking point. Is there an right wing echo in here?”

    It IS a right wing talking point. It’s intended to fool the public into not believing anything McClellan says, because he stayed at his job.

    Here’s a hint: At the time, HE BELIEVED WHAT HE WAS SAYING. He left after the Plame affair, when he started to realize that just maybe they were using him to lie for them.

  14. Mike on July 30th, 2008 3:59 am

    Only problem with all of this is Scott McClellan recanted today and apologized to BIll O’Reilly. I know you hate the guy but the truth never hurt anyone.

  15. Steve Young on July 30th, 2008 9:31 am

    Mike,

    Bill has said for the longest time that FoxNews has never received White House talking points. He didn’t go after SM for saying that they did.

    The truth is that BO misleads his audience on a regular basis.

    SY

  16. bruce stevens on July 31st, 2008 12:04 am

    I tried that “talking point” thing, and you are right. It is really easy, that’s probably why fox has so much fun with it! wink wink, nudge nudge, say nomore

  17. jerryd on August 1st, 2008 3:00 am

    you liberals will believe anything, oh yeah, i have some waterfront property in arizona ,interested?

  18. So much for “fair and balanced” « Cat Hairs and Chocolate on August 1st, 2008 3:47 am

    [...] Steve Young explains the process well: Here’s an example… [...]

  19. Our Dumb Blog » Blog Archive » Fair and Balanced? on August 3rd, 2008 3:15 pm

    [...] in case you haven’t noticed, it’s come to light that Fox news has essentially been saying whatever the White House wants them to [...]

    Duh.

  20. Andrew Sarkadi on August 4th, 2008 5:19 am

    “Scott McClellan was in hiding until he wrote his piece of fiction. Seems like he can’t keep his mouth shut now. He should have resigned if he truly believed the garbage in his book. I guess a paycheck was more important. Now he must keep his name out there so someone might buy a book”.-
    says Dennis Shepherd>Dennis, Mclellan may be spouting garbage but at least he is getting payed for it. What’s your excuse, simpleton?

  21. ksiff on August 9th, 2008 1:07 am

    I don’t understand why anyone would want to read this trash on this site. Anyone who does is obvioulsy mis informed or a dope.

  22. Steve Young on August 9th, 2008 2:37 am

    I agree.

    SY

  23. Dan on August 13th, 2008 8:19 pm

    I find it interesting that people on the left complain about fox news and _not_ about 90% of the rest of the news channels that are biased left.

    I have a thought. you only like to hear your own beliefs and ideas.

  24. Steve Young on August 14th, 2008 3:41 pm

    Dan,

    Other than MSNBC, it seems that “left” means anyone or place who doesn’t lean right.

    SY

  25. John on August 15th, 2008 10:26 am

    You do know that McClellan went on O’Reilly’s radio and TV show and denied that this ever happened? He did not feed O’Reilly talking points.

  26. Steve Young on August 17th, 2008 11:29 am

    SM never denied they went to Fox News yet O’Reilly said he checked with everyone at Fox and no one received them.

    Cmon. O’Reilly says he’s “the quarterback” over there and yet, he didn’t know what polays were being called…? C’mon.

    S

  27. Jack on January 12th, 2009 8:08 pm

    He was almost crying at today’s press conference. What a moron

    Jacks last blog post..The New York conspiracy

  28. Kathryn Girard on May 12th, 2009 1:29 am

    I’m a parent, with a soldier in the middle of the Afghanastan WAR. It is upsetting to hear our new administration disgrace our troops. The President is acting cowardly as he’s trying to gain popularity. As for our Sec. of State, Clinton, she should know better. American needs to support our troops, my son, your neighbor is giving his future for your freedom, and it sicken me to think our Comander in Chief can belittle our soldiers so unthoughtfully.

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