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The Washington Post looks back on White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher's role handling media inquiries into the Enron scandal:

He was, in short, the symbol of an administration that valued secrecy, that hoarded information, that often viewed the press as the hostile opposition. It was not unlike being the ambassador to a strange and unfriendly country.

And quotes Bush on his faithful spokesman:

"Ari must know not only what's on my mind, but be in a position to see what I see, hear what I hear. ... Knowledge is important to deal with the press corps. ... The one thing about the press corps is they know a lot of stuff.

"The thing I like most about him is he cares about me. ... I appreciate his sensitivity. If he ever thinks he's done something to hurt the administration or my standing, it bothers him. And I admire that in a man."

(Not that Bush's priorities (or erudition) are news to anyone at this point.)

The article depicts a surprisingly chummy relationship between Fleisher and Bush; no doubt one of the main reasons they've been so successful in controlling the flow of information to the public is that they do indeed work well together. If only their aspirations were more admirable....

May 20, 2002 1:28 PM

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