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Tony Snow Calls Lead in Today's 'NYT' Iran Editorial 'Dumbest' He's Seen in Awhile

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tony Snow Calls Lead in Today's 'NYT' Iran Editorial 'Dumbest' He's Seen in Awhile

Article excerpt

In his White House press briefings this week, spokesman Tony Snow, amid new charges from the administration and the Pentagon of deadly Iranian activity in Iraq, has nevertheless charged that the press is "overhyping" the possibility of some sort of U.S. plan to attack Iran. Today, after many questions and challenges on this subject, he called the opening a New York Times editorial on this subject today "what may be the dumbest lead of an editorial I've seen in a long time."

Snow said, "You guys have been constantly -- I did see what may be the dumbest lead of an editorial I've seen in a long time today in The New York Times, which is, 'We need to declare ourselves on Iran.' We've declared it over and over -- we're not going to war with them.

"Let me make that clear. So anybody who is trying to use this as 'the administration trying to lay the predicate for a war with Iran' -- no, we're committed to diplomacy with Iran. But we are also committed to protecting our forces."

The first sentences of the Times' editorial actually read, "Before things get any more out of hand, President Bush needs to make his intentions toward Iran clear. And congress needs to make it clear that this time it will be neither tricked nor bullied into supporting another disastrous war."

One exchange on the subject from the transcript follows.*

Q Do you think that the off-the-record, low-level Iran briefing has backfired? The reason I ask that is because on the one hand you avoid the comparison with Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations, but at the same time, what you've ended up with is the sense that no one senior in the administration seems to be willing to go on the record. …

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