Thursday, December 14, 2006

And To Show Our Appreciation We'll Validate your Parking

Hey Rummy, Now that you've eviscerated the military, set American foreign policy back 50 years and left a debt our grand children's grandchildren will still be paying off, what's next?

"I'm going to Disney World. Heck, I been living in a fantasy for the last six years, why stop now?"

"Parting is such sweet sorrow," quoth the Bard. Of course he didn't know Rummy.

Donald Rumsfeld, once famous for his combative news conferences, and his 1950's Father Knows Best vocabulary, has chosen to limit his media contacts to friendly audiences in his final days as defense secretary. "Today's press representatives will be from the Kazakhstan Daily Tribune, and of course, Jeff Gannon," announced an aide to Rumsfeld. "Tomorrow, we'll invite...well, those two just about do it for print. Hey Bill, call Fox and see who's not in rehab. We need some invites for the Secretary."

When the Kazakhstani reporter asked Rumsfeld what he thought his greatest accomplishment was he replied when People Magazine had named him sexist man in the administration. "Cheney's still hot about that one," the Secretary told the reporter. By that time Gannon had wandered away after a page, so the press conference was ended.

Rumsfeld had a history of contentious relations with the press. As the Iraq war became increasingly unpopular, with Rumsfeld a symbol of the conflict, he cut back on news conferences. "They act like the war's going badly," he told an aide at the time. "It's just harshing my mellow."

"Why do we have to keep going through this?" he once declared with exasperation when asked if he took responsibility for what had gone wrong in Iraq."Of course I bear responsibility. My lord, I'm secretary of defense. Write it down. Quote it. You can bank it. Am I going to do anything about it? No chance."

Rumsfeld has not held a single news conference since president Bush announced he was firing the Secretary on November 8, and he did not take any of the Pentagon press corps on a farewell visit to Iraq last weekend. "The Secretary feels his dismissal is the fault of the press reporting too much bad news from Iraq," an aide said on condition of anonymity.

Normally about a dozen reporters would travel with Rumsfeld on a publicly funded visit to a war zone at the center of public attention. Instead, Rumsfeld took only outspoken conservative talk show host Sean Hannity and his Fox News television crew. "Well, in the Secretary's defense, Hannity's nose was so far up his butt that it would have required a team of surgeons to get it out before the trip," said a Pentagon spokesperson.

A couple of days before his trip, he was interviewed by conservative columnist Cal Thomas. On Tuesday, he was a guest on conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham's program. He had another Fox News interview on his schedule for Thursday. "It's really hard to find reporter who share Rumsfeld's view," said an aide. "So when we do we have to take advantage."

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