I don’t know if you would call this a guilty pleasure or what, but I don’t keep secret the fact that I often listen to conservative talk radio. Now if you read any of my posts about politics, I would hope that it’s pretty clear that I’m about as far from conservative as they come.
That said, yes, I do listen to conservative talk radio. The bad habit started because Coast to Coast AM is played here in Seattle on conservative talk radio station KVI. So when I go to sleep listening to Coast, I wake up to people like Kirby Wilbur or Tony Snow.
When rumors started circulating last week that Snow was the most likely replacement for Scott McClellan, I must admit that I felt a little “in the loop” or something. Like, silly as it is, when they say you feel somewhat of a personal bond with broadcasters/columnists/whoever that you listen to/read on a daily basis, it is somewhat true. I (and millions of other listeners, I’m sure) feel as if Tony Snow is somewhat of an acquaintance (I wouldn’t call him a friend since I’m sure we’d not get along very well in person).
One of the things about Tony Snow is that he tries to be somewhat of a contrarian. Now that conservative talk radio is hardly a small-time operation and everyone knows how influential it is and how tied the personalities are to the Republican party, the hosts seem to go out of their way to disagree with Bush and other Republicans as a way of saying, “No no no, we actually think for ourselves.” (When, in fact, this is all a big smoke screen since they really only disagree on minor aspects of policy and pretty much always share the same overall philosophy but may disagree with the execution, etc.)
Nonetheless, Think Progress has gone and culled some great criticisms that Snow has hurled at the Bush administration (and now they have a good Tony Snow on the issues). I don’t think this is insightful or anything or really advances the debate about issues, but it is pretty embarrassing for the Bush administration — OR it’s potentially to their benefit since it’s somewhat of a sign saying, “Anyone who argues that it’s all ‘yes men’ around here is certainly wrong.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Snow does as the White House Press Secretary. Unlike McClellan, I do believe that Snow will be able to be more involved with policy and that’s probably a good thing for reporters — he’ll definitely have more credibility than McClellan, who only seemed to be able to regurgitate whatever message Bush and his inner circle wanted him to say. (And in a way, I do feel bad for McClellan since Bush and company made him look like a total jack-ass on numerous occasions [“No, no, I spoke to Rove. I spoke to him about — no, I spoke to him about these accusations, I’ve spoken to him”].)
Of course, the most ridiculous thing about Snow going from Fox News to the White House is the fact that it just gives more credence to the argument that Fox has a rather unhealthy relationship with the Republican Party. Now that Snow will be the press secretary, I shudder to think about the level of access that the White House and Fox News will have with each other. I envision a lot of swapping of exclusive interviews for promises to spin a story in whatever way the White House wants. Not that this doesn’t happen already, but with a Fox News former employee being the liaison between the press and the White House I’m sure it’ll only get worse.