The Press Secretary: I speak for myself, not the President

One of the interesting things about how we’ve allowed the Press Secretary to be a voice (not the voice) of the President is the ability of this person to speak for the President while deflecting from the President. Unlike UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s “Official Spokesperson” who is nameless and clearly speak for the Prime Minister, the US position isn’t held to account, even when he clearly lies.

An article in today’s Washington Post highlights the incredible flexibility, if you will, of the Press Secretary. Not once does Dana Milbank suggest that anything Tony Snow did, or rather didn’t, say or do reflects on the President himself, which is the prime value and purpose of the Office of the Press Secretary.

I’ve commented on the failure of the media to take this attribute of the Press Secretary seriously, notably in his ability to pressure the press on behalf of the President without serious reflection back onto the President. I wrote more on this back in November