The bulk of the White House press office is at the president’s ranch at Crawford, Texas until Labor Day.
I am now undergoing Ari Fleischer withdrawal symptoms.
I can think of at least 10 questions that I would like to ask him – even though most of them, I suspect, would invoke an A.E. (Ari Evasion).
One thing that must be remembered by anyone covering the White House (and I began doing so in the last year of the presidency of Richard Nixon) is that an evasion is not the absence of an answer. It is an answer that the White House will not be accountable to the people on that issue.
I mention this in answer to a number of e-mails I have received since I had the honor of being made WorldNetDaily’s White House correspondent and columnist this summer.
I wish indeed that I had either the staff or the time to answer my e-mails. I am able, most gratefully, to read them and, occasionally, quote them on-air or in print. For example, the following were among e-mails sent to me on Friday, Aug. 2:
- “I was just wondering why you bother to ask Ari Fleischer any questions at all. It’s apparent to me that he knows absolutely nothing, which in my opinion is the earmark of a true politician or the biggest BLEEP the government has managed to BLEEP yet.” – Harry, Lenoir, N.C.
- “Mr. Kinsolving: you are like a breath of fresh air – soooooo refreshing! Keep up the great work! With best regards,” – Jack, Burlingame, Calif.
- “Why waste the bandwidth for such a worthless and pointless article, don’t you have anything better?” – Todd, address unlisted.
- “Go get ’em Mr. Kinsolving!” – Randy, address unlisted.
- “Ari Fleischer’s non-answers to your incessant questions just goes to prove that when a journalist doesn’t meet with the mustard demanded of them by the Powers That Be in the White House, then those journalists are wasting their and the public’s time. If a press secretary ignores a journalist’s question by feigning a lack of knowledge of subject broached, then that press secretary is pulling the proverbial wool over the eyes – if not the minds – of those would-be purveyors of news. So what is left for the readers and viewers who have to witness that kind of disdain aimed their way?
“Les, unless you have your questions vetted by Ari before you ask them, then you are wasting both your time, WND’s time and our time. Can’t you see that Ari is not about answering your questions, especially those that are deemed to be irrelevant to the messages the president is trying to convey to his captive audience, i.e., the American people? If you continue to ask the questions you ask to Ari Fleischer you may yet be cited for unpatriotic behavior for daring to question the president’s man without first having sought out the former’s blessing. Under the new rules that govern Americans, the act of being unpatriotic could end up condemning you to one of the Guantanamo-like holding pens that are now being erected for American dissenters (at least one will be on home soil to serve out his or her sentence).” – Peter, address unlisted
- “Les: great job. Real questions. Eventually they might have to answer one. It is a refreshing change from the usual chant-response dance.” – James, address unlisted.
In point of fact, Ari Fleischer has, on occasion actually answered my questions! One of these questions dealt with former “Politically Incorrect” TV host Bill Maher’s outrageous statement that our armed forces who handle and fire missiles are “cowards” while the 9-11 terrorists were “courageous.”
Ari answered in no uncertain terms – for which good response he was denounced, by assorted left-wing media types.
So, I keep asking, in hopes of another such good answer – and with confidence that any A.E. (Ari Evasions) are still answers. They are answers that this administration will not be accountable to the public on that subject.
These evasions deserve reporting by WND and on the air. For the American people deserve to know what subjects their president’s spokesman is dodging.