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Tony Snow

Filmmaker James Cameron’s new Discovery Channel project, called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” isn’t making any waves at the White House.

A spokesman for the president said, in fact, it’s unlikely that the president is even paying attention to the brouhaha over the Discovery Channel’s plans to air this weekend a “documentary” by James Cameron claiming the discovery of a tomb in Jerusalem that at one time allegedly contained the remains of Jesus, his wife Mary Magdalene, son Judah and others.

Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, had asked spokesman Tony Snow: “The president is well-known to be a devout Christian, so I presume he will not evade the question – how does he feel about the Titanic director’s claim of rediscovering the allegedly permanent burial site of the Gospel-reported resurrected Christ, together with alleged Jesus, wife and son?”

“I hope that you will not consider this un-Christian of me, Les, but I am sure that he probably has not spent a moment thinking about that,” Snow said.

Leaders of a wide range of Christian groups as well as family values leaders have condemned the promotion of such information as a “documentary,” and have called on the Discovery Channel to cancel the airing and apologize to Christians worldwide.

They note that such attacks are made on the foundations of no other religion in the United States.

In a second question, WND asked about a changeup in the seating arrangements at White House news briefings, which soon will relegate longtime White House reporter Helen Thomas to the second row, in order to accommodate television network needs.

“Last night, CNN featured the president of the White House Correspondents Association saying of Helen Thomas, ‘We love her and will take care of her.’ But CNN also reported that in order to accommodate one more network on row one, Helen, our senior-to-all colleague, is to be relegated to row two when we move back into the White House press room. And my question: Assuming that CNN is accurate, how can you allow this dean of our corps, senior veteran and undeniably colorful character – to be back-seated, as has been done to her at presidential press conferences? And what does this say about Bush-Snow treatment of senior citizens who wonder how you and the President would allow networks such ageist favoritism over a veteran?”

Thomas interrupted, telling Snow, “I swear I didn’t put him up to …”

And she added, “I never could think of his question in a million years.”

“This is about a thousand-part question, so let me parse it, Les. Number one, of course, we love Helen. Number two, the White House does not make decisions about where people sit, so you can address that to the Correspondents Association. And number three, regardless of the seating arrangement, you’ll still be looking at the back of her head.”

Kinsolving persisted. “Why do you and the president allow this discrimination against a senior citizen who is our senior reporter?”

“I don’t need to be defended, thank you very much,” said Thomas.

Snow said it would be up to others.



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