Network first to spotlight White House insider
NBC has landed the first broadcast and cable interviews with political author du jour Scott McClellan, the former Bush White House insider whose memoirs have grabbed headlines even before the book’s official release.The Peacock’s “Today” show will have McClellan on this morning, and MSNBC’s “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” will host him in the evening. McClellan’s publisher, PublicAffairs Books, did not return calls asking why NBC was chosen. McClellan’s tome, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” is skedded for release next week, but early copies sold by bookstores this week caused an uproar throughout Washington on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters gathered outside his Virginia home, McClellan said his book “has got an important message,” but he declined to go into much further detail, citing his commitments for exclusive interviews today. Among the more sensational claims the former White House spokesman makes in the memoir:
- President Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the Iraq war to the American public.
- Former presidential staffer Karl Rove and convicted perjurer I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who worked for VP Dick Cheney, may have lied to McClellan about their roles in leaking the identity of a CIA officer.
- The White House was in a “state of denial” about the full impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast.
- The media served as a “culture of enablers” in not having aggressively challenged the Bush administration’s case for war.