Today, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer announced his intention to leave the position in July. Michael Kinsley wrote about his Q&A aplomb during wartime press briefings in 2001: "[M]y colleague David Plotz gave short shrift to Fleischer—dismissing him as an evasive bore. This doesn't give Fleischer nearly enough credit: He is a great evasive bore."
William Saletan also analyzed Fleischer's eight tricks for highly effective spin control during the Enron scandal in this article from 2002: "[M]aking something look like nothing is easier than it sounds. All you have to do is phrase it in the negative. When asked to explain why Bush officials decided not to bail out Enron, Fleischer says there's no action to explain, because 'they took no action.' "
Fleischer appeared frequently in the "Whopper of the Week," as compiled by Timothy Noah. As Noah commented in February 2003, "Ari Fleischer's ability to repeat a lie even after it's been shown, repeatedly, to be false is what separates him from the amateurs." For more Fleischer fibs, consult the 2002 and 2001 Whopper Archives.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.