First and foremost it is one of the best looks at the role of the press secretary and the sheer stress the job has o Ari provides an interesting book in his autobiography as President Bush's White House Press Secretary. First and foremost it is one of the best looks at the role of the press secretary and the sheer stress the job has on a person.
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Whether you like or hate President Bush there is no one who can deny that the role of press secretary is a hard job especially under a tight lipped and secretive white House. Andy Card's goal as chief of staff was to keep leaks to a minimum which frustrates the press leaving their only source of information the press secretary. When the press secretary is instructed not to discuss military matters it becomes even more adversarial.
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One of the interesting things learned from the book is what viewpoint the Press Secretary is supposed to have. I found it fascinating that he is only there to represent the views of the president and that does not necessarily have to be the wishes of the branches of government that report to the president.
One of the other objectives was to provide a critical narrative of the press and give insight into the White House Press Crops. I found his look at the White House Press fascinating and he really does put you inside the room of the toughest reporters in the United States. He illustrates well his points about the adversarial nature of the press and the desire of the press to create conflict which leads to stories.
Many times the same questions are asked over and over hoping for a slip that the Press Secretary cannot afford to give. One of the angles that I think he does handle poorly is the bias of the press.
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While there are voluminous studies to show that the press is slanted right Ari seems to not acknowledge that all media is biased in one direction or another. The White House press does not give passes to any president. People today do not trust the news they get from the press and rightly so due to the biases that are present be they Fox News or MSNBC. While he highlights the point of on the liberal media it is done far better by Benard Goldberg in his book Bias. Some of his book seems to be aimed at knocking down the arguments in the Price of Loyalty.
While this is another viewpoint again the truth probably lies in the middle. Some of his defenses of trying to shift blame to the press for starting up the Iraq war are fairly ludicrous. Ari does not sit in on any of the national security briefings and the president preferred himself to comment on those matters leaving Ari in a hard position to comment on them after the fact.
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One of the things he does refute well that many agree with is the loyalty that Bush shows to those who are loyal to him. There is a clear look that Bush's leadership style does work within his White House and he is respected by the staff. Ari also seems to take it upon himself to set the record straight and show the country that Bush did not think of the war in Iraq in a vacuum that many other people including the press also had the same idea along the way. He is largely successful in this although he glosses over one of the critical mistakes.
The landing on the USS Lincoln with the banner Mission Accomplished was one of the great errors in the press of fighting the war and it is skipped over here. I think Ari is right in saying that the press views any war that is long as a quagmire and Vietnam and any war where we win quickly is Desert Storm and must be over in a week.
There is a lack of reality by the press which filters to the country. Overall an excellent book and very well done. Ari provides unique insight into the Bush White House and while it is biased it does not make it useless. He raises critical questions that require issues to be reexamined and while he is loathe to criticize his former boss for the things he did wrong we still see a good look at Bush the man and the President. Jun 08, Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it Shelves: Fleischer was George W.
Bush's Press Secretary from through , facing the White House press daily through some of the most tumultuous times in American history including the aftermath of the bitterly contested election and of course September This memoir of the time, which could have been a quickly-assembled hack job, is instead thoughtful and interesting. Fleischer provides just enough personal information to frame his story New York city kid who grew up liberal in a family of Fleischer was George W. Fleischer provides just enough personal information to frame his story New York city kid who grew up liberal in a family of Democrats , spending more time describing the more important and interesting interplay between White House staff and the press.
Fleischer's key points about the press are that it is --conflict based its not news if it doesn't involve conflict --deadline driven at the cost of fact-checking and completeness --homogeneously hampered almost exclusively produced and controlled by liberal and Democratic writers and editors. He backs his ideas up with examples, including some he used from the press briefing floor in daily combat with the press.
With those caveats, Fleischer expresses his respect and admiration for the press honestly and without rancor or reservation. Likewise he describes his admiration for Bush and his policies, words which have more impact in the light of the intervening years of Bush bashing that has become universal in the press and among liberals and Democrats, and even amongst a fair number of former Bush supporters in his own party. Jul 11, Alex rated it it was ok Shelves: I finally read this book after it sat on my shelf for over a decade.
Interesting insight to aftermath and the obsession President Bush and the neocons in his administration had on nation building and invading Iraq. May 13, Susanhayeshotmail. Took me a long time to plow through this, I found it interesting but sheesh, enough is enough sometimes. I would probably go for a two and a half star rating if I could. There were some interesting bits the chapter on Helen Thomas makes for interesting reading in light of recent of events. When you handle magazines week after week you begin to notice things: Also, quite frequently something about organization, time management and or budget slashing.
Check it, I know I'm right. Bush was always on the cover looking tired, in bad light or in with his mouth open in midword, very unflattering pictures. Perot always looked a little crazy or sneaky. I swear, it was that way week after week, so I was interested in what Fleischer had to say about the media and he makes some valid points but, please, not at such length. I mean, for Pete's sake, he backs up his claims with statistics on how many questions he was asked about certain events and how often certain phrases such as liberal verses right wing were used by the press.
And I gotta wonder with Ari about words such as activist verses protester and what slant we assign to words. I think words are important and I was always taught, back in my youthful jr.
And it seems to me them days are gone. I always enjoyed watching Ari Fleischer fence with the press corps and he seemed like a stand up guy who was walking a fine line can you say stressful job? Fleischer, first press secretary to President George W. Bush, describes his 2 years on the job, plus the prior months he was a spokesman for the candidate. Fleischer, who left the office not long after the beginning of the Iraq war, has warm things to say about Bush and admiration for the day-in, day-out job of the White House press.
But he also has a load of insightful things to say about the bias of the press, its lack of balance and the lack of balance of those who teach those who become m Fleischer, first press secretary to President George W. But he also has a load of insightful things to say about the bias of the press, its lack of balance and the lack of balance of those who teach those who become members of the press. Naturally, critics dismissed Fleischer's book because it criticized the very imbalance in place, but here we are nearly 15 years from Fleischer service, and the imbalance of the press still exists and now has become front and center with the first president willing to call out such bias.
Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House by Ari Fleischer
Oct 22, Bill rated it it was ok. I can think of better ways to spend my working hours, but ya gotta read what you're assigned. I found what he had to say about the nitpicking need for conflict in the press interesting, and I believe that his complaints about the "liberal bias" in the media SOMEWHAT justified--though a lot of times he just seemed to be whining. It was hard relieving the events of September 11 and the lead-up to the war with Iraq and the war itself through Republican eyes.
It just further cemented my belief that we I can think of better ways to spend my working hours, but ya gotta read what you're assigned. It just further cemented my belief that we really do see the world through different lenses. The thing that was hardest to believe, though, is his constant portrayal of W.
This portrayal runs totally counter to what we've heard from other insiders Paul O'Neill, for example and to what we all know about the W. I wonder how this book would've been different if Fleischer had written it after Katrina or if he wrote it now. Aug 17, Samantha rated it liked it. Ari Fleischer should take a bow for having to deal with both sides It's a thankless job and you are always in hot water. I thought this was a good book. Not a great book. There were no major revelations and he slammed the media for being too liberal but overall, it was a book that is worth reading.
It was interesting to read his first hand account of Sept. Of course, he defends the reasoning behind most events but it was still i Ari Fleischer should take a bow for having to deal with both sides Of course, he defends the reasoning behind most events but it was still interesting to hear why he believed that way. He talks about how he may know something but can't tell.
However, what I found most fascinating is how much he didn't know because the Bush White House was afraid he would tell the press or they didn't want his views. Overall, it's worth buying the bargain book price book.
TAKING HEAT: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House
Jan 17, Jerry rated it liked it Shelves: He talks about being the Press Secretary, and not about the campaign. Fleischer began life as a Democrat, but changed because of the way Democrats began to treat being an American in the seventies: It seemed to me that our government was unnecessarily apologizing for events around the world. This is a very interesting look at the biases of the top echelons of the media, from a pre perspective. And he cops to some stonewalling at press briefings, explaining, with some justice, that many questions concerned security and military operations he couldn't discuss.
The many lengthy fencing matches he reprints sometimes evoke sympathy, as reporters badger him with provocative questions and he responds "with the same non-answer every time. Fleischer is less forthcoming on his own responsibility for relating false claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction; "we may all have been wrong," he shrugs, but contends it doesn't matter because Saddam might have gotten WMDs someday. Seldom have a press secretary's inaccuracies had such momentous consequences, so Fleischer's reluctance to examine how and why they occurred is disappointing indeed. View Full Version of PW.