BOCA RATON, FLORIDA—If you make the mistake of lying to the press, you are dead.
So says former Tony Snow, White House press secretary and keynote speaker at the 2007 American Magazine Conference here Sunday.
In a wide-ranging discussion with People magazine executive editor Larry Hackett, Snow—clad in a red shirt and yellow Lance Armstrong Livestrong bracelet—revealed surprisingly little about the Bush Administration, declining numerous invitations to elaborate on the inner workings of White House.
Snow, who referred to Bush as a “great manager” and a guy he could “believe in,” said he had “walk-in” privileges,” meaning he could “call the President’s secretary to request a meeting and could get in “within 10 to 15 minutes.”
Despite what has been perceived to be a sometimes contentious relationship, President Bush, even in private moments, does not diss the press, Snow said.
Snow, a former newspaper columnist, radio talk show host Fox News personality, was critical of the press coverage of the White House for what he described as “building in a conflict that doesn’t exist.”
Snow also said he thinks there is bias in the press against Republicans, and conceded the hemorrhaging news budgets of many publications have had a major effect on the way the press covers the White House.
“There aren’t any news organizations that have the kind of resources to do the long-term analysis of the old days,” adding that the challenge for print media is to “dig deeper.”
Regardless of who wins the 2008 presidential election will change the policy in Iraq, Snow said.
“You are not going to see any considerable change in policy for a long time.”