Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Today we reveal the true value of the gaggle.

Q Can I ask one more substantive question, before we get to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, no substantive questions today. It’s Friday.

Q Or any other day, right? (Laughter.)

Next up, don’t blame the Bush Administration when the Bush Administraion violates federal law.

Q USA Today says the Education Department paid a TV commentator, Armstrong Williams, about a quarter million dollars to promote No Child Left. And in a related matter, the GAO found yesterday the drug policy office broke federal law by using taxpayer money for covert, “propaganda,” with made for TV story packages. Are these practices that you condone?

MR. McCLELLAN: On the first one, that was a decision by the Department of Education, and a contracting matter. So you ought to direct those questions to the Department of Education. I know the headline said that the White House — basically implied that it was the White House, and it wasn’t. If you read the story — if you read the story, it pointed that out.

Q It’s your administration, Scott. It’s the President’s administration.

MR. McCLELLAN: In terms of the Office of the Drug Policy, I think that they addressed that issue directly, and that that issue has already been resolved, at this point.

Q You’re pushing it off to the agencies. Obviously, the drug control policy office is an arm of the White House. More broadly, do you approve — does the White House approve this practice?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that they talked about how they had resolved that issue. I know the HHS was referenced in that story, too, and they had stopped doing it, as well. And we think those were appropriate steps to take.