Oh, Lord.Snott Stanzel Blames The Trial Lawyers
Q Okay, and one quick follow up on that. As I understand it, the sticking point is really about retroactive immunity for the telecoms, not prospective immunity. So help me understand the administration’s argument that without this retroactive immunity, the telecoms would be reluctant in the future to cooperate with a surveillance request. If prospective immunity is already assured, I don’t understand how retroactive immunity has any effect.
MR. STANZEL: Well, retroactive immunity is something that the DNI has spoken regularly about. He spoke last weekend about it on one of the Sunday programs. And it’s important that we provide that retroactive immunity for companies that were alleged to have helped after the 9/11 attacks.
What we have is a situation now where the Protect America Act was let to expire, calls into question prospective retroactive — or prospective immunity. And the more uncertainty there are on these issues, the less willing these companies are going to be, presumably, to put their shareholders at risk of these multi-billion dollar lawsuits.
Q But let’s assume it was passed with prospective immunity — which is had, you know, six months ago — but retroactive immunity wasn’t there. Wouldn’t that solve the concerns?
MR. STANZEL: We have always been supportive of providing retroactive immunity to the companies that felt a patriotic duty to help their country in the aftermath of the most significant terrorist attack in the history of this nation. We think that’s important.
The opposing arguments for that I assume are because they want trial lawyers to be able to sue those companies. We don’t think that’s right. We think that we should provide that immunity and we think that that’s necessary.
Snott Warns Les Kinsolving About Grandstanding
MR. STANZEL: Lester.
Q Thank you, Scott.
MR. STANZEL: This is a gaggle, by the way.
MR. STANZEL: Yes, off camera, not for broadcast. Just noting that.
OMG! The New York Slimes Attacks Rebulikkkans On A WEEKLY Basis!!!!1! And The Slimes NEVER Attacks Democrats!1!!!!
Q Senator John McCain held a widely reported press conference yesterday to denounce the sexual innuendos about him published by The New York Times. And my question, the President supports Senator McCain in this controversy, doesn’t he?
MR. STANZEL: Well, Lester, certainly that’s a story that has received a lot of attention. I think a lot of people here in this building with experience in a couple campaigns have grown accustomed to the fact that during the course of a campaign, about — seemingly on maybe a monthly basis leading up to the convention, maybe a weekly basis after that, The New York Times does try to drop a bombshell on the Republican nominee. And that is something that the Republican nominee has faced in the past, and probably will face in this campaign. And sometimes they make incredible leaps to try to drop those bombshells on the Republican nominees.
So that is something that we’re aware of, and that, unfortunately is a fact of life.
Um, Maybe NotWeekly…
Q Scott, since yesterday the McCain campaign launched a very aggressive counterattack, and here today the White House is joining in that. Can you be a little more specific in how far back is the White House going in saying that The New York Times does this on a weekly basis on a Republican — pretty serious charges.
MR. STANZEL: Having been involved in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns, I can tell you that there are many times that we’ve had this sense, in both of those campaigns.
Q “Many” is different from “weekly,” though —
MR. STANZEL: Well, I think that’s —
Q — it’s 52 —
MR. STANZEL: What’s that?
Q Do you equate 52 —
MR. STANZEL: No, I said, about on a monthly basis probably leading up to the convention, and then seemingly on a weekly basis after that.
Um, Maybe NotNever…
Q Can I follow on that? Are you, on behalf of the White House, accusing The New York Times of only “dropping a bomb” on the Republican nominee, and never quote — and never giving that kind of treatment to a Democratic nominee?
MR. STANZEL: I’m not saying they never give that kind of treatment, but we see it’s pretty regular treatment of the Republican nominee.
And The Story Might Be True…
Q When you said — back to The New York Times — said sometimes they make incredible leaps, is that what the story you thought yesterday was about Senator McCain?
MR. STANZEL: I’m not going to speak to the specifics in that story, but it’s been our impression that they do make leaps to drop those bombshells.