Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PJ "Spinner" Crowley - who is this guy?

by Rick Francona

If you have been watching the news lately, no doubt you have seen the clip of State Department spokesman PJ Crowley defending some off-the-reservation remarks of Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner to Chinese officials.

Posner's remarks - some characterize them as apologizing - are indefensible in and of themselves. He should be fired, but given President Obama's views on foreign policy, I seriously doubt Posner will be held accountable. Even more telling, spokesman Crowley went on several news outlets to defend Posner's remarks.

Look up "political spin" in the dictionary and you may see this as an example:

It is hard to believe that is the official position of the State Department - well, with this State Department (see Does the State Department have any competent Russian linguists? as an indicator), maybe not.

That said, PJ Crowley is a master at the craft. Why shouldn't he be - that's been his whole life. You would not know that unless you read between the lines of his biography. He's basically a retired U.S. Air Force public affairs officer - what we in the Air Force referred to as a "talking dog." Yes, that's a derogatory term - along with "they only lie when they move their lips."

Surprisingly, Crowley did not even read the Arizona law that Psoner referred to in his remarks, yet he tries to spin Posner's remarks as somehow an illustration of American law and order. Who is this guy?

biography contains technically correct phrases like "Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs and served on the staff of the National Security Council." What it doesn't say is that he was their public affairs officer - you know, press releases and arranging interviews. After he retired from the Air Force, he pretty much did the same thing for the Insurance Institute. He describes that job as addressing issues arising from the "World Trade Center tragedy." Tragedy - more spinning?

Crowley is a nice enough guy - I've been on the air with him on at least one occasion. He's just caught up in the Obama spin machine, but don't blame him for his spinning ways. He can't help it - that's all he's ever done.