Tony Snow: He chokes up talking about his colon cancer in first televised briefing. Packed house. What a difference.

SHARE Tony Snow: He chokes up talking about his colon cancer in first televised briefing. Packed house. What a difference.
SHARE Tony Snow: He chokes up talking about his colon cancer in first televised briefing. Packed house. What a difference.

Blogger Sweet reviews the first televised briefing hosted by new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow . If I may borrow a thumb from colleague Roger Ebert, I’d rate briefing one a thumbs up.

The briefing room was packed. That’s reporters in most of the 48 seats arranged like in a small theater plus people jammed in the aisles.

Snow, fresh from Fox News, is extremely telegenic. In a personal aside, Snow fights back tears talking about his colon cancer. He starts to choke after being asked about a yellow bracelet he is wearing. He stops talking to try to regain his composure. I wonder if he is about to cry.

A line from a movie is floating through my mind.

“There’s no crying in baseball.” (From “A League of Their Own”)

There’s no crying in the White House.

Summary: What a difference.

Use of language: Good.

TV presence: Obvious.

Willing to spar: Yes

Able to give pushback: Yes

Over apologetic: Yes, after he presumed Senate will pass an immigration bill.

The ability to say the same thing over and over, phrased differently: Yes.

Robotic: No. Quite a contrast for the man he replaced, Scott McClellan.

Affable: Yes

Ability to try to intimidate: Yes. In a curt reply to a gadfly talk show host. McClellan would always take his questions. Even though today’s question was not all that nutty, Snow’s reply was a shot: mostly icy silence and a refusal to engage.

from the Snow briefing…

Q And just a second question. Why did you choose to wear the yellow bracelet today? What’s the importance to you?

MR. SNOW: Well, I had cancer last year. You know, I mean, in having cancer — you know, it’s one of these things — and, you know, thank Terry Hunt for having provided it. I lost my old one when I was in the hospital having my last cancer surgery.

It’s going to sound stupid, and I’ll be personal here, but — (pause) —

Q Tony, I’m sorry.

MR. SNOW: No, no. Just having gone through this last year — and I said this to Chris Wallace — was the best thing that ever happened to me. (Pauses.)

It’s my Ed Muskie moment. (Laughter.)

I lost a mother to cancer when I was 17, same type — colon cancer. And what has happened in the field of cancer since then is a miracle. I actually had a chance to talk today with Lance Anderson about this. Because you know what, it’s one of these things where — whatever we may say about a health care system, the technologies that were available to me, that have me standing behind this podium today — well the doctor who said, “You don’t have to worry about getting cancer, just heartburn talking to these people” — (laughter) — that’s a wonderful thing. And I feel every day’s a blessing. (Scattered applause.)

The Latest
Carvana’s license to operate in Illinois was suspended after consumer complaints. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office said some buyers are waiting four to six months for proof of vehicle ownership.
An analysis of readings from newly-installed air sensors across the city found portions of Little Village, Austin, Englewood, Auburn Gresham, Irving Park and Avondale have the highest levels of particulate matter pollution — a known cause of serious health problems.
Chicago history plays a key role in a new musical from Annabelle Lee Revak.
The company, headquartered in Chicago, did not immediately detail terms of the agreement with the Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating safety concerns at the firm’s Sturgis, Michigan, plant.
The Sky are coming off two wins against the Liberty and the Lynx who have a combined record of 1-7. This week’s road games, against the Storm and Mystics will be a measuring stick