Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Kat's Korner: The Complete Cass Elliot Solo Collection 1968-71

Well color me surprised and feeling the love. I've been looking over the e-mails and my review on Cass Elliot's new collection obviously touched a nerve. Shirely, who knew you were such a big softie? Eli wrote an incredible e-mail. Wally e-mailed that it was a history lesson and "a needed one" for him. I've read about forty-three of the e-mails today and I read about fifty yesterday.
Visitors have asked, "Where's your e-mail address?"

Well, visitors, you e-mailed me care of The Common Ills and I got the e-mail, so what's the problem? My e-mail has been posted before at The Common Ills and now that Gina and Krista do their incredible gina & krista round-robin each week, I don't see the need to post my personal e-mail address. It's listed each week in the round-robin. They list all the e-mail addresses so that community members have them.

Cass really did touch the world and her music continues to move us. If I could turn Wally on to her or anyone else, I consider that a great honor because her music has given me so much.

I also want to say a thank you to C.I. C.I. has told me repeatedly that I can post my reviews here first and that they'll just copy and paste them onto The Common Ills. I appreciate that and I know the offer is genuine. I used to do reviews at a weekly paper and before that at my college paper. I got tired of the nonsense. "You can't say that, he's selling!" Or, "But you have to review this!" About twice a year, I'd do a review for friends and mail it out.

I never lost my passion for the music but I did lose my passion for the bullshit involved in trying to get your work read. There's been no bullshit with C.I. The only issue that ever came up was that The Common Ills is a work place safe environment so there are certain words that I can't use in a review. I can live with that.

By contrast, there's never been a comment like, "Could you rework that last paragraph?" or "Can you find something positive to say about the album?"

Does C.I. agree with my reviews? Often I don't know. C.I. always praises the writing to me but there's never been an issue of "I disagree with you about that!"

C.I. (and Susan) both hinted about a Bright Eyes review but I didn't feel it and when I said that, the issue was dropped. When I did my review of Carole King's The Living Room Tour, I was wondering if that would result in "notes." It didn't. It went up and there were some comments about the writing being alive and that was it.

People e-mail to ask does C.I. agree with me about The Living Room Tour? I really don't know. I thought I did. C.I., Jess and I did a music roundtable at The Third Estate Sunday Review and I really thought I knew what C.I. felt. Then I read Beth's interview and saw that actually C.I. never said one way or another. C.I. said "I support the writing" and stuff like that.

So that's one reason that I'm proud to be published at The Common Ills. Another reason is because I started doing Kat's Korner over there because C.I. and I were exchanging e-mails about music and C.I. kept saying, "You'd really be making a contribution if you shared these thoughts." And I'm a member of The Common Ills community and enjoy that other members get first crack at my reviews. And let's be honest, people come here for music talk and that's what I enjoy. But The Common Ills has a much larger readership than this site does so I reach more people there.

Here's my review that went up at The Common Ills Tuesday.

"Kat's Korner: The Complete Cass Elliot Solo Collection 1968-71"

Gather round, kiddes, we got a history lesson.
Oh quit moaning! History can be fun sometimes. And this is musical history so even better.
Quick, long before Joan Rivers sat behind Johnny Carson's desk on The Tonight Show what female singer performed the same duties? Not sure. Okay, try this one: who was the first woman to sit down for The Rolling Stone Interview?
Are you guessing Janis Joplin? Wipe off your self-satisfied smirk because you're wrong. You in the back, the guy shouting "Grace Slick! Grace Slick!" You're wrong too.

Why don't you get right
Try and get right baby
You haven't been right with me
Why don't you get right
Try and get right baby . . .

Boys and girls, that's called a hint. But so that we can move this lesson along, let me give you the answer: Cass Elliot.
That's right, the former Mama Cass of the Mamas and the Papas.
Yes, I could have just hummed "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" and everyone would have gotten it, but that would have been a little too easy, wouldn't it?
The Complete Cass Elliot Solo Collection 1968-71 is a double disc set, packed with thirty-eight tracks. If "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" is where Cass begins and ends for you, do yourself a favor and get this album. There's a wonderful 28 page booklet with an amazing essay by Richard Barton Campbell, a two page note by Owen Elliot-Kugell (Owen is Cass' daughter), four pages of information on the tracks included and thirteen photographs (I think my favorite is the one on page twelve). And, let me repeat, there are thirty-eight tracks of music.
Did you grow up watching Pufnstuf (the film)? For the first time on compact disc, you get Cass' "Different." It's more than a song, it's a statement of purpose and Cass sings like no one else could. Cass was different.
The obvious giggle to that is, "No one's getting fat but Mama Cass" (John & Michelle Phillips "Creeque Alley"). Cass was a large woman, no question. She was also a large talent. I got an e-mail last week from a community member who'd taken a recent Zogby poll and they were asked to name the rock death of the seventies (it was worded a little better than that, the question was). The obvious choices were there (Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin . . .) The e-mailer wondered where was Cass?
Listening to this collection, I have to wonder that as well. There really wasn't anyone like her. And no one's come along to replace her. You don't cringe at any vocals here. Cass always sang the song. She didn't oversing it. There were no Olympic leaps to show off. She could have strutted through every song if she'd wanted to. She can hold a note as long as your average diva. Listening to all thirty-eight tracks, you'll realize how many notes she could hit and how a decision was made not to show boat on a song.
I think the biggest shock for me was her vocals on the verses of "Long Time Loving You." Those were notes I wasn't used to from Cass. After that song, track eight on the first disc, I started paying attention especially to the vocals and grasping how many notes were in her range and how she used them wisely to convey the song.
"What am I getting that I don't already have, Kat?"
Okay, good question. You're getting "Different," you're getting the album version and single version of "A Song That Never Comes," the B-side "All For Me," and you're getting to hear the songs. The ones you already know if you've got some Cass lps, you really don't know. My aunt was getting rid of her vinyl collection in 1987 and she passed it all on to me. I've got the albums, I know the songs. And maybe a vintage, never played, pristine vinyl would sound just as well but I doubt it. The transfer on these songs should be noted. Hip-O Select is an indpendent label and they've put a lot of time and care into this project.
They've also rescued two songs recorded for Cass' first album (Dream A Little Dream) that didn't make the cut. John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon" and Joni Mitchell's "Sistowbell Lane" alone make this a must have. Another previously unreleased treasure is Terry Cashman, Gene Pistill and Tommy West's "For As Long As You Need Me."
The Mamas and the Papas recorded together for a very brief time (1965-1968; plus an album recorded to avoid being sued by the label) and Cass passed in 1974. Nine years of being publicly known and she's got a legacy. If you're unsure why, you need to get this collection. The simplicity and the sincerity in every song goes a long way towards explaining how she touched people and left a lasting impression. (One that continues to this day.)
As the divas of today overwhelm us with each song (to the point of tiring us and boring us -- we get it, you can leap from one octave to another), it's revolutionary to find Cass serving the song, track after track. Using her voice not to stun you, but to move you, Cass defines "singer." Olympian divas of today should pick the collection up to learn that chest beating gymansitcs aren't the same as singing. (Are you listening, American Idol kids?)
You should listen to the collection because the truth and beauty of Cass' talents are prominently displayed and no one's come close to matching what she did. You'll also appreciate, in an age where makeovers happen every ten seconds, that an artist can be true and moving. Like the great singers, the really great ones (Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, etc.), Cass' catalogue doesn't veer all over the map. There is a unifying vision to her body of work (as opposed to a lot of posing and play-acting).
But most of all, there is the voice. It's like nothing you've heard elsewhere. More than just knowing how to hit the notes (and chosing the notes wisely and sparingly), Cass knew how to shade and capture the meaning of a song.
In Richard Barton Campbell's essay, he notes Cass once said, "To my mind, it's the artist who makes a song a hit, not the song." My immediate comeback is "Vicky Lawrence, anyone?" But although songs often do reach the charts despite lukewarm (or even bad) singing, maybe Cass was talking about knocking it out of the ballpark, sending it out to the person in the last row?
If so, the artist, at least with Cass Elliot, does make the song a hit. She certainly stamps her identity and vision on everyone of the thirty-tracks in this collection.
The bad news is that The Complete Cass Elliot Solo Collection 1968-71 isn't available in stores. The even worse news is that only 5,000 copies exist. I'm attaching Ava & Jess' entry to this review both because it provides you with the information you need to check the album out (you can listen to samples from each track) and because Ava and Jess are college students. My point? Cass Elliot's legacy continues. The honesty of her singing attracts new listeners all the time. If you're not familiar with her, use the links provided by Ava and Jess -- Cass' voice is one you should know, she's an essential for anyone who values artistry in popular music.
Cass Elliot The Solo Collection 1968-1971 (heads up to new double CD collection)
Ava and Jess here and we're doing this entry together. Last week, we received an e-mail about an upcoming Cass Elliot collection and would have been happy to link to it but it's only come out this week.
It's entitled
The Complete Solo Collection 1968-1971 and it's a double disc set ($39.98) offered by Hip-O Select. There are 5,000 copies so if you're interested, you should consider checking it out."Different" is one of the songs on the collection and that's the song that C.I. noted in a "Five CDs, Five Minutes." That's not been on a CD before. In addition the collection contains "three tracks that had never been released in any form: Cass' cover of Joni Mitchell's 'Sisotowbell Lane,' a version of John Sebastian's 'Darling Be Home Soon,' and the Cashman, Pistilli & West tune 'For As Long As You Need Me.' They are revolutionary, and stand proudly with anything Cass released."The first disc contains twenty-three tracks and the second disc contains fifteen. If you've bought a Cass collection (and Jess has many), you don't have a collection like this. You get "Dream A Little Dream Of Me," "California Earthquake," "Make Your Own Kind of Music," "I Can Dream, Can't I," "The Good Times Are Coming," and all the rest you know from other collections. But you also get tracks that aren't available in the CD format elsewhere.
There are no live tracks. The
set focuses on Cass' singles from 1968 to 1971.
The Mamas and the Papas and Cass, herself, are very popular with community members so we wanted to do a heads up. And if there's a visitor who stumbles upon this entry and wonders, "What does music have to do with anything?" you're at the wrong site. Music is very important to the community. (And here's but one example of Cass and the Mamas & Papas popping up in an earlier entry.)
We'd asked C.I. if it was okay to note
the set here when it came out because The Third Estate Sunday Review only publishes on Sunday and were given permission (actually, what we got was, "Why are you even asking? Of course."). So that's your heads up.
If you're interested and can afford it, great. If you're interested but might need to save up (understandable), hopefully this gives you some time to do that. If you're a Cass fan or a Mamas and Papas fan you'll probably get a kick out of checking out the album online even if you're not planning to purchase it.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Diamonds & Really-reals

Chill, cats, chill. I thought I'd have some fun and read some e-mails and there are forty-three of you asking where my review of Cass Elliot's latest collection is. It wasn't going to run on Monday. And I knew that so I'd asked C.I. to hold it to give me time to rework a section of it.
I'm reworking it right now. If I finish, it'll be up tomorrow morning at The Common Ills. If I don't it will be Wednesday probably.

If you missed it this afternoon at The Common Ills, Joan Baez has a live album due out. It's called Bowery Songs and it comes out on September 6th. I don't know whether I'll review it or not (that depends on if it speaks to me) but I will be buying it. I hope you'll think about it too because Joan Baez never sits on the sidelines or waits to see which way the wind is blowing. She's been a brave independent voice for decades and we need to support artists who are like that. Notice that I said "artists." If Baez didn't have that goods, I wouldn't bring it up. But she's a strong singer and I actually prefer her voice as it's matured. I know a lot of people who say they miss that early sixties purity but I think she gets the songs across better now that her voice is lived in.

If Joan Baez is someone you've only heard of but never heard (she is mythic and legendary) then Bowery Songs is a chance for you to sample her. And for all you kids out there that don't listen to Bob Dylan but pretend you do because he's "cool," you should pick up Joan's album because she lived the life Dylan sang about. Dylan's not able to hold my interest for much of his eighties out output and after the eighties I'm really lukewarm on him. If anything, I listen to his more recent albums and wonder what Phil Ochs would be recording if he were still alive.

Dylan also has a tendency (after the motor cycle accident or "motor cycle accident" since no one knows for sure what happend) to get way too Old Testament for my tastes. It's the same way I feel about Leonard Cohen. It's just a little too "The end is nigh!" for my tastes.

A good example of that sort of song would be "Dark Eyes." Judy Collins recorded it on her Judy Sings Dylan: Just Like A Woman album of the nineties and she really managed to put it across.
But with the Dylan whine and surrounded by more bleak, despair, get in the Arc 'coz the flood's a' coming! songs, it really didn't work on his Empire Burlesque. I think Judy and Joan both do a better job with Dylan's songs than Dylan does himself.

That's got nothing to do with range. Judy Collins & Joan Baez have strong vocal ranges, true. But Dylan's never really had one. (Except when he tried to sing on the breath during his Nashville Skyline period and tried to pass it off as "My voice changed 'cause I stopped smoking" nonsense. Though nasal, Dylan always sung in his thoat, forcing the notes out. Critics who fell for the "I stopped smoking" crap didn't know the first thing about singing. Dylan had obviously been working on breath control and was singing on the breath. That's why his voice sounded that way.) Not having a range didn't hurt him in the early days.

But the difference was that he seemed to believe in what he was singing then and sang it with force. Too many songs since have not reflected that he believed in what he was singing. Or he's gotten so lost in his (Old Testament) imagery that he's forgotten how to connect with an audience.

Joan Baez is the Howard Zinn of the music set. I say that because she's political but also because she's something of a historian herself. She's pursued the traditional folk songs and kept them alive for new generations. She's also recorded some of her own songs (I love "Diamonds and Rust" and "Sweeter For Me" to name just two) beginning in the seventies. But something she's done almost from the beginning is to record songs by current writers. Besides exposing Bob Dylan's work to a large audience in the sixties, she's also recorded Phil Ochs, Richard Farina, Natalie Merchant, Ryan Adams and many more.

I'm not saying she doesn't have a clunker in her catalogue, but I am saying that her albums overall are a historical source for strong songs -- traditional ones, her own and some of the best of other writers today.

In an ever more plastic world where "singers" are embarrassed by their belt buckles singing and "enhanced" in the studio by digital tricks, Joan Baez is one of the really-reals. She's authentic and she's true. So consider checking out Bowery Songs September 6th.

What am I listening to? Well I was listening to her live CD From Every Stage (one of my favorite live albums) when I started this but now the Beatles' Abby Road is playing.

Speaking of really-reals, I want to note something that C.I. wrote last week. Mike really wanted it to be a Blog Spotlight at The Third Estate Sunday Review in their latest edition. Everyone got behind that idea except C.I. who feels that other people need to be spotlighted more. So a thing by Jess (which is great) got spotlighted instead. Dona and Jim both kept going "We can have more than one Blog Spotlight." But C.I. said no, to give the focus to Jess.

So I'm posting "Scattered Thoughts" in full here. From a really-real, a strong and true voice. We need more of them in all areas.

"Scattered thoughts"
Tonight, when things appear to be improving in the United States in terms of debates and discussions, I want to drop back to how things were not all that long ago.
Following 9/11, debate was hushed by the mainstream media and certain gatekeepers. That's not something unique to our times but hopefully online sources will help it be remembered. Bartcop and other sites that were around then have real time discussions on the climate in this country at that time.
Why is that important?
When we look at the internment of the Japanese-Americans in this country during WWII, for instance, we're shocked and it seems so against the fabric of our society that we have a hard time comprehending how it could happen.
In our country we saw Muslims rounded up, we saw secret deportations and numbers of other activites that wouldn't seem to fold easily into the fabric of the United States. But they happened with little outcry registering.
When the issue did resonate, outside the mainstream media, and the events were spoken of, sometimes there was a tendency was to put it in the perspective of Germany as Hitler rose to power. That offended a number of people. (That's not my slamming anyone who made that comparison -- people making such comparisions were usually doing so in a solid manner despite the whines and slams from the right.) But we really didn't have to go other shores ("we" being American community members, apologies to our members from other countries, I'll probably continue to use "we" as I rush through this).
We've had witch hunts many other times. McCarthyism is but one example.
What bothered a number of people (rightfully so) besides the actions following 9/11 was how little discussion there was of them. We take our cues, as a nation, from our media. (A point that shouldn't be controversial whether someone's a reader of Noam Chomsky or Marshall McLuhan or In Style.) And we found ourselves faced with a media that was owned by or in part . . .
(If your new to this topic, refer to this web page from NOW with Bill Moyers which has a drop down menu you can use.)
We link to many independent media sites (I'm not providing a ton of links in this entry so use our permalinks on the left) like The Progressive, The Nation, Democracy Now!, BuzzFlash, In These Times, Ms., The Black Commentator, CounterPunch, Indymedia, Pacifica, Clamor, LeftTurn, etc. They exist, they are out there. (Along with many others.) But we're more apt to have Fox "News," MSNBC, or CNN in our homes than a magazine on our coffee table. (We as a nation.)
In his book, A Matter of Opinion, Victor Navasky explains that he sees the importance of The Nation and other opinion journals as presenting ideas to a wider audience. (That's my bad summary of a major point in his book. My apologies.) It's the point of this community in terms of trying to hook members up with voices that speak to them. As FAIR has documented repeatedly since it's inception, the voices presented by the mainstream media grow narrower and narrower each year.
If tomorrow an apple is used as a weapon and fright wing senator goes on Meet the Press to call for banning all apples and hawkish Dem is the "opposition" arguing that we should instead implement a testing procedure for apples, to the public, that's the debate clearly drawn. That's the debate the mainstream media popularizes and gets behind. And if you're thinking there must be some other idea/plan or even thinking, "We're talking about one apple here!" you're left with the impression that you are so out of the norm that no one else in the country shares your opinion. It's not on the TV, it's not on the radio. So it must be you going out on limb all by yourself.
And the result may be that you dismiss your own opinion and attempt to get with the program. Even if you don't, you may feel you're the only one who would ever think that way, so what's the point?
Following 9/11, you 'got with the program' in some manner or you were demonized. (Susan Sontag, et al.) And we need to remember that because people will ask, "How did this happen here?" They'll ask that about the secret deportations, the roundups, the practice of torture and rendention and a host of other things.
People being frightened does play into it and for that you need national hysteria. The lack of serious debate and a limited number of opinions and voices reaching out through the mainstream only aid the creation of a national hysteria. If, in the future, we attempt to answer how we entered a period where secret hearings, et al. were suddenly "American," we won't have to look to Germany to explain what happened here. We'll merely need to note that few people in power used their power (most abdicated it) and the press didn't do their job (ditto). And maybe, if we can all remember that, it can serve as a lesson the next time a similar event pops up (and they always do). Laura Flanders says, "Don't leave politics to the politicians."
You can't. They're not going to advocate (with few exceptions) anything that they're not being pressured to do. Possibly, that's understandable. You are a representative of a certain area and if the citizens in your area aren't pushing for action, it may be "smart" not to take any.
The myth of the brave press isn't reality. At best, we've been able to count on a few strong voices in any era. To use McCarthyism, the press largely took a pass on the witch hunts in real time and, like politicians, waited for the mood of the nation to change. That might have been "smart" as well. They are selling papers, magazines or commercial time.
But what's smart business isn't smart democracy. And if there's a lesson from our recent history, hopefully it will be "Speak out soon and speak out often." The only way ideas will get traction is if they're heard. Too many times, I heard someone say, "I'd say something but I'm the only one who feels this way." (And when this site started, that feeling of "I thought I was the only one who thought that" has been a constant in e-mails.) If you see something you think is wrong, dig in your heels and stake out your position. Don't wait for an editorial in a paper or for backing from a politician. Don't wait for the "mood" of the nation to shift.
Even shut out of the mainstream media, your ideas can still take life in the people around you. And if media consolidation isn't dealt with, we're going to need to be very aware of what power we do have and we're going to need to be willing to use it.
When an anchor person (Dan Rather) goes on a talk show (Letterman) to say he takes his marching orders from a president, we need to realize that regardless of the anchor, regardless of the person in the oval office, there's a problem. When an anchor (future at that point, Brian Williams) goes on a talk show (Leno) to say that he's interested in his broadcasts being kid friendly, we have a problem. In the first example, a person with a huge say in what will make the evening news is implying that he'll present what's approved by the White House. In the second example, that mythical large number of children tuning into the evening news are used as an excuse for watering down content. The result of both statements is not an endorsement of journalism (or even an appreciation of it). Nor are they new attitudes. However, in the past, when they've been expressed in similar terms, they were usually expressed following an actual event. For instance, apparently looking over the crayola scrawled notes of seven-year-olds, Peter Jennings once expressed concern over his decision to show a Lebenese child on a stretcher. In the talk show remarks noted at the start of this paragraph, there was no specific incident that either anchor was responding to. These were pre-emptive statements volunteered by the two men.
The fact that the statements weren't greeted with loud criticism from the mainstream is troubling. If you watch the news with your child (if), you're agreeing to see the news. Not just the pretty things. We heard, during the impeachment, people moaning that now their kids were talking about blow jobs. Taking them at their word (for some reason Nielsen hasn't registered any significant number of children watching the evening news broadcasts, but whatever), you tell your child to leave the room or you turn off the TV. If the child is saying "blow job," you tell the child to stop. If the child's at an age where s/he repeats everything heard then they probably shouldn't have been watching a news program to begin with because they're probably not at a level where they can handle it.
But we were all infantilized by the mainstream media. Whether it was hidden coffins (the administration's policy could have been gotten around, as was demonstrated when the photos finally did break) or not showing pictures of the graphic violence. Note, that's pictures of the graphic violence. Photo journalists capture what they see. They don't create it (if they do, they aren't photo journalists).
Yes, you had a few pieces here and there. We can note, for instance, R.C. Longworth's "War from 30,000 feet: Whipping Up a Crisis" which ran in the Chicago Tribune March 23, 2003. After noting FDR's "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," Longworth wrote:
. . . Bush is using fear as a weapon, not to build courage among Americans but to stampede them into endorsing a case for a war that has been built literally on a grab bag of possibilities, contingencies, ifs and maybes, of things that haven't happened but could happen, of bad guys who might hit us if we don't hit them first.
This is a created crisis. Now that the crisis is upon us, we can only hope that it passes quickly, with minimum loss of life on either side, and that our native skepticism prevents it from happening again.
"National hysteria" is a term Longworth uses and you need that hysteria before you can bring out the nails and the wood or the bonfires necessary to conclude the witch hunts with.National hysteria is what whips us up and silences us. An independent press is needed in any time period to combat that.
The mainstream press' consolidation is a concern today but it's a mistake, my opinion, to assume the mainstream media was ever that independent to begin with.
In terms of today, it will be interesting to watch the coverage play out in the next few years. There will, if history holds, be the usual "We were all wrong." Some will point to a Longworth at their paper as an example that they did "cover" the issues with little accountability for the fact that a Longworth was the exception and not reflective of the overall tone.
It'll also be interesting to see how some cheerleaders (water carriers) for the current administration (I'm not speaking of columnists, I'm speaking of reporters) minimize their own part in the hysteria, the witch hunts and pressing (not reporting) the administration's agenda.
Will Judith Miller (who, from her actions in Iraq, appears to have foolishly believed some of the claims she reported on) be the scape goat that allows everyone else to emerge with a pass?Martha e-mailed about an online transcript (at the Washington Post) with James VandeHei entitled "White House Insider" and wondered what world he lives in? Here's one section:
San Francisco, Calif.: Why doesn't the press refuse to take briefings from Scott McClellan, who either lied to them about the Plame incident, or was lied to by the administration? Isn't his credibility shot?
Jim VandeHei: Scott took a good beating when it was learned that the White House knew much more about the Plame leak than he and others let on last year. It's not entirely clear how much he knew about the involvement of other officials. But Scott has a lot of credibility with reporters. He is seen as someone who might not tell you a lot, but is not going to tell you a lie. more broadly, we go to the briefings if for no other reason to hear the White House spin on world events. they rarely figure into our daily reports because we will talk to Scott and others one on one and not in front of a crowd.
He's not going to lie, according to VandeHei, and yet "we will talk to Scott and others one on one and not in front of a crowd." The daily briefings "rarely figure into our daily reports." But he's not "not going to tell you a lie." Even overlooking the apparent contradiction in VandeHei's statements (if he's not going to lie, why are the daily briefings of no value to the Post?), what exactly is VandeHei doing making these remarks? Why is he vouching for "Scott" in such a personal manner?
I wonder how the remarks made in the transcript will play out (that's not the only section that should raise eyebrows)? It's as though there's not an even an effort made any longer to appear impartial as reporters name drop "Scott" and leave their role as reporter to peer inside "Scott" and vouch for him. It's doubtful VandeHei will get any flack for the remarks or be reassigned but the remarks do raise questions. Or would if anyone wanted to ask serious questions about the role of journalists today.
Here's VandeHei quoting "Scott" on the expulsion of the Denver Three in "Three Were Told to Leave Bush Town Meeting" (March 30, 2005):
Scott McClellan, Bush's press secretary, said it was a volunteer who asked them to leave "out of concern they might try to disrupt the event." He said the White House welcomes a variety of voices into events but discourages people from coming to heckle the president or disrupt town hall forums. "If someone is coming to try to disrupt it, then obviously that person would be asked to leave," he said. "There is plenty of opportunity outside of the event to express their views."
Does VandeHei really believe that "the White House welcomes a variety of voices into events"? Is that a sign of "Scott"'s credibility?
We'll hopefully continue this but I know I missed posting Tuesday night because of wanting to say more so this will go up as is.