Tony Snow, 1955-2008

|

Tony Snow succumbed to cancer this weekend at the age of 53. For the past few years, reason had watched Snow's rise to White House Press Secretary with optimism and an appreciation of his talent. When Scott McClellan quit the White House, Tim Cavanaugh reacted to rumors that snow might replace him.

As a Tony Snow fan, I have to concede that this is the kind of career move you'd be a fool to turn down, but I still say: Don't do it, Tony. You're too good for that.

Snow's take on immigration appeared in our summer 2006 package on the issue, which went to print as the issue was burning up among Republican activists.

Immigration is not the pox neo-Know Nothings make it out to be. Begin with the astounding influx of illegal immigrants, the vast majority of whom hail from Mexico. While the population includes an eye-popping number of crooks, drug dealers, and would-be welfare sponges, it also provides a helpful prop for sustaining American economic growth and cultural dynamism.

When Snow was leaving the White House last year, The Reason Foundation's Shikha Dalmia (a former Snow colleague at the Detroit News) sat him down for a lengthy interview. She asked if he'd abandoned his criticisms of the president since working for him.

When you get to see somebody in action you get a different view, totally different. Also, we haven't had a lot of the issues on which I was critical that have arisen since I've been here. For instance, on an issue like immigration that I was really passionate about, he took on a lot of Republicans and I'm very proud of what he was doing. When it comes to the war, he's been incredibly steadfast in the face of a lot of people who would like him, really for the sake of polling reasons, to change the way he conducts the war. During my time, it's come down to a handful of key issues such as energy, education, immigration and retirement reform. On all of these, the president didn't do half measures. He's pushing for the right things—regardless of whether he accomplished them or not. I'm fully confident that over time immigration and retirement and all those things, those are the right policies and we'll end up with them.

Advertisement

NEXT: It's Bailout Time

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I have sympathy for Snow’s family, but none for him. His blood-soaked lies, spoken in Bush’s name, are his legacy.

  2. What a tragedy. Snow was a classy and inteligent guy, and we’re all worse off for having lost him.

  3. Retirement reform? Is he referring the the medicare drug bill, the cost of which will ensure my children will never be able to retire?

  4. Clevenger…go f#@k yourself, you should die in a fire.

  5. Snow might have been a duplicitous shithead, but he was a *classy* duplicitous shithead. Unlike our boy McClellan, you can’t make a case that Snow didn’t know he was manipulating and misleading the Press.

    Say “Hey” to Saddam, Tony.

  6. @P Brooks:

    What you said. Double.

  7. Hey, this is so cool, being part of the majority! Tony was a smooth-talking right-wing shill, nothing more, nothing less. If having preppie good looks and wearing expensive suits constitutes being “classy,” yeah, Tony was classy. And if priding oneself on the ability to mislead others is classy, yeah, Tony was classy. Otherwise, not so much.

  8. Am I a bad person for not giving a shit one way or the other? I have no personal opinions on Tony; I don’t particularly fault people for doing PR jobs, even if it’s for a shitty cause. I fault the people hiring the PR people to cover their asses.

  9. Speak no ill of the dead.

    I will remain silent.

  10. ^ Somebody with some class. Refreshing

  11. How does someone’s death make them less deserving of criticism?

  12. Compare this thread to the thread about Jesse Helms.

    Just saying. Our standards are fairly odd.

  13. People die from cancer every day.
    Children die from cancer every day.
    People who have never lied to an entire nation, never supported the wholesale destruction of our Constitution, never played toady to the absolute worst President we’ve ever had, die from cancer every day. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think those children deserve your pity more than Tony Snow – slick, polished mouthpiece for PNAC and Bush. Or maybe even Reason mag has conceded that position and title mean more than actions in todays world.
    Whatever Tony Snow was privately, in public he was nothing more than a rabid supporter of failed and destructive policies, most of which have been criticized in the pages of the afore mentioned magazine. How any real reader of Reason could shed a tear for this guy is beyond me.

  14. What that guy just said. Amazing.

  15. maybe even Reason mag has conceded that position and title mean more than actions in todays world.
    […]
    How any real reader of Reason could shed a tear for this guy is beyond me.

    Waiter- make that a double.

  16. People die from cancer every day.
    Children die from cancer every day.
    People who have never lied to an entire nation, never supported the wholesale destruction of our Constitution, never played toady to the absolute worst President we’ve ever had, die from cancer every day. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think those children deserve your pity more than Tony Snow – slick, polished mouthpiece for PNAC and Bush.

    You should have stopped typing there. Awesome.

  17. Cancer is a bad way to go, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody*. Thats all there is to say.

    *Folks like Stalin, Hitler, et al would be possible exceptions.

  18. People who have never lied to an entire nation, never supported the wholesale destruction of our Constitution, never played toady to the absolute worst President we’ve ever had, die from cancer

    People who are dumb and crude enough to say things like that die from cancer too. I hope you’re remembered for being such an asshole at your funeral.

  19. Unlike Snow, Lee Atwater had the ounce of class required to recant on his deathbed while dying with a brain tumor.

    Karma is a bitch for these paid liars. It will be interesting to see how Karl Rove spends his last moments.

  20. Yeah, like being an asshole is equivalent to being the national mouthpiece of the uber-incompetent president. This isn’t Tony Snow’s funeral; it’s a message board. I’d rather have a 100 assholes live than people who are willing to be apologists for the sodomization of the Constitution and Arab countries.

  21. I see Press Secretaries for idiot Presidents the same way I see defense lawyers who represent child molesters–even assholes deserve the best defense.

  22. Careful what you say! Irony will call you an asshole… unless you are a shill for the neo-cons, and are dead – then irony will will defend your saintly name

  23. This Bush lied shit is really getting tiresome. Every word Tony Snow muttered about the war can be traced directly back to the Clintion administration. If the false intelligence was really a big lie, we should place the blame where it started, and that wasn’t Bush. Disparging Snow now is about as low as it gets. My guess is ya’ll are just bitter because you’re too damned stupid to function in civil society.

  24. WARNING!! THIS THREAD HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER BY BUSH DERANGEMENT SYNDROME!! ALL DECENCY AND COMMON SENSE HAS BEEN THROWN OUT THE WINDOW!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

  25. James Ard,

    Don’t worry, these are the same people who would have called FDR and Lincoln blood-soaked maniacs who incompetently lied us into unnecessary wars while shredding the Constitution.

    No one should take them seriously.

  26. So the Bush ass-lickers run in to prevent Bush derangement syndrome from spreading too fast!

  27. You’re joking right? Just because crazy leftists criticize Bush doesn’t mean he isn’t without fault. Lots and lots of fault. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, James Ard. Bush wasn’t the one who invaded Iraq? Or signed Plan D? Or the PATRIOT Act? Clinton isn’t innocent, but Bush made his own decisions too.

  28. “How does someone’s death make them less deserving of criticism?”
    They can do no harm, so one might as well leave them be. I don’t know much about the ex-press secretary except that he was associated with George Bush. For all I know, it was simply a wrong turn for an otherwise good guy. One could say the same of many other members of the Bush administration. I save post mortem hatred for truly heinous individuals.

  29. Wow, a lot of you people need to take a perspective check.

    A man just died, and you see it as just another opportunity to vent your hatred and political frustration?

    Get a grip.

    And I would say the same thing if the deceased former press secretary was George Stephanopolous. This isn’t about partisanship, its about simple decency.

  30. FDR shredded the constitution before we could have been considered in a state of war, whereas Lincoln and Bush at least had the courtesy to use an actual war and a terrorist attack (respectively) as their reason for shredding said document.

  31. Seems to me that some of the guys around here had a little crush on Tony Snow.

  32. I am puzzled which issue keeps the 26%ers worshiping their Monkey King?

    Its got to be –

    1 – they are committed aborto-freaks
    2- killing them A-rabs gives turns them on
    3- they’re praying hard for nuclear Armageddon so they can finally get jiggy with Jesus.

    Its down to those three, no doubt.

  33. Indecent people don’t deserve decency.

  34. I’m with economist and R C Dean here. But get ya’lls two minutes hate in if it makes you feel better.

  35. Should we celebrate when George Stephanopoulos dies, or is that reserved for people to the right of Dan Rather?

    You may recall that under Clinton there were “500 to 1000 babies dying every day in Iraq” due to the sanctions. UNICEF estimated 500,000 children killed, and that was only between the end of the gulf war and just before old-man Bush took office. Forgiven, or can GHB, Clinton and Snufulufugus rot in hell too? Maybe the morality police should be pinning a medal on Snow.

    Here is a link attempting to debunk some of these numbers. I think most will agree the website is a little ify:
    https://www.reason.com/news/show/28346.html

  36. R C Dean:

    Where’s your sympathy for all those people who died in Bush’s useless war while Tony Snow was lying to America?

  37. Who would compare Bush to Lincoln?!?
    How in the world do you read Reason and defend failed Bush policies? How in the world does a Reason reader wish to quash critisism of a political view and the peoples associated with supporting them? You do not support discussion? Go buy a copy of National Review, put it on the floor and roll around in it. There is plenty of nicey nicey Tony Snow talk there.

  38. Sorry for some of you, but there’s nothing wrong with pissing on someone when they’re dead. I have no great hate for Snow (he’s just a hired PR flack) and don’t really give a shit, but this is very similar to humor. That is, that there’s no joke too offensive to make, and there’s nothing wrong with tearing into somebody who just died. Maybe you don’t do it in front of his children, but here? Go for it.

  39. Thanks for the glimpse into clownland.

  40. R C Dean-

    What if it was Ted Kennedy who just died? Do you really think partisan Republicans would restrain themselves from bringing up Chappaquiddick?

    I doubt it.

  41. I’ll bring up the Ted Kennedy Driving School when he dies, no problem. He’s dead, he doesn’t care, and his family already knows him.

  42. The only thing trashing a decent man like Tony Snow will do is drive more people to ignore you and what you have to say. If you need a reason not to rage against him after his death, just remember that others are watching.

  43. “Seems to me that some of the guys around here had a little crush on Tony Snow.”

    Nice one, let’s add gay-baiting to the ghoulish revelry in someone’s death.

    You anarchist wannabes (or whatever the hell your politics are) remind me of nothing so much as Trotskyites I used to know who celebrated every time some “imperialist” politician died, all the time claiming that they weren’t “bloodthirsty.” You are like Marat, gloating in others’ deaths and scribbling out more hatred even as you waste away dying in your own vitriol. Maybe some of you need to go out and get jobs so you don’t spend all day venting your poisoned bile in here, and take out your own pathetic bitterness on someone else.

  44. Wow, a Marat comparison. I like that!

    It will be even more appropriate when Versailles or our version of the Bastille is stormed.

  45. Nigel, Ted Kennedy wants to take my guns away. Also, he’s a collectivist, or is that communist? Either way, there is a new level of hell waiting for him. But if I can refrain from dancing on the grave of the jack-booted thugs we read about whenever they have one of their “isolated incidents”, I can probably do the same for Ted.

  46. I saw him once on the Bill Maher show and he was obviously the most decent and well-informed person on the panel. He rolled with the punches and made his points calmly and with conviction. He really did seem like a classy guy, unlike all the immature idiots snarking about his death here.

  47. Being the most decent and well-informed person on Politically Incorrect? What an accomplishment. I don’t see anyone reveling in his death, just criticizing him for his great faults and unconscionable actions.

  48. I’m with economist and R C Dean here. But get ya’lls two minutes hate in if it makes you feel better.

    Well, I am usually hesitant to speak ill of the dead, but encomiums and eulogies to those who are undeserving bother me as well.

    Tony Snow was accomplished in his field, by all accounts an articulate and polished advocate for whatever issue he spoke for. He chose, towards the end of his life, to place his considerable skills in service to those who shat upon the Constitution with regularity and whose decisions included killing thousands and torturing dozens.

    I imagine the shrill two minutes hate, as you called it, would not be prompted so easily if not for the apologists who wish to expurgate the dead of all their various sins.

    It may have been one bad mistake towards the end of his life, and because of that he does not draw my ire the way that a lifetime of hateful action, such as Jesse Helms’, did. But it is a disservice to those who have been harmed by the man providing a fig leaf for those who deserve full and public scorn to heap posthumous accolades and testimonials regarding his character and his inner decency.

    After we die, all that is left of us is our actions. If a man may not be judged by those, then no man may be judged at all.

  49. I’d just like to add a quote;

    “But beware of the dark side. Anger…fear…aggression. The dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight.”
    –Yoda

  50. The passing of any person is a tragedy for his friends and family, and I hope that they are able to quietly and respectfully lay him to rest and grieve without public spectacle.

    However, if his passing should become an occasion for some big media spectacle and constant media commentary, and if a simple cessation of that commentary is not possible, then it will be necessary to make certain observations on what it is that he did and who he did it for.

  51. Having read the comments here, it’ll take some scrubbing to get the filth off.

  52. May 8, 2006 – September 13, 2007. that’s when snow was press secretary.

    ‘Bush lied’ is about either
    1) the lead up to the war
    2) the notion that ‘everything is going fine’

    The start of the iraq war was March 2003.
    The start of everyone thinking Iraq is a complete cluster was summer ’05.

    But don’t let your hate prevent you from misapplying blame.

  53. Tony Snow, a man of undeniable charm and wit, was paid by The Party to tell us daily that 2+2=5.

  54. ‘Bush lied’ is about either
    1) the lead up to the war
    2) the notion that ‘everything is going fine’

    or
    3) We did not spy on American Citizens without a warrant

    or
    4) Of COURSE we didn’t torture people in captivity

    But don’t let facts get in the way of a good story…

  55. The start of everyone thinking Iraq is a complete cluster was summer ’05.

    I distinctly remember being against the war in ’03, and many people finding “Mission Accomplished” to be a ridiculous statement back in May ’03. So, your dating of “a complete cluster” is a bit questionable (and by that, I mean “bullshit”).

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.