Tonight's Daily Show script
"On Wednesday the President hired a Fox News commentator for the job of explaining his decisions to the American people... in a move that can only be described as redundant.
In a statement, Fox News chief Roger Ailes thanked the White House for picking up the other half of Tony Snow's salary."
Then insert a funny soundbite and go to Ed Helms.
Now, there is of course precedent for Presidential press spokesman having also held positions on broadcast TV. But the ones I can think of (George Stephanopolous, Dee Dee Meyers, Bill Moyers) came to their TV gigs AFTER having served in Washington. This is the only time I can think of that a pundit would go the other way around. Snow was briefly a speechwriter in the first Bush Administration, but he has far more experience hosting for Fox, including the Sunday show. If Tim Russert was hired as a Democratic Administration's press secretary... I know, I know, it's OK if you're a Republican. This really does wonders for that whole "fair and balanced" slogan, doesn't it?
You have to look at this in the context of Josh Bolten's five-point plan to save a flagging White House. One of them was "Court the Press," and what better way to do that than to make one of their own the chief spokesman. Snow's been on the DC cocktail circuit for years, and will have a much easier time cozying up to the press corps than in the past under Scott McClellan.
It was telling that neither the President nor Snow answered any questions from the podium, instead walking away as reporters yelled out queries. He's a quick learner!