Tony Snow's New Toys

Bells! Whistles! Doohickeys! The refurbished White House press briefing room got a lot of attention at its reopening a few weeks ago. CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller muses that the two newly-installed video monitors could be used in an additional way that Tony Snow hasn't thought of yet.

The new and improved White House press briefing room gives spokesman Tony Snow some brand new audio-visual capabilities.

He is flanked on the podium by two 45-inch high-definition video monitors – on which he can project slides, graphs, quotes or pretty much whatever he wants.

Last Friday, he used the screens to illustrate his assertion that progress was being made in Iraq as a result of the surge in U.S. troops ordered by Pres. Bush.

And today, he was able to push a botton on his lectern and project a couple of old quotes from the current chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT., to defend the White House claim of Executive Privilege in the congressional probe of the firings of those U.S. Attorneys.

It got me thinking that Snow could use the screens to respond to many of the questions he gets on a daily basis from reporters.

So with apologies to David Letterman, here is my list of the top ten video screen messages Tony Snow might choose to display at the push of a button in response to reporters:

10. I reject the premise of your question.

9. You should check with DOD (the Department of Defense).

8. When we're ready to announce something – we will.

7. That IS my answer.

6. The President has full confidence in the Attorney General.

5. It's a crime to lie to Congress whether you're under oath or not.

4. Lester, I won't dignify that with an answer.

3. Sorry – this is not Happy Kumbaya Day.

2. I'll have to get back to you on that.

1. Bite me!

With one exception, Tony Snow and his deputies have frequently spoken each of my top ten responses from the lectern while briefing reporters.

(In fairness, I've never heard any of them use the response I put in the #1 position. But I'll bet the mortgage they've wanted to say it, but held their tongues.)