Bill Sammon is deputy managing editor for Fox News Channel's Washington bureau as well as a Fox News political analyst. He is also "the author of four books" on George W. Bush, "all New York Times bestsellers. His fifth book, The Evangelical President, was published in September 2007. Sammon was formerly White House reporter for the Washington Times and former senior White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner.
Creating the news
In a September 18, 2007, Examiner article, Sammon attacked both Democratic 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the liberal organization MoveOn regarding MoveOn's ad portraying Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us" in a full-page ad published in the New York Times on September 10, 2007, the day before Petraeus was to testify before Congress, and Clinton for allegedly refusing to repudiate MoveOn's ad.
Two days later, on September 20, 2007, Sammon reported online at 1:16 p.m. in the Examiner on a story he had helped to create around 11:20 a.m. during a White House press conference with President Bush.
"Wrapping up his seventh year in office and unable to rise from his ratings slump, the president has run low on major announcements," Dana Milbank reported September 21, 2007, in the Washington Post. Reporters asked Bush questions, only to receive cursory one liners in response, at least until what was the end of the news conference. Milbank reported:
- "In need of a pick-me-up, Bush looked toward the back of the room and found 'Big Stretch,' the conservative journalist Bill Sammon of the Washington Examiner. Sammon obliged, asking whether Bush thinks Democrats should repudiate MoveOn.org's ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus.
- "Bingo -- another chance to criticize Democrats in Congress. 'I thought that the ad was disgusting,' Bush said. 'And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democrat Party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad.'
- "Bush therefore concluded that 'most Democrats . . . are more afraid of irritating [MoveOn] than they are of irritating the United States military. That was a sorry deal.'"
Coincidentally, Sammon managed to ask the last question, provide Bush's punchline, and Sammon's own afternoon headline: "Bush slams Dems for not condemning MoveOn.org."
Joined at the hip with Bush
Former Washington Times' reporter Sammon's "bio for speaking engagements brags:
- "Six-foot-seven inch Bill Sammon–nicknamed 'Superstretch' by President Bush–enjoys more access to the commander-in-chief than any other journalist. Sammon has spent hours with Bush in the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One–even in the President’s sprawling Texas ranch. As Senior White House Correspondent for the Washington Examiner, Bill Sammon travels with Bush wherever he goes and was with him on September 11, when his presidency was utterly transformed by the terrorist attacks."
On September 13, 2007, Sammon, "author of such scathing critiques of presidential power as Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, Media Bias and the Bush Haters and Strategery: How George W. Bush Is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media appeared on Fox's Special Report with Brit Hume to argue that [Ted] Olson should be confirmed [as Attorney General] because his wife Barbara died on 9/11."
"In December 2003, Sammon asked whether Bush would 'agree or disagree' with the Republican National Committee's assessment that Howard Dean musing about Bush knowing in advance about 9/11 'borders on hate speech.'
"Bush would only say, 'There's a time for politics, and I uh ... It's an absurd insinuation.' That was four months before the White House finally released the infamous 'Bin Laden Determined to Stike in US' warning delivered to Bush in August 2001."
- Meet the Next President: What You Don't Know About the Candidates, Threshold Editions, December 2007, ISBN 1416554890.
- The Evangelical President: George Bush's Struggle to Spread a Moral Democracy Throughout the World, Regnery Publishing, September 2007, ISBN 1596985186.
- Strategery: How George W. Bush Is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media, Regnery, February 2006, ISBN 1596980028.
- Misunderestimated : The President Battles Terrorism, Media Bias, and the Bush Haters, William Morrow, May 2004, ISBN 0060723831.
- Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the Bush White House, Regnery, October 2002, ISBN 0895261499.
- At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election, Regnery, May 2001, ISBN 0895262274.
Related SourceWatch articles
- Jamie Glazov, "The Race for the White House," FrontPageMag.com, September 19, 2007.
- Bill Sammon, Examiner.com.
- Bill Sammon, "Hillary Clinton won’t repudiate MoveOn.org’s ‘Betray Us’ ad," Examiner.com, September 18, 2007.
- Bill Sammon, "Bush slams Dems for not condemning MoveOn.org," Examiner, September 20, 2007.
- News Release: Press Conference by the President, James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, Office of the White House Press Secretary, September 20, 2007. Note: Press briefing began at 10:46 a.m. and ended at 11:21 a.m.
- Dana Milbank, "Bush's News Conference Almost Makes News," Washington Post, September 21, 2007.
- Amanda Terkel, "In Press Conference, Bush Calls On Conservative Ally For Softball Question Condemning Democrats," Think Progress, September 21, 2007.
- "Special Report Roundtable - Sep. 13. FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume," RealClearPolitics, September 13, 2007.
- David Weigel, "Scoundrels, to Your Refuges!" Reason Online, September 14, 2007.
- Nick Juliano, "Bush bashes Democrats over 'disgusting' MoveOn ad," The Raw Story, September 20, 2007.
- See Bill Sammon articles at Media Matters for America.
- See more The Daily Howler reports not listed below.
- Bob Somerby, "We finally saw why the celebrity press corps so hated those 81 answers," The Daily Howler, December 6, 1998.
- Bob Somerby, " In talking about the 'love child' debacle, Bill Sammon kept peddling old howlers," The Daily Howler, January 19, 1999.
- Bob Somerby, "Monica’s tape convinced us again. The press corps just loves getting spun," The Daily Howler, February 15, 1999.
- Bob Somerby, "Bill Sammon says Gore didn’t know from the water. So why was this even a story?" The Daily Howler, July 30, 1999.
- Bob Somerby, "While regional papers examined the facts, the New York Times played along with Bill Sammon," The Daily Howler, August 2, 1999.
- Bob Somerby, "Sammon’s latest shows why the press should speak up when Big Spin appears in the discourse" and "Just how silly can Bill Sammon get? Pretty silly—and Melinda made two," The Daily Howler, August 4, 1999.
- Bob Somerby, "We knew enough to check Sammon’s source. Free people should see what we found," The Daily Howler, June 18, 2001.
- Bob Somerby, "The opening chapter of Sammon’s book is a textbook in how to mislead," The Daily Howler, June 19, 2001.
- Bob Somerby, "Sammon’s account of Election Night is a study in self-contradiction," The Daily Howler, September 21, 2001.
- Bob Somerby, "Bill Sammon wrote an indefensible book. And Big Pundits know not to say so," The Daily Howler, June 25, 2001.
- Bob Somerby, "The Lay-in-the-Lincoln-Bedroom lie helps instruct us in where spin comes from," The Daily Howler, February 25, 2002.
- Scoobie Davis, "Journalistic Misconduct by Two FOX News Analysts -- And What You Can Do About It," American Politics Journal, March 10, 2003.
- Matthew Everett, "Dawdler in chief: The suspicious behavior of George W. Bush during the 9/11 attacks," OnlineJournal, September 11, 2007.
- Mike Aivaz and Jason Rhyne, "Olbermann: Bush attacks on MoveOn and Democrats are 'pissy, juvenile'," The Raw Story, September 20, 2007.
- Joe Sudbay, "Another bait and switch by the Bush spinmeistes -- and the punditry falls for it," AMERICAblog, September 21, 2007.