White House Defends New Hire

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

The White House yesterday defended a conservative magazine editor recently hired as President Bush’s domestic policy adviser, Karl Zinsmeister, against suggestions that his writings make him unsuitable for the post.

“I know Karl Zinsmeister pretty well, and he is somebody who expresses himself with a certain amount of piquancy,” the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, said in response to sharp questions from a syndicated columnist, Helen Thomas.

Mr. Snow said it was unfair to attack Mr. Zinsmeister based on a 2004 newspaper interview in which he was quoted as saying, “People in Washington are morally repugnant, cheating, shifty human beings.”

“I think you’re going to find out that to judge somebody on the basis of one sentence is probably a little unfair,” Mr. Snow told reporters.

The New York Sun reported Friday that the Web site of Mr. Zinsmeister’s magazine, the American Enterprise, included altered versions of that quote and some others. A White House spokeswoman told the Sun that the editor made the changes because he was misquoted in the story, which originally appeared in the Syracuse New Times.

Mr. Zinsmeister later told the Washington Post he was “foolish” to make the changes himself and should have sought a correction at the time.

The New York Sun

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