Conflict, schmonflict

Thanks to John Berger on the Well, I ended up reading this interesting exchange between administration spokesweasel John McClellan and the usually prostrate White House press:

Q: When the President talks about high gasoline prices, he often cites the demand for gasoline and crude oil from China. Is the President comfortable that the company partly owned by his campaign media advisor is assisting the Chinese in their attempt to purchase Unocal?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, in terms of that matter, we are following those reports closely. If a bid were to go through, like all foreign-based transactions, there is a regulatory process that is in place that will be followed to address any national security concerns. So in other words, there are procedures in place, and if a bid goes through, then we would expect the appropriate procedures to be followed.
Q: But is he comfortable with this company that was so closely aligned with his–
MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know about any such involvement.
Q: Well, Public Strategies out of Austin, Texas is helping CNO buy Unocal.
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you have to look at what I just said. That’s the – that’s the President’s view when it comes to this matter.
Q: But it’s just that it’s a really close tie to the White House, and would the President be comfortable in using this company again for any further media strategies that he may have to engage in, or is this just part of free enterprise?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President would want to make sure that the procedures that are in place are followed, and that’s what we would expect if a bid goes through.