Sepia Mutiny has had a long tradition of writing about the exploits of Raghubir Goyal (born on July 6!), a White House press corps member who claims to write for an Indian-American magazine (“India Globe”) that may or may not actually exist. (Does it? Has anyone ever actually seen it?)
Goyal was of interest to us and others because of his status as “foil” for White House press secretaries eager to change the subject over the years, especially when hammered with too many tough questions about things like Enron, Abu Ghraib, missing WMDs, Katrina, civil war in Iraq, the President’s abject failure to privatize social security, and other various and sundry White House failures. Now, however, general interest in the Bush White House is winding down a bit, and reporters are often skipping press briefings. Goyal, however, is still faithful, as we see in a story in this week’s “On the Media”:
(Also see an earlier NPR “On the Media” story involving Raghubir Goyal here.)
I will miss Goyal; I cannot imagine his press credentials will survive into the Obama presidency. Indeed, his will be one of the very few faces from the Bush administration I will really miss. Appropriately, he is an unintentionally comic figure, with no particular qualifications or competency. And yet he continues to do his job as he always has, and no one has seemed to mind, except for a few alienated cynics.
Also, see the comprehensive Raghubir Goyal Watchdog site for some choice quotes.