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U.N. Cowboy Flack Rides Into the Sunset

Bolts with Bolton.

It’s not only our U.N.-hating U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, who’s leaving his post as the Bush era of cowboy diplomacy comes to a rather abrupt end. Ric Grenell, the spokesperson for the U.S. mission who outlasted Bush’s two earlier U.N. ambassadors (Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and former Missouri senator John Danforth and), is hanging up his spurs, too. And “soon,” he says. A Bush campaign staffer, Grenell spun his way through the Kyoto Accords pullout, the WMD fiasco, and the Iraq invasion, and did so in a way that didn’t endear him to many members of the press corps, who complained that Grenell played favorites, hectored them, and fed them bogus information. Grenell bristles at any mention of proffering inaccurate info, though he did admit to preferring some reporters to others. “Sometimes the message would hit a brick wall before you were finished saying it, so you had to find ways to go around the brick wall,” he says. Asked about his legacy, he lists becoming the longest-serving U.N. press secretary ever (five years and two months), “holding some members of the press corp to higher standards” and “wrapping myself in the American flag every day when I entered the building.”

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