"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Okay, can you see?

Same tune, different lyrics:
O-o-kay, can you see
How the Bush White House lies?
While so blindly we watch
Eating dinner each evening

-- Tim Maddog
Same Shakespeare, different day:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."

-- William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Opening the curtains
Since at least May of 2004, the "description" just below the heading of this blog has read, "Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!" In recent days, those curtains (yes, there are many) aren't just falling in tatters -- they are on fire, and the view behind them has been demonstrated to be quite ugly.

George W. Bush held a video teleconference with troops in Tikrit, Iraq Thursday which was billed as "spontaneous" and "a chance for the president to hear directly from the troops," but which was revealed by video evidence to be a poorly-rehearsed, poorly-scripted, and poorly-executed abuse of the military as propaganda (remember Jessica Lynch?) for Bush's illegal war on Iraq.

Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News begins to pull back the curtains when he says this:
"[T]his is hardly the first staged political event we have covered -- and we've seen a lot of them in the past. Today's encounter was billed as 'spontaneous.' Instead it appeared to follow a script." [Video linked here]
Yeah, if by "appeared" you mean the answers in the rehearsal with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber sounded just like those in the actual event.

Listen to Barber herself, and see if it merely "appears" to you to follow a script [Emphasis mine]:
"[B]ut if he gives us a question that's not something that we've scripted, Captain Kennedy, you're gonna have that mic, and that's your chance to impress us all. [edit in video] Master Sergeant Lombardo, when you're talking about the president coming to see you in New York, take a little breath before that so you can actually be talking directly to him. You've got a real message there, okay?
So "if" the president goes off-script, by some chance, "impress us all." And "when" you "spontaneous[ly]" talk about New York, act natural when you deliver our "message" -- or something like that.

Sergeant Schultz to the resc... "Help!"
The follow-up Q&A session between the press and White House spokesperson Scott McClellan was also rather ugly. In response to a question about the soldiers being "coached," McClellan's actually replied, "I'm sorry. I don't know what you're suggesting." When asked by Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post if the soldiers had "rehearsed their answers," McClellan came up with "I don't know, I was with the president" (who, even being Bush, would surely have known?). [Video (below " Act II - The Press") available here]

Countdown to a Bush-free White House?
Keith Olbermann has been pulling back the curtains for us for quite some time, but when NBC Nightly News' Andrea Mitchell shows us the video of the rehearsal then says, "Many administrations, Democrat and Republican, stage-manage events and often the news media ignore the choreography," you get the feeling that this has snowballed into something too large for even Karl Rove to hide any longer. Former presidential advisor David Gergen -- whom Mitchell reminds has worked under 3 Republican presidents -- adds to this thought, "I have rarely seen the news staged with the military in quite as blatant a way, but it has been done before, so it does belong to a long and somewhat unhappy tradition."

Mitchell actually provides us more detail of the stage management of the Bush administration than she does with just the above segment quoted by Newsbusters. She prefaced that statement with this bit [Emphasis mine]:
"This isn't the first time this administration used troops to help sell the Iraq war. In fact, the Bush White House has choreographed everything from town hall meetings on Social Security to campaign events with planted questions."
So, should the media have said more about this long ago? Yes! Should this White House have denied what we saw for ourselves? No! Should we believe anything this administration says -- ever? FUCK, NO!

This blog is neither fair nor balanced
Having said that, read the apologist Newsbusters article (also linked above), and if you want to see a QuickTime video of Captain Brent Kennedy -- one of the hand-picked soldiers -- "proving" that the event wasn't staged, go here. Who ya gonna believe -- him, or your own lyin' eyes?

Video links, redux
* QuickTime and WMV video of Brian Williams, Allison Barber, Andrea Mitchell, and David Gergen is available here, via Crooks & Liars.
* The McClellan video and two others (QuickTime only) from Keith Olbermann's Countdown are available here, via onegoodmove. (Click the preview image below " Act II - The Press.")
* Streaming QuickTime video of Captain Brent Kennedy saying how much he loves Bush can be viewed here via komo news in the state of Washington (link to the right of that page, below Kennedy's photo).

Flashing lights: , , , , , , , , , , ,
eXTReMe Tracker
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?