Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The denial Approach, or Playing To A Room Of...Interns?

The "press briefing" that George Bush gave in tandem with Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week, in which he basically told him to go fly a kite when he asked for more control of U.S. troops, and rightly so I thought, but pledged continued support and .... wait, they realized just as they were about to start that the room was basically empty. Why? These "press briefings" are a standard dog and pony show at the White House, photo op with pre-fab content and no access. Have been for years. Bush only ever allows four questions each time, two to the wire services, and two to foreign press. Every time. So the press have finally realized there's no point in going. With a press no-show just as show time was about to start, the press secretary, thinking quickly, raided the white house intern pool and filled the room with young twenty-something gophers who did their best to paper the room. Look at the video, every face is squeaky clean, young, unrefined, and devoid of authority. Just window dressing.

But this is the President's approach. When something doesn't go well, deny it happened. Or don't mention it at all. No press? No problem. Keep pretending everything's fine and just have faith that everyone will come around to your side. Don't work for it, just believe it hard enough and it'll happen. He's the first President who should be wearing ruby red slippers. But I'd hate to break it to him that Dorothy was only able to use them "in a dream."

Unless you live down here with the rest of us on terra firma and have to deal with the laws of physics like we all do, wish fulfillment is still a great idea that no one seems to have registered the patent on yet.

If any one of us lives in denial, we only end up hurting ourselves. As long as Mr. Bush lives in denial, he's only going to hurt every one of us.

This link from the Washington Post has some poignant, and glaring examples.


Blogger That Dude said...

From a pure "message" standpoint it doesnt really matter whether alot of reporters were there. Something I learned in Mark Bowden's book 'bringing the heat' on a year inside the Eagles is that it only matters that you are seen on TV talking, subliminally people get the message, the questions dont really matter....

btw, Bowden also wrote 'Black Hawk Down' talented writer.

6:19 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Tommyblaze said...

Hysterical. Phil - sounds like something out of a movie you would have written and the critique would be, "Not believable."

6:28 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Fuck 'pure message' and give me journalists that ask difficult questions and a President who has to answer them. Jesus, what a joke...

11:17 AM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Back in news, we used to have what we called 'wooden camera' events. Usually it was some sort of announcement or event that was near and dear to someone in upper management, so we would have to cover it, regardless of its newsworthiness or whatever else was going on that day.

The idea wasn't to use whatever we got (it rarely, if ever, made it to air), but just to be seen there covering the event. Hence, we could have shown up with a wooden camera and no one would have known the difference.

There's been some debate among progressive cynics on the nature of Dubya. Some say he's truly a good ol' boy puppet, controlled by Rove, Cheney, et al. Others see him as someone intelligent, who hides his intelligence behind an 'aw-shucks' mannerism.

I say it doesn't matter. If he's the latter, then newsconferences and appearances hide his true nature. If he's the former, we're just seeing a play.

Either way, what you see isn't what you get.


7:22 PM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

This is exactly true. A play. Government as theater.

9:07 PM, May 26, 2005  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

don't be giving theatre a bad name...

12:43 PM, May 27, 2005  

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