March 7, 2003
Scripted Press Conferences and the Lapdog Media
BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
As we have mentioned over the last two years, the Republican Party is so brazen in its hypocrisy, it will sometimes just openly brag about its duplicitousness.
It happened when Andrew Card said in September of 2002 that the Bush Cartel waited until the fall to begin the drumbeats of war against Iraq, because, he argued, the summer is not a good time to roll out a "new product."
It happened again on Thursday night when Bush openly acknowledged that the news conference was scripted. Bush appeared to be referring to a list of reporters prepared for him that he was reading from, which excluded Helen Thomas, of course. As he read down the list, he told a reporter, in essence, to wait to ask his question because the reporter was further down on the list.
You can hear (557kb wav) the "script" comment yourself in an audio file created by a BuzzFlash Reader, who notes, "The relevant excerpt from CNN's transcript is included below -- notice the 'scripted' comment is conveniently scrubbed out."
Whether or not reporters were quietly "prepped" for their questions by the White House propaganda staff may never be known. What we do know is that the White House press corps "heels" when it is told to heel and "sits" when it is told to sit. Ever since Ari told a reporter who dared to ask a challenging question that his insubordination "was noted around the White House," the media lapdogs know that they better toss the Dim Son soft balls or they will be exiled to covering oil spills in Armenia.
In the Washington Post, White House Communications director, Dan Bartlett, revealed that the White House knew of the questions in advance:
But it wouldn't have mattered if any of the Stepford White House press corps had dared to ask a probing question. Bush was scripted in more ways than just having an arranged list of reporters; he was clearly reading from a set of stock answers that were to be used to answer known questions.
Karl Rove knows that such a "packaged" event will guarantee that the White House mantra of deception is conveyed in the next day's papers. Calling the scripted Thursday night event a news conference is a bit like calling Ann Coulter a journalist -- neither claim is credible.
So, how can such a phony, staged production be deemed credible by the media? Well, as we know, the media, with few exceptions, is the chief enabler for the Bush Cartel. They are really just a megaphone for White House lies and propaganda. The deal is that the White House gets to appear as if it is really serving the American people and the media shills get to pretend to be journalists.
The reason there is even any support for a war in America (and the majority don't support a unilateral attack on Iraq) is because the public believes the Bush Cartel disinformation campaign. As a commentary in The Nation recently noted:
We might add that some polls have shown that most Americans believe that the hijackers of September 11th were Iraqi, when the truth is there were no Iraqis. The truth is that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, a nation that the Bush Cartel has assiduously protected despite strong evidence of direct Saudi involvement in the financing and support of Al-Qaeda. Let's not forget, furthermore, that Osama bin Laden is Saudi and that he views Saddam Hussein as a secular infidel.
But the truth will never get in the way of the cozy relationship between the Bush Cartel and the media.
Support for a war in America is about a foot wide and an inch deep. If we had a responsible, professional media in this country it would be a millimeter wide and a millimeter deep. And that millimeter would be confined to the White House.
BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
otherwise noted, all original