Tuesday, October 02, 2012



After almost 7 years of gathering digital dust, it seems that quite unexpectedly, BUSH WIRED has regained a bit of life!  George W. Bush may be long gone, but tomorrow night is the first Presidential Debate of 2012 ...  Obama VS. Romney!

Over the last week or two I've received a couple notes asking if I thought Romney would wear an earpiece or cheat in the upcoming debates.  Honestly,  I hadn't thought too much about it, but after his 47% remarks and recent polling, I expect he'll need all the help he can get.  

A quick troll of the interwebs revealed that Romney has already been in hot water over -perhaps- wearing an earpiece in 2008... caught on tape.  I vaguely remember the story, but never gave it attention at the time.  Bolstering the suspicions, the blog Red State ran a separate story in 2008 that seemed to confirm that Romney indeed wears an earpiece regularly.  From Red State:

"During Gov. Romney’s speech, one of his handlers mentioned to one of our staff people that any time Gov. Romney needed to wrap things up, he would be happy to let Gov. Romney know through the ear-piece that he wore."

CANNONFIRE (one of the original sources of the Bush Wired Theory) typically sums it all up nicely HERE in a post from last January.

Some more links:

What will tomorrow bring?  Who knows.  I'll have my eyes peeled and DVR set for sure.   Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if either candidate gets "wired up".   

I think almost everyone accepts that some politicians wear earpieces all the time.  These days, I expect it at press conferences.  However,  receiving coached answers in a Presidential Debate will always be a big no-no in my view.

For anyone not familiar with the BUSH WIRED story, its pretty amazing and strange.  Read below,  it starts a long way down.  Unfortunately, many of the links have expired over the years, and the infamous photo-gallery was lost to time.

October 2, 2012

Saturday, October 15, 2005

PROPAGANDA or PREPARATION? Behind Bush's staged teleconference

Above: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber coaches the soldiers, later insisting that the event wasn't rehearsed. Barber also runs the Pentagon Channel and claims to have no political agenda.
THE OFFICIAL BUSH WIRED PHOTO GALLERY View The Evidence! More Bulge links at the end of the post.


That STAGED press conference wasn't the worst thing Bush has done. I admit it. Political manipulation of the media has occurred since the invention of the press itself. And yeah, yeah, we'd all love to have a President that could speak to the public in an inspiring and "presidential" way... instead we get "Bring it on!"... we're all used to it by now.

Sure, this administration may have raised the bar in terms of media savvy, good for them. What bothers me however is how the expectation of media manipulation leads to a real complacency amongst the mainstream press. Nobody really cries foul when something as absurd as Thursday's "teleconference" occurs.

It's not so much the act as the lies. Sure, prep the soldiers for the interview, that's standard. But instead, the prep-session was more of a full-blown rehearsal... everyone knew their lines, and what to do if someone went off-script. Thanks to the inadvertent satellite feed we all got to see exactly how it was done. This WASHINGTON POST account sums it up well.

Where's the LIE? Read on... The teleconference was billed as a "spontaneous" conversation with soldiers. Lie. The press was told that the event would be "unscripted". Lie. After the press (and the world) saw the "extended footage", the administration stuck to it's "spontaneous" story. Lie. On Friday, the White House backed off that story a bit, but hardly admitted the level of "preparation" the soldiers received. Lie. From the White House press briefing:

" Q And regarding yesterday's event with the President and the soldiers in Tikrit, has there been any adjustment in the administration's position about whether or not it was scripted or rehearsed, and what sort of protocols will be followed in the future?"

"MR. McCLELLAN: I think you heard from the troops. The troops that were participating in that event said that they were expressing their own thoughts. So you heard directly from the troops. And these are troops that are on the ground in Iraq, who were giving the President and the American people a firsthand account of the progress that is being made on the ground."

Read the official transcript HERE.

But let's dig into the deception a bit deeper. It gets juicy.

It also seems that the soldier most often quoted in the press (Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo) was not an average "grunt" at all. According to the VILLAGE VOICE , she's a MEDIA SPOKESPERSON for the MILITARY. Of course, she's the one who handled the important sound-bites. From The Voice:

" David Axe, who's made several forays into Iraq for the Voice — read his latest, "Powerless," a dispatch from southern Iraq — knows Corine Lombardo from having spent time in Tikrit. He tells me:

Her job when I was with the 42nd Infantry Division included taking reporters to lunch.
She lives in a fortified compound in Tikrit and rarely leaves.
Many public-affairs types in Iraq never leave their bases, and they're speaking for those who do the fighting and dying."

Allegedly, most of the other soldiers were officers and not average soldiers as well.

Hardly anyone in the press has seriously raised the issue of the White House using the troops for what really amounts to a political TV ad... or simply put, PROPAGANDA. In fact, on the subject of propaganda and TV, people are just now raising questions about the Pentagon's entry into the world of broadcasting with, "THE PENTAGON CHANNEL". Orginally a military-only network, its now being carried by most cable and satellite systems. Apparently they also have a web-broadcast but I can't get THE LINK to work. http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/ .

It's the first time ever that the government has run a state-run news and info TV network that's been available to the general public (reaching 12 million viewers so far). CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 recently raised the question of the legality of the new channel, concerned about a 50+ year law barring the government from creating propaganda.

The PENTAGON CHANNEL, supposedly, is free from White House oversight and has no role in advancing administration policies. However, a transcript at NEWSBUSTERS quotes CNN's Jamie McIntyre reporting:

"MCINTYRE (on camera): The Pentagon Channel originates from studios here in Alexandria, Virginia. There's everything here you'd expect to find in a modern television station, cameras, teleprompters, computers. The one thing it says it doesn't have is an agenda to advance administration policies."

"MCINTYRE: While much of the Pentagon Channel programming is more like CSPAN than CNN, this original documentary called Inside the Wire purports to show that the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo is humane. That argues Professor Begleiter sounds a lot like the Bush administration version of the truth."

"RALPH BEGLEITER, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE: You want to have radio free America or some such hypothetical title, broadcasting propaganda to the United States, no. We don't allow that in this country. It's a law."

"MCINTYRE: He's referring to a 1948 ban that stops the government from controlling the news sent to domestic audiences. A law inspired by abuses in Nazi Germany. But Pentagon officials say the Pentagon Channel is simply internal communications for the military. And rejects the idea its programming is propaganda."

Keep in mind this "internal communications" network is being actively promoted and given away for free to any cable/sat. service provider who wishes to include it with programming.

OK, so there ya go... THE PENTAGON CHANNEL.

Who should run this network? None other than Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber... And you guessed it, SHE'S the one coaching the soldiers with lines before the President's Staged Teleconference. Full Circle.

Allison Barber has a background in advertising and PR in Washington DC, and also runs the American Forces Radio and Television, the American Forces Press Service, the Department's Internet web operations, the Defense Media Center, and Stars and Stripes newspaper. She also hosts "Ask the White House", an online forum.

According to this quote from the Washington Times :

"Miss Barber said the Pentagon Channel makes every effort to avoid propaganda charges by, among other practices, offering live coverage of such events as press conferences from beginning to end, while commercial networks will pick up only the sections they deem newsworthy.
"It would be propaganda if we tried to spin it," she said."

Well, she sure spun this live teleconference!!! And did a pretty bad job of it, by the way.

And so, the Pentagon Channel probably has an agenda afterall... doesn't surprise me. Especially with Donald Rumsfeld's frequent complaints about negative press and bad headlines regarding Iraq. Thats gotta sway things a bit I'd think, he's the boss.

I for one, really object to my tax dollars being used in this way... a military issues channel, fine. A network designed and used to promote the Bush Administrations policies in Iraq? Documentaries showing how nice Guantanamo is... promoted as news? NO WAY! Just as sinister is how this propaganda has leeched its way into the mainstream media in the form of the Staged Teleconference. News networks carry this kind of thing because its supposed to be "newsworthy", and it should be news... but what we got the other day was blatant propaganda. Enough is enough. The mainstream media needs to stop accepting this slop from the administration as news, make a stink about it, and demand far more than a schloppy PR gig from the administration as "news from Iraq".

'Nuff Said.

ON TOPIC: Apparently the President inserted a WIRELESS EARPIECE into his ear before the teleconference (photo previous post)... This is kind of important for the topic of THE BULGE. For the first time it shows the President actually using the same technology he allegedly used to cheat during the Presidential Debates of '04.

• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

Friday, October 14, 2005

Staged Press Conference: Expected or an Outrage? Did the President wear an Earpiece?

• ABOVE: The wireless earpiece Bush put in his ear before the "teleconference"? See, he does use 'em!

Yesterday's STAGED teleconference with troops hasn't really created the furor amongst the press that I had hoped. I saw it discussed on most of the cable news networks today, the general consensus is that this was an especially obvious use of a typical Bush PR ploy. Nobody was too surprised or outraged. Obviously, President Bush isn't the first person to stage a press conference, or a Q&A session... but this latest incident is an especially crass and outrageous instance. Someone needs to call him on it, enough is enough. However, this story will probably end up as a hilarious segment on The Daily Show, or Leno, thats it... I'm pretty jaded at this point. Someday the mainstream press will cry foul, maybe.

Here's a really great link on the whole Staged Teleconference incident from PRWATCH.ORG . The site also points out that one of the "troops" was in fact a media spokesperson, and not an "Average Joe" soldier at all. It also has a link to the video of the preparations of the teleconference, and some great links for more info.

I'd venture to bet that this latest fiasco wouldn't have occurred at all if Karl Rove wasn't busy preparing for today's Grand Jury testimony. I don't like Rove much, but I'd give him credit for knowing better.

What HAS becoming quite clear in the last months is how the Bush Administration indeed uses and manipulates the press. That's not surprising, or unexpected. What's been alarming is how the mainstream media continues to ignore these increasingly vile instances of injecting administration propaganda into the media under the guise of actual news.

Whether it was the Gannon/ Guckert "scandal", Plamegate, staged teleconferences, hand-picked audiences, prepared questions and answers, paid pundits... etc.etc.etc., what is absolutely clear is how far this administration will go to promote it's agenda. It continues to confound me how people refuse to believe that this administration may have used wireless coaching in the debates. Is it that crazy of an idea?

I'd also like to officially welcome IsBushWired back. What a great blog! IBW is one of the original blogs to cover the Bulge last fall. If you have not seen it lately, they've been posting again! The last few posts are a wonderful "big picture" look at some of the issues above. Plus, wonderful writing as always!

Bush Wired

• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Bush Teleconference STAGED... No Bulge needed!

For anyone still in doubt that the White House may resort to coaching or prompting in times of need... perhaps you didn't see today's Presidential "teleconference".

This one is so bad that Bush should probably go back to wireless speaking aids... despite any bulges. Hey, don't take my word for it, ask any of the millions of people who watched... or read the reports in the Mainstream Press!

Read this the report from ABC NEWS titled, "Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged". Something tells me that there will be more juicy facets to this escapade following... perhaps someone in the mass media will remember the Bulge. I won't hold my breath.

The official video is on the WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE .

Bush Wired

• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


As if on cue, about a year after the BULGE was sighted during the Presidential Debates of '04... our pesky Presidential Bulge has made a special "anniversary" appearance.

Today President Bush held a full-fledged hour long news conference, complete with a question and answer session. While the President's speech seemed to go quite smoothly, Bush seemed to slip up ... a dozen or so times... during the Q&A session. It was the classic Bush pauses and slow speech as the 'hard' questions rolled in... nothing new there.

However, today the President seemed to go back to that odd speaking style that brought us "BulgeGate" in the first place. If you look close at the way Bush spoke today, the frequent stalls then sudden "blurting out" of facts and talking points, the idea of wireless prompting of answers almost seems obvious.

The video can be found on the White House site . There are especially interesting "stammer and pauses" throughout the video, but the idea of answer prompting really seems plausible at approx: 45:30.

Better yet! As the President turned and walked off I thought I saw that tell-tale Bulge shape that we all know so well by now. Within minutes of the conference I received a few dozen e-mails from people who thought they saw the Bulge on TV. Apparently, it was quite obvious on the multi-angled CSPAN coverage... I can't say, I didn't see it. The video on the CSPAN website is too fuzzy to see anything well... but here is the CSPAN VIDEO link.

I did some screen grabs and light enhancing with Photoshop... the compression makes it difficult to tell exactly, but it looks like the Bulge is back!!!

Updates if anything develops.

• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

Friday, September 16, 2005

More Katrina Bulge Sightings

There is rumor of a BULGE sigting during President Bush's speech from New Orleans last night... I watched it. I didn't see the BULGE in all it's full glory, but the President's shirt didn't seem to be fitting well (again).

I have already received a bunch of e-mail and a few comments about this latest sighting... its difficult to call since there was never a good shot of the President from behind. However, its true that his shirt seemed to have an odd fit. Perhaps its time for the Presidential tailor to make a fresh appearance in this ever-twisting story and straighten this out. HA!

However, there seems to be a rash of uncomfirmed BULGE sightings from Bush's other appearances yesterday. Hopefully some more pictures or video will pop up.

As the press conference was outside, and bush was touring areas in public... I'll play the devil's advocate here and postulate that this COULD BE an instance of a bulletproof vest. It would make sense in this situation far more than it would have during the Presidential debates.

Stay Tuned! Updates as the news rolls in.

• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

Friday, September 02, 2005


• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

It's been a while since I have posted new BULGE sightings and info. The "story" has largely disappeared from the public consciousness. However this site still gets a decent amount of traffic, and the occasional Bulge report flows in from time-to-time. The bulge remains often mentioned, but largely uninvestigated in the mainstream press.

First, my thoughts and prayers are with the thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina, those people need all the help they can get, we should all do whatever we can to stabilize the lives of the people who have been so devastatingly affected by this disaster. There will be plenty of time to bring politics into this tragedy in the next weeks and months.

Unexpectedly, in the midst of this horrendous natural disaster, the BULGE (and earpiece-prompting) seems to have reared it's ugly head again. I noticed it when I saw the President doing his awkward press conference yesterday. The slow speech, telltale eye movements... it seems that our leader has been getting his info "piped into" his ear again.

I'm not the only one who noticed. Bob Fertik of Democrats.com has posted this piece which seems to sum up the latest sighting.

Bush's Ventriloquist Declares Katrina Response "Not Acceptable" (Democrats.com)

BushWired will continue to follow these developments, and will update this site if more info or sightings continue.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT THE REAL STORY OF WHATS HAPPENING IN NEW ORLEANS... As you may expect, there is a big difference between whats going on on your television screen and what's happening in the "real world". I have been aghast over the last days watching the mayhem, looting and destruction in the Gulf States, and the apparent lack of preparedness and order. I wanted to know more and found some amazing sites in the last days... from blog reports to live scanner feeds from FEMA, The N.O.P.D., to the National Guard. Links are below.

Things seem to be better organized in the last 18 hours or so (5 days after the storm), but the total lack of command and control has been shocking, and frankly, pretty scary.

The official Federal response to this disaster is a NATIONAL DISGRACE.

I listened to the scanners all night and heard some crazy stuff... everything from confused truckers not knowing where to deliver food, to reports of evacuation busses being stolen by desperate citizens, to looting, to live reports of firefighters being shot at.

THE INTERDICTOR'S BLOG ...this is a truly amazing blog. Reports from the street, from Police Officers, photos, and a live cam. The only live blog coming from N.O. powered via diesel generators.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

CONFIRMED! KARL ROVE met with NY TIMES Editor before Bulge story was "killed" !!!

• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

The other day I decided to bring the Bush Bulge mystery back "on-topic" and focus on the many unanswered questions in this odd conundrum instead of criticism of the media for not reporting this important story... that is, until I read this juicy tidbit of information passed on by the Newsrack Blog :

According to New Yorker Magazine's, Nicholas Lemann, in a non-Bulge related column, KARL ROVE met with the New York Times' executive editor BILL KELLER for cocktails on October 22nd, 2004. This meeting was 3 days before the Times' "spiked" story on the bulge was originally set to run in the Times, and 5 days before the story was ultimately killed by Keller. [While this story isn't exactly new, it ran about 2 weeks ago, its taken this long to "connect the dots" and notice the extremely suspicious timing in regards to the Bulge story's demise at the Times.]

It has long been alleged that Rove placed a call or some sort of "pressure" on the Times' editors to "kill" the Bulge story before the Nov. 2nd elections. In fariness, Times Public Editor, Daniel Okrent, responding to BushWired's allegations of Rovian interference regarding the Bulge story, stated, "I have never heard this, nor do I believe it."

Perhaps its time to start believing!

Details of this conversation are clearly outlined in the New Yorker article titled "FEAR AND FAVOR - Why is everyone mad at the mainstream media?" (see the full article HERE) . While the revelations are not Bulge-specific they certainly show how Rove and the Bush Team operates, applying pressure to the press, and how the press responds to such pressure.

The article states that Keller actually asked Rove what he thought of the Times' coverage... resulting in a litany of complaints and allegations from Rove. The column goes on to say:
" Keller took his time describing the conversation, to suggest that he wasn’t dismissing the criticisms [Rove's] out of hand. “Your initial reaction, especially in someone as ferocious as Rove, is to drop into a defensive crouch,” he said. “But I try not to do that. I listened, with a fair measure of skepticism, because a lot of it is calculated. But there was some genuineness to it. He went through a long litany of complaints. I do think he was channelling a feeling about the New York Times that’s out there in the land, that we should be concerned about, or at least aware of.”

Was Keller, or the Times concerned enough to "spike" an important pre-election story on the Bulge? Do the previous allegations of Rove calling the Times to apply "pressure" carry more weight now that we know of this meeting? To steal a line from Newsrack blog... "Daniel Okrent's disbelief notwithstanding, Lemann's piece suggests that Keller would have been pretty receptive to such a phone call."

I agree, and again, the sources that first broke this story to BushWired have turned out to be correct. Rove did, in fact, have contact with NYT Executive Editor shortly before the Bulge story was "killed".

There is no recent statement from Mr. Keller on these revelations, but lets look again at a statement from Keller that ran in the Times on November 1st (Full story HERE) ... AFTER the Bulge story was killed, and AFTER his meeting with Rove.

"I can't say categorically you should not publish an article damaging to a candidate in the last days before an election,'' he said. "If you learned a day or two before the election that a candidate had lied about some essential qualification for the job - his health or criminal record - and there's no real doubt and you've given the candidate a chance to respond and the response doesn't cast doubt on the story, do you publish it? Yes. Voters certainly have a right to know that.''
- New York Times Executive Editor, Bill Keller.

Maybe voters don't have the right to know... Something smells VERY ROTTON at the Times.

More updates to follow, including some new info on THIS PHOTO which has been the subject of some recent discussion.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005


• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

• THE BULGE UNVEILED??? A reader has submitted THIS PHOTO from the back cover of David Frum's book, "The Right Man : The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush" as listed on Amazon.com. AMAZING. Is this the bulge or just a normal radio of some sort? Note that the size/shape is about correct, and the long wire is also present. If this device was worn on Bush's back, under a jacket with the wire snaking over the shoulder it could look exactly like the bulge. Compare to other Bulge pics in the PHOTO GALLERY .
- Audio experts and geeks: what is this thing?

• There have also been numerous reports of Bulges, wires, and coaching in the last week as President Bush has been in Europe on a "goodwill" tour. I looked closely at several photos sent in to BushWired, and didn't see anything worth posting in the PHOTO GALLERY. In fact, I'm certain most photos are simply translation earpieces as in this PHOTO from the White House site .

• There is a new Bulge Yahoo Group dedicated to the Bulge started by Bob Fertik of Democrats.com. who also posted on a new VIDEO last week. More prompting or just "Bush-speak"?

How can it be that such a simple question, "What was the bulge on president Bush's Back" has turned into a strangely woven web of mystery? Why is this story so persistent and popular? Entering the sixth month of this odd Bulge story we still don't have any conclusive answers, and the search for a plausible explanation continues. People still want the truth...

I feel the Bulge debate has shifted off-topic in the last months. In the weeks before the election we all screamed for some sort of serious media "investigation" into the very obvious Presidential Bulge. Some questions were asked by the media but the story was largely dismissed. We all know now that the New York Times decided to "kill" its story on the Bulge the week before the election. If serious media investigation had occurred it very well may have had an effect on the election results... we'll never know.

I feel any sort of serious reporting on the Bulge is important and needed. The story is real and the possible ramifications of the Bulge are quite serious and even disturbing. The pubic and bloggers everywhere are right to harshly criticize the press for ignoring this story... they are not doing their job. I'm happy that the New York Times had to admit and answer to its killing of the Bulge story.

Nevertheless, all the criticism of the media has also served to water down the main point of the Bulge mystery... WHAT IS IT? While we all focus on the media we forget that there is an answer out there. There are so many unanswered facets to this mystery, if the media won't look into further, people will need to do it on their own...

- What happened to the investigation of further VIDEO evidence that Bush wore a wireless coaching device? In addition to the hotly debated "Chirac" video (see this thread from Cannonfire) , there have been numerous reports of other video and audio tapes where prompting was documented. Salon reported on this previously, and had a source who promised to release some audio recordings... I never heard any follow-up.

- I'm not a total believer in the "Defibrillator Theory", but I do admit that it is interesting and has some good supporting "evidence". In fact, this theory has actually gained steam in the last months and I think the topic is still worthy of debate in addition to the Coaching Theory.

- Photos. There are a lot of photos of President Bush; online, magazines, video, etc... I'm sure there are many more Bulge photos yet to be found ... It will take many more eyes than my own to find them. Remember how important the few photos of the Bulge have been, without them we may still be talking about a 'fabric pucker". Please, take a look around the "internets" and share any links to photos in the comments section below!

- Please post any interesting Bulge info in the comments section as well... thats what makes these blogs work!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Karl Rove, the New York Times ...and the BULGE. --UPDATE!!!

THE OFFICIAL BUSH WIRED PHOTO GALLERY View The Evidence! (Recent News and other links are at the end of this post)
• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

As the Bulge again begins to breathe life, controversy continues regarding the New York Times' "killing" or "spiking" of a Bulge story. While I still have some serious issues with the Times' account of the incident, I can't say that I fully believe that the killing of their story was responsible for the re-election of President Bush. That's a big "What If..." in my opinion.

Nevertheless, I felt it important to write a letter to the Times' Public Editor, Daniel Okrent, commenting on what the Times DID cover on the Bulge INSTEAD of the "spiked" story. My letter was a shorter version of my previous post (below) and can be read at: Daniel Okrent's Web Journal (it is also posted in the comments section below). To his credit, Mr. Okrent has responded to my letter in a very straightforward manner, which I'm sure readers will appreciate.

"I've said most of what I have to say about this matter. But if I haven't made it clear before, I should make it clear here: having now had the opportunity to read the story that was spiked, I believe it should have been published. It probably wouldn't have satisfied those who are convinced the bulge was evidence of a communications device, but it would have gone some ways toward clarifying a matter of public controversy.
Yours sincerely,
Dan Okrent"

Fair enough.

There is a second facet to the Times' "spiked" story which also received feedback from Mr. Okrent... the report that Karl Rove placed a call to the Times. Allegedly, this was the real reason this story was "killed". The Newsrack Blog covered this report and received the following comment from Mr. Okrent:

"If this is true, it's because "Bushwired" has much better sources than I do. I have never heard this, nor do I believe it.
Yours sincerely,
Daniel Okrent"

Because Bush Wired is the source of this information, perhaps I should clarify what I know of this Rove angle again. In late October 2004, after the Times' report was "spiked", I received several reports of the incident at Bush Wired. The reports ranged from simple information on the "spiked" story, to a laundry list of complaints against the Times' editors. One report mentioned a "near mutiny" in the Times newsroom and that people at the Times were "aghast" over the Bulge story's untimely death. All reports correctly identified both the authors of the story and the date the story was killed, several weeks before this information was otherwise made public. As these reports turned out to be correct, I feel these sources are somewhat credible. Because of the timing and accuracy of these sources, I can only ASSUME that they are within the Times itself. I promised NOT to reprint or post the original e-mails from these sources, and I will keep my word. Additionally, I have not heard anything more from these sources since early November.

Three of these reports mentioned that Karl Rove called the Times, and subsequently the story was killed. I have no way to independently verify this information, but I decided to simply post what I was told, based on the previous accuracy of the sources. Its very possible that my sources have an "axe to grind" with the Times, and the Rove angle should be taken with a grain of salt. Thats ALL I know. To be fair. lets say that the Rove call is a REPORT from several unnamed sources, and at this point, NOT 100% fact... but quite interesting nonetheless. I should also remind readers of the Brad Menfil saga early on in this twisted story.

As always, make up your own mind!

Bush wired

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The New York Times and the BULGE... update!!!

THE OFFICIAL BUSH WIRED PHOTO GALLERY View The Evidence! (Recent News and other links are at the end of this post)
• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

Since adding the post following up on the New York Times fiasco, I've had a literal deluge of e-mail. GREAT!!... but I also encourage readers to post a comment and share your thoughts... that's how these blogs work, y'know!

So, that being said, the New York Times' treatment (or killing) of the Bulge story is still making a bit of news itself and the entire Bulge debate appears to be coming back to life somewhat. There are several links to new news at the end of this post.

Obviously, the Times can absolutely choose what they will or will not print... its their paper! But there are a few things that bother me about the Times' account, specifically, what they published INSTEAD of the killed story. Before jumping into Rovian Conspiracies and digging out our tin-foil hats, lets look at the Times' record on the story (or visit the BULGE ARCHIVES ).

First, lets forget about what the Bulge COULD HAVE BEEN, and stick with what's known in this instance. The New York Times was one of the first major media outlets to publish a story on the Bulge (Oct. 9, 2004) picking up the topic after Salon.com carried it's first Bulge story by Dave Lindorff on Oct. 9th.

The first Times article was written by Elisabeth Bumiller. (NY TIMES ARCHIVES). Bumiller again covered the story on Oct. 18th, (International Herald Tribune), and then published one last Bulge piece after the election on Nov. 8th (NY TIMES ARCHIVES). The Times mentioned the Bulge briefly and without substance in several other articles, but Bumiller seemed to be the "lead" on the story. Bumiller's coverage of the Bulge tended to be a light-hearted look at the issue in a somewhat humorous fashion (...it was kind of funny after all), she basically re-reported the story from Salon.com and The Hill. She also reported on the ridiculous "official" statements made by White House officials. Her coverage was not seriously investigative, as her reporting was mainly based on quotes and information from other published/media sources. Nothing wrong with that, although most Bulge-watchers wished the Times (or anyone else) in the major-media would start to take the story seriously and get some real answers.

And this is what troubles me... the Times WAS INVESTIGATING! They WROTE a serious story on the Bulge that focused on the enhanced debate photos of NASA's Dr. Robert Nelson. Without going into the details of the photos (see the BULGE PHOTO GALLERY) or Dr. Nelsons analysis, lets just say that nobody has questioned the authenticity of these images, or refuted Dr. Nelsons credentials as an expert. The thing these photos show conclusively is that the Bulge is an OBJECT and NOT A WRINKLE. What is newsworthy about that? The photos PROVE that the White House and President Bush himself made numerous false statements on-record about this OBJECT (whatever it is). Why was this object on Bush's back during the debates? Why did Bush lie and call it a wrinkle? That's what everyone wanted to know! Nevertheless, the story was "killed" and these questions were never asked by the Times.

Perhaps the Times thought it best not to run this story before the election. Perhaps they thought they did not have enough information for a good story... who knows... the story was killed and we probably won't ever know exactly what it said. However, we do know the Times still thought the Bulge was worth covering.

Also odd to me is that while the Times had a story in-hand discussing new and unreported developments (in the mainstream media) on the Bulge story AND the enhanced photos, they published a very different story. The final Times Bulge article (by Bumiller, 11/8) simply proclaimed that the presidential tailor, Georges de Paris, was "off the hook" as the source of the Bulge "wrinkle", and that de Paris THOUGHT it was a bulletproof vest... hardly a "scoop", especially when you consider what wasn't reported. There was no mention of photos or the other developments (although the Times reported again that the White House denied that the Bulge was a bulletproof vest).

Stranger still, Bumiller's story was basically re-reported from a piece in The Hill that ran on Nov. 4th ( 11/4 Story ). Surprisingly, the Hill story refuted its own own earlier reporting ( 10/20 Story ) that the Bulge was a simple wrinkle... of course, by citing Dr. Nelson's enhanced photos. That's how Georges de Paris got "off the hook". I guess Bumiller (or the Times) decided to leave that juicy tidbit out of the story.

"All the News That's Fit to Print" ??? ...Well, I guess not... just some of the news, and as long as the topic isn't too touchy, even after the election. Thanks, NY Times... honestly, as a reader, I'm disappointed.

Now that the story on the Times' killing of the Bulge story ( Lindorff's story from FAIR. ) is circulating freely, Daniel Okrent (Public Editor for the Times) has issued a new statement and charged Lindorff with "distortion". Lindorff then reponds strongly to Okrent. Check it out at the FAIR website . Read the previous post (below) for further information on the Times' admission.

• What is all this about??? See the THE BULGE HISTORY.
• Tell the Times what you think!!!
---> Daniel Okrent (Public Editor): public@nytimes.com
---> Bill Keller (Editor): bkeller@nytimes.com
• Other Media: TAKE ACTION/Press Contacts

Other developments and previous links on the Times killed story:
• --> Editor & Publisher covers the Times' killing of the Bulge story.
•--> Daniel Okrent's Web Journal Times readers respond to Okrent and the Times.
•--> Lindorff's story from COUNTERPUNCH.
•--> Lindorff's story from FAIR.
•--> Lindorff's story from the ILCA site.
•--> Newsrack Blog discusses the Bulge and the Times story.
•--> Murky Thoughts Blog on the Bulge and the Times story.
•--> A Bulge Theories site ...excellent.
•--> New York Times covers the new power of blogs vs. mainstream media.

Bush Wired

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

BUSH WIRED UPDATE - The New York Times... "All the News That's Fit to Kill"

THE OFFICIAL BUSH WIRED PHOTO GALLERY View The Evidence! (Recent News and other links are at the end of this post)
• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

Perhaps its about time to do a BULGE update.

Surprisingly (again), in the past months since I discontinued updating this blog regularly, the BULGE topic continues to live. Around the New Year, the Bulge topic repeatedly popped up here and there in the press... people are still wondering what the Bulge could have been. There certainly have been no conclusive answers or smoking guns. Bush Wired continues to receive a fair amount of traffic and numerous BULGE e-mails everyday... the Bulge is still with us, like it or not.

The Bulge was mentioned repeatedly in several 'years end" articles... The bulge appeared in many forms... as an example of what's wrong with politics today or listed near the top of many "stupidest stories of 2004", to the serious discussion of how blogs affected the political process. Additionally, Salon.com named the Bulge as 2004's SECOND most popular story... only after the election story as a whole. The BOSTON PHOENIX even published a new story about the Bulge Medical Theory, which was quite interesting, but not anything new or startling. Also, Karl Rove reportedly stated that the Bulge was his favorite election topic, and Bush Wired was his favorite web-site... Ha! Thanks for the traffic Karl!

But let's step back a bit to the last strange and serious twist in this story, the follow-up on the New York Times' "killing" of the Bulge story before the election. My last post to this site contained a letter from Daniel Okrent (the Public Editor for the Times) who seemed not to know about the Bulge story (or the story's untimely death). Later, the Times denied working on the Bulge story altogether, even after the naming of the authors. By December19th, the truth finally came out... the Times DID kill the story. (Full text of the NY Times admission is at the end of this post)

Three sources have told Bush Wired (independently) that Karl Rove put in a call to the NY Times editors on Wednesday, Oct. 27 (the day before the story was scheduled to run), and that this was the REAL reason for the story being "killed". While I have no concrete confirmation on this "scoop", previously my sources named the writers of the killed NYT story correctly immediately after story was "killed" and several weeks before the writers' names were made public. I'll go so far as to say that I believe these sources are within the NY Times itself... but make up your own mind.

I'll reserve my comments on this for later... however, if true, it makes me sick.

This week Dave Lindorff has again done some wonderful investigative reporting on the "incident" and adds some new revelations to the twisted saga of the Bulge, the Media, and the Times. Its a good read, Cheers to D. Lindorff!!

•--> Lindorff's story from COUNTERPUNCH.
•--> Lindorff's story from FAIR.
•--> Lindorff's story from the ILCA site.

Many Bulge-Watchers are still tuning in to President Bush's televised appearances looking for that odd "hump", and it should be noted that the Bulge has not been seen conclusively since the debates. I guess the Presidential Tailor has improved his handiwork, or something...?

So, again we wait to see what develops next... nothing about this story shocks me anymore, but I hope that some explanation for all the Bulge Hoopla will come out someday... I'm not holding my breath.


Full Text of the NY Times admission that it killed the Bulge story:

From: Daniel Okrent, Ny Times
The Public Editor's blog:
dokrent - 10:54 PM ET December 19, 2004 (#38 of 38)

President Bush and The Jacket Bulge

Online discussion of the famous bulge on President Bush’s back at the first presidential debate hasn’t stopped. One reporter (Dave Lindorff of Salon.com) asserted that The Times had a story in the works about a NASA scientist who had done a careful study of the graphic evidence, but it was spiked by the paper’s top editors sometime during the week before the election. Many readers have asked me for an explanation.

I checked into Lindorff’s assertion, and he’s right. The story’s life at The Times began with a tip from the NASA scientist, Robert Nelson, to reporter Bill Broad. Soon his colleagues on the science desk, John Schwartz and Andrew Revkin, took on the bulk of the reporting. Science editor Laura Chang presented the story at the daily news meeting but, like many other stories, it did not make the cut. According to executive editor Bill Keller, “In the end, nobody, including the scientist who brought it up, could take the story beyond speculation. In the crush of election-finale stories, it died a quiet, unlamented death.”

Revkin, for one, wished it had run. Here’s what he told me in an e-mail message:

“I can appreciate the broader factors weighing on the paper's top editors, particularly that close to the election. But personally, I think that Nelson's assertions did rise above the level of garden-variety speculation, mainly because of who he is. Here was a veteran government scientist, whose decades-long career revolves around interpreting imagery like features of Mars, who decided to say very publicly that, without reservation, he was convinced there was something under a president's jacket when the White House said there was nothing.

“He essentially put his hard-won reputation utterly on the line (not to mention his job) in doing so and certainly with little prospect that he might gain something as a result -- except, as he put it, his preserved integrity.”

Revkin also told me that before Nelson called Broad, he had approached other media outlets as well. None — until Salon — published anything on Nelson’s analysis. “I'd certainly choose [Nelson’s] opinion over that of a tailor,” Revkin concluded, referring to news reports that cited the man who makes the president’s suits. “Hard to believe that so many in the media chose the tailor, even in coverage after the election.”

Sunday, November 21, 2004

It ain't over yet... More BULGE news and developments!

THE OFFICIAL BUSH WIRED PHOTO GALLERY View The Evidence! (Recent News and other links are at the end of this post)
• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com

The Bulge mystery, surprisingly, has not completely disappeared in the weeks following the election. Odd and conflicting statements continue to come forward from official sources, meanwhile, the media still needs to question the issue. I have my doubts that the press will ever demand an answer, or even ask any serious questions on the topic. Bush Wired is still receiving quite a bit of Bulge Mail, with new photos, info, and other developments... as long as people still care this important story will not die.

Some current Bulge developments:

• - Several readers have forwarded numerous recent photos of George W. Bush's back taken in Chile. I do not see any definitive Bulges in the photos, although better resolution images would help with any analysis. Reports state that Bush was wearing a bulletproof vest in Chile, the "boxy" look of Bush's torso seems to support these reports. Perhaps what is most interesting about these photos is that they can be used in comparison to "actual Bulge" photos. There is no bulletproof vest "strap" visible in the new photos, no wire and no obvious Bulge. These new photos simply show that whatever the Bulge is (clearly seen on Bush's back during the debates), it is somewhat unique, and not part of the President's everyday wardrobe.
VIEW THE CHILE PHOTOS HERE and compare to the Bulge photos HERE

• - The New York Times is now denying that a Bulge story was written and "killed' in the days before the election. I don't believe a word of it, as many "inside" sources have detailed this story with the Times and were quite specific, even naming the story's authors, William Broad and John Schwartz. The following is an excerpt of correspondence with the Times' Public editor Daniel Okrent ( as submitted by a reader)... If anyone wishes to help the Times figure out the names and dates, write 'em! ...public@nytimes.com

 "" You are one among several readers who have mentioned Dave Lindorff's story about the mysterious bulge on President Bush's back. Although I admire much of Mr. Lindorff's work, without names or attributions I just don't have enough to go on to enable me to find out whether, much less why, The Times "pulled" a piece on the subject. Nor can I accept, without much closer review than I am able to provide -- independent analysis, better understanding of digital photo technology, etc. --  that Robert M. Nelson's findings constitute "100% evidence," as one reader put it, "that Bush was cheating in the debates."
        Thanks for writing; if someone can give me names and dates, I'll certainly look into it.
Yours sincerely,

Daniel Okrent
Public Editor
The New York Times""

• - The Bulge is also referenced in current reviews about remake of the classic film "The Manchurian Candidate"... I won't post all the links, but the Bulge has come up in several reviews, for obvious reasons.

Bulge stories from the last week or two...
• --> An excellent, in-depth, discussion of the Bulge. From FREEZERBOX.COM
• --> THE NEW YORK TIMES covers this story again, and proclaims that the tailor, Georges de Paris, is "off the hook" and not responsible for the pesky bulge. It was nice that the hapless tailor tried to take the fall, but his theory didn't hold water. Mr. de Paris is "devastated" by all the fuss. The above artricle also refutes the recent story by THE HILL that the bulge was simply a bulletproof vest, but makes no mention of the NASA analysis.
• --> "Nothing was under his jacket,". This statement comes from none other than Karl Rove, in a new AP story.
• --> Karl Rove shows his love for mocking the Bulge (from Newsweek).
• --> Elisabeth Bumiller's story in the International Herald Tribune
• --> Dan Froomkin's BULGE WATCH Section in the White House Briefing column (Washington Post). Discusses recent bulge news (all the way at the bottom).

CURRENT BULGE NEWS ...updated as it happens!
BUSH WIRED ARCHIVE ...News, Photos, Video and links to other sites!
TAKE ACTION write a letter to the press!
• Site contact: send submissions/ private comments/tips/ etc. to: c.shaw@mac.com

BULGE HISTORY... the story.

THE OFFICIAL BUSH WIRED PHOTO GALLERY View The Evidence! (Recent News and other links are at the end of this post)
• Site contact: c.shaw@mac.com


Is the BULGE news? Or will it simply fade away into the lore of pop-culture as a strange mystery never to be solved?

We may never get a real answer to the simple question asked well over a month ago: "What is that BULGE on President Bush's back?". It seems like a proper question to ask, especially when millions of people saw this "Mystery Bulge" in all three Presidential debates. When speculation on possible cheating during the debates arose, and with the possible use of a "coaching" device, the question seemed even more pertinent. As official, ridiculous denials were offered and more "evidence" of the Bulge, devices, and possible theories came into the spotlight, important questions were asked.

We did receive some answers, strange ones, but answers nonetheless. However, strangely absent were hard questions asked by the media. One must ask WHY? Lets retrace the steps in this mystery.

The Bulge was originally spotted during the first Presidential debate, Sept 30, 2004. It was unmistakable, millions of viewers raised their eyebrows after seeing this strange "hump" on President Bush's back. Immediately, internet blogs began to ask the question that the mainstream press would not ask, "What is it?" Theories and conjecture flowed in from around the world, rumors of coaching devices, bulletproof vests, Secret Service devices, medical devices and numerous other theories circulated freely on the "internets".

On Oct. 8th, Dave Lindorff, a writer for Salon.com, picked up the issue and wrote a story on the Bulge that received widespread attention. Suddenly, the Bulge became news... or more specifically, the rumors became news. The story was carried by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the AP and countless other media outlets. The Bulge rumor and speculation of the President cheating broke into the mainstream.

Nobody expected the Bulge to be seen again, but in the second debate it was again easily visible, despite few shots of the candidates from the rear.

The White House initially denied the Bulge's existence as a "doctored" photo. When it was shown that the Bulge was clearly seen in the raw footage from the debate, the White House backed away from this assertion. The New York Times asked if it was a bulletproof vest ( a logical assumption at the time), and the White House went on-record stating that the President didn't wear such protection during the debates. However, trying to laugh off the topic, Bush/Cheney campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said it was all ridiculous, and mentioned something about Elvis moderating the debates. This was a great sound-bite which was also widely reported in the media, but it only fueled the debate raging on the web.

Several web-sites and blogs (including Bush Wired) were firmly established by this time and created an open forum for the discussion of the Bulge and all the theories. These sites received millions of hits from curious web-surfers. Then, a funny thing happened... the wired theory began to gain credibility as links, tips, photos and information were exchanged between people worldwide. Some other "evidence" popped up supporting theories of medical and Secret Service devices (among others). However, the wired theory continued to be the main subject of speculation.

Several wireless "prompting" devices were found that closely resembled the shape and contour of the Bulge. Numerous people reported that instances of wireless "coaching" were seen in the past, and had been taped by the media. A few Washington journalists stated that it was "widely known" that Bush used a prompting device during big speeches and press conferences. A somewhat dubious tape turned up of President Bush and Jaques Chirac at a press conference in France, where some sort of "ghost voice" was heard on the audio, apparently feeding the President lines. This video was widely circulated and the discussion of coaching expanded. (It was later reported that the Chirac tape could have been the result of an unexplained audio problem, but nobody really knows for sure.)

Dozens of Bulge photos captured during the debates, and even found on the White House website were posted online and seen by millions. Besides pictures of the telltale hump, a photo of an actual wire under the President's tie, seen during the second debate, was captured. The President's odd eye movements and speech patterns were closely analyzed, they too supported the allegation of debate prompting. The President spoke with long pauses and would speak out sentences one at at time.Bush would also stare blankly for a few seconds after being asked a question then answer with a flood of words and "talking points". These observations are consistent with prompting. At one point during the debate Bush even exclaimed, "Let me finish!" although nobody was speaking.

As serious questions were being asked and the circumstantial evidence mounted, many people refused to believe that this could happen.

Yet, the Bulge was real, and very obvious, people everywhere were still wondering what it was. The White House then stated that the Bulge was a simple wrinkle. While nobody accepted this explanation, it was the first time that the Bulge was "officially" admitted to be something.

By Oct. 12th the Bulge media coverage hit a fevered pitch. Late night talk shows devoted several nights to Bulge jokes including a hilarious Top-Ten on Letterman. Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards joked about the Bulge on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, this in itself made news. Newspapers, TV, and radio continued to discuss the bulge rumor, but strangely, nobody seriously asked what it was. Most coverage was in a humorous light, or simply discussed the internet debate... the absence of the media asking real questions about this possibly serious issue became very apparent.

Salon.com published its second story on the Bulge Oct. 13th, the day of the third debate. It showed more unmistakable images of the Bulge and quoted a technical expert, laying out a very good case for further investigation. The possibility of Bush being wired during the debate while still speculative, became even more of a possibility.

Bulge-watchers around the world tuned in for the third debate. There was a contest offering money to the first person to send in a clear Bulge photo on Democrats.com. Nobody thought the Bulge would make a third appearance... but all eyes were on Bush's back. Again, few shots of the president's back were broadcast during the debate, but at the end, when the candidates met, the world was stunned to see the Bulge again. This time it was clear and absolutely not a wrinkle. In fact, it looked as though whatever was under Bush's jacket was still there, but padded, or covered by something thus making an even bigger bulge. Adding fuel to the fire, it appeared that John Kerry tried to give Bush an informal pat-down when the two shook hands. When Kerry's hand reached out to Bush's back, the President quickly moved away.

Internet speculation now turned into widespread demands for further investigation by the press. People wanted to know what was going on! Rev. Jesse Jackson and others publicly called for an investigation of the bulge, whatever it was. The mainstream press began to show an obvious distaste for this story, and apparently would not look into it further. Several poll results were released showing that the majority of viewers who had seen the Bulge thought it was a wireless coaching device. This fact was used by the media as a reason why the issue should NOT be covered. Their reasoning was that the story, true or not, brought out deep feelings of distrust in Americans and coverage of the story would be detrimental to the election process without solid evidence of wrongdoing. This was a somewhat flawed analysis of the situation when one keeps in mind that the media wouldn't investigate the story on its own, or find its own facts.

Farhad Manjoo wrote an exceptional article for Salon.com (Oct. 15th) on the Bulge. The theories were discussed and weighed against each other, the Bulge story was covered in detail. A professional de-bugger who had worked for the White House, stated on-record that coaching and prompting were widely used, not only by the President, but by members of the cabinet! He stated that he not only witnessed such coaching, but had recordings of such instances archived. The world waited for these tapes to be brought forward... and we're still waiting, No further statements were made by this person.

The Bush and Kerry election campaigns were in full momentum as the "evidence" and conjecture continued to snowball. Official discrediting of the Bulge story switched into high gear. While there still was no thorough investigation of the Bulge by the mainstream media, reporters continuously asked, simply, "What is it?". Ken Mehlman, the Bush/Cheney campaign manager was quoted on Meet The Press (Oct 17th), stating that the Bulge was a device used by the President to communicate with Mars, and that the President himself was an ALIEN! Another great sound-bite that received worldwide media coverage, and again only served to fuel the rumors on the internet.

This is where the story takes its first strange turn. The "official" position on the Bulge was simply, that it didn't exist, its just a wrinkle, and the issue should be laughed at. Meanwhile, the mood on the internet again turned from speculation to an outright call-to-arms. Upset because of the lack of media coverage on an issue as important as cheating during the debates, the internet community yet again called on the press to investigate, this time in a relatively organized effort. Web sites and blogs urged viewers to contact the media and provided contact information and form letters addressed to every media outlet imaginable. America demanded an answer.

The letter writing effort resulted in a few new Bulge stories being broadcast on TV, most notably by CNN's Paula Zahn. The segment lasted a few minutes and was surprisingly in-depth, but offered nothing more than continued coverage of the internet speculation, the photos, and web sites devoted to the topic. No independent investigation was offered, and it seemed that CNN did not even contact the White House or the campaign for a statement. All the media would do is ask the familiar question, "What is it?", but no plausible answer was demanded.

In a new development echoing the feelings on the web, Dave Lindorff again covered the Bulge and asked why the story was not being investigated in the media. Why were serious questions not being asked? Lindorff mentioned that the Bulge topic was being covered seriously overseas, even by CNN, but not in America. Previous overseas reports had examined Bush's speech patterns and also concluded that his odd behavior during the debates and in press conferences could be explained by coaching. Statements refuting the "wrinkle" excuse were debunked by a noted tailor. Experts in the spy-ware industry stated that the bulge indeed appeared to be a wireless device.

New information that Bush was also "wired" during his 9/11 Commission testimony came into the limelight. This assertion had been previously covered many months before the debates as the circumstances revolving the 9/11 testimony were "fishy" at best. Coincidentally, at the time it was also reported that it was widely known that Bush used a prompting device. Photos of Bush taken immediately following his press conference clearly showed the Bulge. Later, enhancement would show this Bulge to be very similar to the debate Bulge.

With Bulge speculation still running rampant everywhere, the Bush/Cheney campaign was continually asked about the bulge, but never gave any sort of realistic answer. They were also wasting valuable press conference time rebutting the Bulge, and it appeared that their humorous assertions were not working well. It was time for serious Bulge "spin control". Further explanations of the Bulge being a simple wrinkle were offered. It could be said that the Bulge was now officially recognized as a pesky campaign side-issue. White House Chief of Staff Andrew card told the New York Times that the Bulge was a "poorly tailored suit". Does the President really wear expensive but poorly tailored suits?

Enter the Presidential tailor, Georges de Paris, who worked for every President since Lyndon Johnson. As the Bulge was now being laughed off as a wrinkle, Mr. de Paris was repeatedly asked about his handiwork. On October 20th, The Hill (a newspaper for and about Congress) ran a story quoting Mr. de Paris saying the White House had previously asked him not to comment on the issue. The hapless tailor, perhaps bravely, decided to "take the fall", at the behest of the administration. Mr. de Paris then demonstrated that the Bulge was a wrinkle, or more specifically, a "pucker". Oddly, the photo only proved that the Bulge was NOT a such a wrinkle... the picture could not have looked more different from the 'real' bulge.

The tailor's assertion was immediately debunked on the internet which was again going crazy over the Bulge topic. People wondered if they were supposed to be so gullible as to accept this explanation. Was there a cover-up? Why was this story so strange? Nothing seemed to add up. Meanwhile, the media widely carried the Tailor's story but seemed to accept the ridiculous "pucker" explanation.

In the following week, editorial columnists continued to remark on the story but little fresh Bulge news came forward. Rumors of the Bulge being an "October Surprise" circulated. Online, the main Bulge issue (Bush cheating during the debate) seemed to be drowned out by criticism of the media's non-coverage.

The "internets" continued to be a lively forum for the Bulge. People were still digging deep for answers, more web sites were founded, and all continued to receive amazing hit counts. The story was being ignored by the media but it was absolutely not dead. The comic strip Doonesbury ran several strips about the Bulge, and helped popular interest increase again.

October 26th, the Bulge story takes its second strange twist. With previous explanations of the Bulge as a jacket wrinkle debunked and flatly dismissed online, President Bush himself went on-record. During an interview on Good Morning America, Bush told Charles Gibson that the Bulge was NOT a jacket wrinkle, but a poorly tailored SHIRT! Again, eyebrows were raised and people everywhere scratched their heads in disbelief. The story was carried worldwide in hundreds of newspapers as well as the televised media, the mystery was deemed "solved". On the internet, people asked why Bush would wear the same badly tailored shirt in all 3 debates, especially since it created so much controversy and trouble for his campaign. (For the record, Bush wears expensive, hand sewn shirts that have been personally fitted by Georges de Paris.)

While media criticism hit an all-time high online, nobody knew that the New York Times was working on a big story about the Bulge, written by William Broad and John Schwartz. Tips to Bush Wired stated that this story was serious, thorough, and properly fact-checked, also bringing forward some new information on the matter. The story was set to run six days before the election but was "killed" at the last moment. (Reportedly by Times executive editor Bill Keller.) Apparently, the story was not run because the Times did not want to influence the election. It could also be argued that the Times influenced the election by NOT running the story. People asked, When did the news media begin to dictate to the public what was, and was not, NEWS? Are viewers so easily influenced that they cannot make their own opinions on an issue? What is the Bulge?

The next strange twist in this meandering story came as both Salon.com and Mother Jones published a story a few days before the election offering irrefutable evidence that the Bulge was not a wrinkle. While this news came too late for widespread pre-election coverage, the amazing truth is that the media did not cover this important development at all.

Dr. Robert M. Nelson, a senior researcher and respected photo analyst for NASA and JPL in Pasadena, Ca, applied his expertise on the bulge photos. Dr. Nelson is an international authority on image analysis. His enhanced photos were stunning, but not a big surprise to anyone following the Bulge. What his analysis proved was that the Bulge was absolutely not a question of ill-fitting clothing, but rather, a clearly seen object with a long wire strapped onto the President's back. If this was the smoking gun, someone must have used a silencer.

Dr. Nelson was willing to risk his prestigious scientific reputation on his analysis saying that not only is the bulge an object but it is also consistent with a coaching device. The scientist's story is interesting. Dr. Nelson approached several major news outlets with his photos since early October, nobody would agree to cover the story. The press wasn't about to take a chance on this story, despite ample (though circumstantial) evidence, including the new enhanced photos. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post called Nelson personally, suggesting that he bring the photos to Salon.com because he would have a hard time clearing them with his editors. Reports have surfaced of pressure being applied to Dr. Nelson's higher-ups at JPL forcing Dr. Nelson to keep quiet. The scientist has not made further statements elaborating on the issue, or offered any additional photos.

It was obvious that something wasn't right about the Bulge and the media, and the official bad shirt story.

So, with definitive proof of an OBJECT under Bush's jacket, and the President going on-record and lying about its existence, the press continued to ignore this story. A source told Bush Wired that there were numerous reporters at the Times aghast over the killing of the Bulge story. It was obvious that the Bulge mystery would not be solved before the election. Rumors of a huge story to break after the election made the rounds on the internet.

After the election, despite the rumors of a breaking story, everyone figured the Bulge had died with Bush's re-election. Hits to internet sites dropped steeply, but there was still significant interest in the Bulge. Karl Rove mocked the Bulge by pretending to speak to the President remotely. An occasional mention of the "Mystery of the Bulge" popped up in the press. While the story seemed to stall, it didn't fade away.

And then we have the latest weird twist in the story. Nov. 4th, The Hill published another article on the Bulge. This time they refuted their own wrinkle story, citing Dr. Nelson's analysis. ( I have yet to see anyone question Nelson's results.) However, citing anonymous sources, The Hill claimed that the Bulge was now the strap of a bulletproof vest.

The bulletproof vest theory was dissected in detail in the early days of the Bulge. This latest excuse for the Bulge is almost as laughable as their story on the wrinkle. Nobody has been able to show any bulletproof vest that would create a hump or object as it was detailed in Dr. Nelsons photos. The long WIRE also observed doesn't help for a good match with vests. Further, President Bush only appeared to wear this "vest" at debates, testimony, important press conferences, and speeches. He didn't appear to wear this certain bulletproof vest in public or while campaigning. There was no bulge seen when Bush took his jacket off during campaign stumping.

The New York Times again covered the Bulge on Nov. 8th. They proclaimed that the tailor was "off the hook" for the Bulge. Georges de Paris, apparently devastated by criticism of his life's work, decided that HE THOUGHT the Bulge was a bulletproof vest as well, and... so it was. Back to the bulletproof vest, except for one problem, the White House sticks to its original story that the President did not wear a vest at the debates. Meanwhile, Karl Rove has recently been quoted as saying that the Bulge doesn't exist at all.

Still no investigation by the media, and the press has yet to ask any serious questions about the Bulge.

And so the Bulge story stands, after doing a complete circle, the Bulge now fades away, back into the depths of the internet. Rumors still persist of "big news, breaking at any moment". Some have said that this story is bigger than Watergate, others wonder why anyone still cares. Most Bulge sites have shut down or no longer post regularly. The story again seems to have died and replaced by debate raging on the web over election results.

This story has spoken volumes about how the media operates in America. It raises questions about about the debates, the election, and the President. The Bulge speaks about the power of the internet and it's new role in our culture. But in the end, all we are left with is the original question, "What is that BULGE on President Bush's back?"

Perhaps we'll never know.


Recent news posts 11/14/04:
• -->NEW BULGE ARTICLE: An excellent, in-depth, discussion of the Bulge. From FREEZERBOX.COM
• --> THE NEW YORK TIMES covers this story again, and proclaims that the tailor, Georges de Paris, is "off the hook" and not responsible for the pesky bulge. It was nice that the hapless tailor tried to take the fall, but his theory didn't hold water. Mr. de Paris is "devastated" by all the fuss. The above artricle also refutes the recent story by THE HILL that the bulge was simply a bulletproof vest, but makes no mention of the NASA analysis.
• --> "Nothing was under his jacket,". This statement comes from none other than Karl Rove, in a new AP story.
• --> Karl Rove shows his love for mocking the Bulge (from Newsweek).
• --> Elisabeth Bumiller's story in the International Herald Tribune
• --> Dan Froomkin's BULGE WATCH Section in the White House Briefing column (Washington Post). Discusses recent bulge news (all the way at the bottom).

CURRENT BULGE NEWS ...updated as it happens!
BUSH WIRED ARCHIVE ...News, Photos, Video and links to other sites!
TAKE ACTION write a letter to the press!
• Site contact: send submissions/ private comments/tips/ etc. to: c.shaw@mac.com

Monday, November 08, 2004

NEW!!! Twists and turns in the BULGE story... it gets stranger every day!

THE OFFICIAL BUSH WIRED PHOTO GALLERY View The Evidence! (more news/archive links below)

This story is schizophrenic. Now, according to Karl Rove, the Bulge is NOTHING. We're back to square-one! So, after all the other official explanations ranging from a fabric "pucker", to a device for communicating with aliens... after an esteemed expert photo analyst says that indeed, IT IS something, Mr. Rove has now decided that the Bulge is nothing! Well, I guess I can forget all the pictures I've seen because my eyes have been playing tricks on me!

Wait! Just the other day I read in THE HILL that the bulge was a bulletproof vest! Sounded like a possible, but fishy explanation, but again, The White House sticks to its story that the Bulge WAS NOT a bulletproof vest.

So, no answer today folks... keep holding your breath! Remember that this story has its roots in allegations of cheating during the debates, and possible "coached testimony by Bush at the 9/11 Commission hearings. Read down this site for more info.

Now that we've done a complete 360 on this story... when will the media begin to ask the REAL questions? Isn't somebody questioning the all the fishy explanations and official backpeddaling? If the BULGE is truly nothing... then what's been going on for the last month?

• NEW!! --> THE NEW YORK TIMES covers this story again, and proclaims that the tailor, Georges de Paris, is "off the hook" and not responsible for the pesky bulge. It was nice that the hapless tailor tried to take the fall, but his theory didn't hold water. Mr. de Paris is "devastated" by all the fuss. The above artricle also refutes the recent story by THE HILL that the bulge was simply a bulletproof vest, but makes no mention of the NASA analysis.
• NEW!! --> "Nothing was under his jacket,". This statement comes from none other than Karl Rove, in a new AP story.
• NEW!! --> Karl Rove shows his love for mocking the Bulge (from Newsweek).
• NEW!! --> Elisabeth Bumiller's story in the International Herald Tribune
• NEW!! --> Dan Froomkin's BULGE WATCH Section in the White House Briefing column (Washington Post). Discusses recent bulge news (all the way at the bottom).

CURRENT BULGE NEWS ...updated as it happens!
BUSH WIRED ARCHIVE ...News, Photos, Video and links to other sites!
TAKE ACTION write a letter to the press!
• Site contact: send submissions/ private comments/tips/ etc. to: c.shaw@mac.com