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!
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