Bush’s Friday Photo Ops Stage-Managed?

Kevin Drum is upset at reports indicating that some of Bush’s media appearances Friday, which seemed to show significant progress in the government’s response to the disaster, were in fact stage props that were abandoned or dismantled as soon as the Bush-trailing press pack had moved on: Behind the curtain.

Drum quotes Mark Kleiman, who in turn quotes a press release from Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu that says:

But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment.

Drum goes on to quote from a Dutch corresondent of blogger Laura of War and Piece, who wrote the following:

There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.

ZDF News reported that the president’s visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of ‘news people’ had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.

Maybe I was a little too quick to give CNN credit for reporting the reality behind the official spin.

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