Bush’s Staged/Non-staged Video Q&A with the Troops

So, Bush did a “question and answer” session via video with some troops in Iraq (physically much safer than trying to sneak him in for a turkey dinner, I guess, what with all the progress we’ve been making over there), and it emerged afterward that the questions were carefully scripted in advance. Which wouldn’t be anything worth noting, except for the way Scott McClellan denied the charge to reporters.

Q: How can you tell when Scott McClellan is lying?

A: His lips move.

Anyway, Kevin Drum has the links and relevant quotations: Photo-op hell. But really, for the full effect, you need the video from MSNBC’s Countdown program, which has been helpfully liberated by Norm of Onegoodmove: A train wreck. Be sure to watch all the way to the end of clip #3, when Keith Olbermann and Dana Milbank are talking about the recent poll showing Bush with 2% approval among blacks, with a “3% margin of error,” and they chuckle to each other about the possibility that Bush’s real approval rating among blacks is -1%.

Update: See also Today from Holden’s obsession with the gaggle, and the Crooks & Liars video showing Scottie getting into it with Helen Thomas: Scottie’s heated press conference.

Thomas’s “how many have we killed?” question was heart-breaking for me. Queue up the Aaron Broussard waterworks.

2 Responses to “Bush’s Staged/Non-staged Video Q&A with the Troops”

  1. Craig Says:

    It seems to me that Scott and the White House press were primarily playing a game of verbal “gotcha” on the meaning of “staged” or “managed” and to what extent it was being done. The press was trying to broaden the idea of a managed PR event to include the intent that the soldiers were also told what to actually say. Scott was doing a less than ideal job of trying to say that the questions were being reviewed with the selected troops in the conference, and some were advised of who would get what question.

    The essential point that was being trampled on during all the verbal spats, was that the soldiers still gave their own answers in their own words. Now, were these hand-picked soldiers who were certain to give a positive outlook on events? Of course. It was, as was said, a managed PR activity. Nothing that hasn’t been done innumerable times, over lo so many years, by any and all Administrations, for any number of occasions.

    Something that is really “standard issue” in the political world of media communication was made into a tempest in a teapot by those who truly know better, but chose to take a disingenuous angle to it.

  2. Craig Says:

    Hope this link works.

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