Monday, October 10, 2005
Real evidence of the White House Strong-arming the Press
colors: orange, silver
thoughts: This interview between Carole Coleman and George W Bush speaks volumes.
1. The White House (and GWB) want to be in control of the interview. Do not ask questions until spoken to. What is that about? Um, is this pre-suffragette women here, or children at an authoritarian dinner table, or an open exchange of information?
2. They want to continue to direct the conversation back to questions from what now seems like antiquity. For them, and GWB especially, any question asked can go through six degrees of Kevin Bacon back to Saddam Hussein possibly having nukes, and being a brutal dictator. Except the amazing thing about it is that they leave it like a math professor's proof, where they start with one thing, skip several steps of logic, and get to their conclusion, leaving the rest of the proof as an exercise for the students.
"Why are we having beef tonight for dinner at the White House?"
"Because there was a potential for Saddam Hussein to acquire..."
"How is this related to Saddam Hussein?"
"Doesn't matter. Someone could figure out a connection, so I'll be talking about the thing I'm most familiar with saying."
3. Do not interrupt when an important person is talking, even when they are blathering on about nothing. "Let me finish. Will you let me finish, if you don't mind..." I'm surprised she didn't just say, "Oh, I do mind. I'm interrupting you because you are not giving answers to my questions, but to questions you'd prefer to answer." Or she could've said "OK, we're finished," and then walked out on him.
4. He tries to make the reporters uncomfortable if they appear challenging. Either by constantly gazing at them, by saying remarks about their demeanor "we've got a spunky one here", or by demanding that they play by the rules of the interview.
5. Ask the important and challenging questions, and not be lobbing softballs, and you will not be invited back. "I learnt that I might find it difficult to secure further co-operation from the White House." Friendlies only. It would perhaps be a beautiful thing if only a small handful of Fox reporters were still allowed to ask questions. That would expose more than they're hiding, even.
There is a love containing all.