Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The tip of the iceberg

George Bush is in Rochester, New York, today for what is supposed to be a bit of news management directing attention to the botched Medicare prescription coverage benefit. The Israelis have most inconsiderately not cooperated with the news cycle. But anyway, upon arrival at the airport he met the teenager-seen-around-the-world last week; Jason McElwain, the star basketball player who is autistic. This exchange then takes place:

Q Mr. President, how did you hear about the story and what's your reaction?

THE PRESIDENT: Saw it on TV. Saw it on TV and I wept, just like a lot of other people. It's just one of those stories that touched a lot of people's hearts.

Q Did somebody play it for you, or did you just see it?

THE PRESIDENT: I can't remember exactly how it happened. Probably somebody played it for me, you know, being the President and all. But it's a wonderful tale.

God bless.

Contemplate for a moment the content here; assuming he's telling the truth about weeping, what's his reaction to news stories from Iraq? And note the combination of dodge and attempt at false modesty ("being the President and all") -- not enough guile to hide the fact that it was clearly played for him. How did the aides set this one up -- "Mr President, we've got solid gold TV clips for you here, oh, and by the way, do you mind if I chop this onion right next to you?" Remember also that these DVD compilations are how Bush receives actual news, such as the extent of devastation from Katrina. Is this any way to run a country?

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