Friday, October 14, 2005

Staged Conversation Part 2

A lot of the conservative response to this whole "Staged Conversation" controversy has focused on this argument: "So what if it was staged?" I agree. It doesn't matter that this was staged, that the troops were rehearsed. What matters is that it was passed off as something that it wasn't and that Scott McLellan lied very specifically about it to the press corps.

And no one seems able to respond to the question: "Why shouldn't Bush be able to hold his own against people that aren't handpicked and well-rehearsed and scripted? Why can't he talk to people candidly?"

I bet Clinton could do it. H.W. Bush could and did I saw him do it. I bet Reagan could. Why can't this Bush? Why won't his handlers let him?

I've blogged alot about Bush and him getting away from his handlers in order to talk to people as a person who cares, not a President at a photo-op.

That's my problem with this mess. I don't care if something is staged as long as they say, in a straightforward manner, "This was very well-rehearsed and planned. They were a handpicked crowd and they knew what was going to be asked. There was very little room for ad-libbing." I think people from both sides deserve to know when something is actually candid and something is only "fake" candid.


Kevin said...

The state of discourse in the world is in such bad shape that it really is next to impossible to hold discourse.

I think your premise that other presidents more open in debate is wrong. Read the press of the 80s, Reagan was not able to engage in open discourse. He was called the Teflon President because he simply ignored the dispersions thrown at him from the press, without the exepected drops in ratings.

Carter was possibly the most educated and intelligent president in US history. He was torn to shreds by attempts to engage in open discourse.

Clinton was a master at staging debate. He never really engaged in debate. He simply engaged in action and reaction according to daily polls.

The only president in my life time that truly engaged in honest open debate was Carter. He was chewed up and spit out in the process.

Perhaps our expectation of unprompted dialog is wrong. Considering everything that is at stake, the president really needs communicate through a deliberate structured method.

Bryan said...

We need impromptu Lincoln-Douglas style debates to break out all over the political scene. Start and finish them all with a handshake. Every week the President has to debate a member from the opposition party on a randomly determined topic. It would be watched alot more than the radio addresses are listened to and it would force Presidents to actually move away from talking points. (After a while anyway.)

I don't know about Clinton though. I mean, I've seen him live and he didn't seem to miss a beat. (I saw Ralph Nader speak once and it was the most amazing thing I ever saw, an hour and a half, no teleprompter, no stuttering, always lucid and well thought out and elequent)

I just remember seeing pictures of guys like Truman mixing with regular people and just shaking hands and listening for a moment what their concern was.

If a normal person got within a hundred yards of handshaking distance to Bush they would be taken out by the secret service.

Resident Cynic said...

I was going to ask when you would admit that you were wrong to assert that the soldiers' answers were "rehearsed," Bryan.

You are wrong, of course, as the audio proves, but it doesn't matter; the AP and Katie Couric have turned that lie into the Trvth. We've witnessed the birth of a new urban legend, courtesy of the liberal media and the far left. (But I repeat myself.)

Bryan said...

I don't know what else you'd call running through the questions and hearing the answers beforehand other than rehearsal. Like I said though, that's not the part that is outrageous. I don't care that they were rehearsed, I care that they tried to pass it off as candid and it clearly wasn't.

LindseyD said...

Are we really still debating this? The presidents staff fucked up. If you don't want Bush to take the heat atleast say that his staff messed up by letting it be screened.

Comments from the rehersal match word for word with the final Whitehouse transcript. Not to mention the flow of the interview (ie, who was gonna be passed the mic next and why).

Allison, the Pentagon offical who helped stage it, even told Master Sergeant Lombardo how to breathe as to make her comments about President Bush seeing her in New York more believable!

I'm sorry, but this isn't reality TV staged, this is PROPAGANDA!

Resident pessimist said...

You're blogging criticisms are wasted. Bush and all his successors will continue to not answer to their detractors, BECAUSE that's what the people want. You're on the far left, so why would anyone take you seriously.

Thus is the decline of every society...

Resident pessimist said...

Also, WWII used propaganda. Is it the propaganda or the war?

Anonymous said...

Bush wants to admit he's wrong about as much as the people on this site...

Bryan said...

No one likes being wrong. And if I'm wrong about something more than a semantic debate, let me know and I'll write something explaining how wrong I was. But people have been arguing about my use of the word "rehearsal" and that wasn't even the point.

Mr Rant said...

Hmmm..lets is a play rehearsed..yes, they practice lines before they go on stage. Is that what happened in this case? A resounding "Yes". It doesn't really matter which side you are on ..left or right. Anyone with a little education should be able to join the dots and agree thats what happened. Everything beyond that point is just smoke to defuse the fact that there were lies and mistruths stated by Scott McLellan.

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