Thursday, October 13, 2005

Staged Conversation

Crooks and Liars posted this business with Scott Mclellan. After insulting Helen Thomas a reporter asks him point blank "Was the event with the troops choreographed?"

He gives a pretty firm, "No. But talk to the DOD about that. I don't think it was rehearsed."

I was listening to NPR this evening and on "All Things Considered" they played a sizeable chunk of the rehearsal where Alison Barber gives very specific instructions to the troops about what to do in case Bush goes off script. She then goes through a list of questions Bush is going to ask and rehearses the answers with the troops, coaching them along the way. You can listen to the entire rehearsal or read transcripts here.

How did she know what Bush was going to ask if Bush and his cronies (Mclellan included) weren't involved? It seems as though Mclellan and the administration are caught up in another lie and I think this staged event is tantamount to Goebbels-style propaganda. Maybe I'm wrong, but an event this scripted and passed off as candid seems like nothing but a ruse for the American people.

Why can't they let Bush talk to people without controlling it? Why can't they let soldiers that aren't happy with him speak? It seems to me that this was just a major PR move. "Let's get W. on TV talkin' to some troops that think he's tops. That'll curb these bad poll numbers...not that we pay attention to that sort of thing..."

I'm outraged by this and I think others ought to be as well.

UPDATE: I'm not trying to compare the administration to the Nazi's, merely their propoganda machine. Goebells is the benchmark in propoganda so that's why I used that reference.

UPDATE: Part 2


LindseyD said...

All these photo-ops are absolutely discusting. Is this what he means by "compassionate conservative"? No wait, it's probably all a part of that whole "bringing integrity back to the WH" thingy. He keeps shooting himself in the foot, I'm suprised that they don't realize it. Or maybe they do realize it and Bush is hell bent in thinking that GOD will save his butt. I don't know about anyone else, but I think God might still be a little upset about being used to pull voters heart strings in 2004. :rolls eyes:

Anonymous said...

Sadly (for this Administration), Goebbels was far better organized and intelligent in his mass-brainwashing tactics. With Rove's attention being sidetracked by long overdue pending indictments etc., the Bush government's nonsense is finally becoming obvious even to the most brainwashed among us... But who knows... the polls may be at an all-time low for Bush, the media may be more sceptical and critical than ever, but amnesia tends to set in pretty quickly in our pill-popping society. Hopefully there's a real sea change in the air.

mr. ronnie said...

Although the troops were clearly told what to expect, I don't hear the "coaching" that everyone is claiming happened. It's the military, so protocol demands they defer some answers to certain commanders. They are also probably scared shitless to talk to their boss. I do agree that it was a staged event. All television is staged/rehearsed for the most part. But please don't compare this to nazi propaganda. Nice insult to our Jewish friends on this holy day. Furthermore, I'm not a Bush apologist (I can see that label coming a mile away). Loved the post otherwise. Keep it up.

nolocontendere said...

When are the soldiers going to wake up and see that they're nothing but props for this filthy cabal? So support for little boots is disappearing? Get the boys to gush at him and hoo rah for the cameras. Eat a plastic turkey? No prob. Pretend he's still a flyboy? Pretend he makes decisions? Pretend there's a reason to be in Iraq? Pretend they're not going to die a miserable, wasting, slow cancerous death from DU?
Hoo rah.

Anonymous said...

Fake, phony and a fruad and the righties dont care as long as they can live in the burbs in homes with far more rooms then people to live in them. Gas up their suv and jet ski's, play out on their private lakes and throw more food away them most in the world have to eat. "Glutinous" (Ron) I don't hear the "coaching" that everyone is claiming happened. Some people cant see the forest for the trees.

Can you say the Haige?

Bryan said...

No intention to insult our Jewish friends. But the benchmark in propoganda is Goebells, so that was the example I used.

I'm glad everyone is stopping by. Feel free to visit often.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ron. Don't compare this to Nazis. That's stupid on any day.

Anonymous said...

A hallmark of the Nazi approach to governance was use of "the Big Lie". Another hallmark was the use of fear tactics, with outsiders painted as the evil enemy and the leader as the population's savior.

Goebells was a master at the art of propaganda and anyone who has studied the Nazi's rise to power would understand how successfully he used the combination of lies and fear to gain the support and acquiessence of the German population.

The Bush administration, following the same playbook, usurped our fear after 9/11 by invoking frightening images of mushroom clouds to come if we did not attack Iraq. We know now that Iraq had no WMD's and that they haven't been a threat to us or anyone else outside Iraq since the early 90's.

This was the updated version of "the big lie". And it worked, didn't it?

There have been numerous examples since that time of very similar tactics, such as the many unsubstantiated terror alerts, all of which were conveniently used to scare up Bush's sagging poll numbers, or gain the submission of congress in taking away more of our liberties through "anti-terror" legislation that Bush was otherwise having trouble passing.

You people who ridicule and demonize those who compare Bush's tactics with those of the Nazi's are either ignorant of history, have ulterior motives, or suffer from the same lack of spine that is killing the democratic party.

E.P. said...

It has been 5 years of well done photo ops.. They are just getting deserate and sloppy at what they are doing.. All the scandals are catching up to him..

When Bush ran in 2000 there was a photo of him in the newspaper showing Bush lifting a sofa, helping some displaced people move into a new housing project. On the surface it looked great.. Letterman showed the paper article and then showed the video of that same photo op.. It shows Bush holding one end of a sofa with a local hispanic man.. Once the photo's are taken, he does his wink and nod, drops the sofa and just walks away.. That image for me has epitomized his Presidency.. All image and little substance behind what is truly happening..

Anonymous said...

Yeah, a lot of Nazi handwriting in that, but in another blog somebody mentioned the old Russian communist dictators with their whole public life being scripted and staged - believe me (I grew up in a country like that) - it doesn´t just look alike - it IS THE SAME - when you have a government whose only goal is to serve a realitively small oligarchy of powerful people, who arrange and orchestrate the public life including the "independent" media,

- then it doesn´t matter, that they choose a muppet to represent their interests,

- it doesn´t matter that this muppet is an illiterate who can only finish a sentence if he´s reading it,

- it doesn´t matter what the rest of the world thinks,

- it doesn´t matter what the thruth really is,

- the truth is what they tell you is the truth.

It doesn´t matter that the world has not become a saver place if they keep repeating it did;

it doesn´t matter that the iraqis want us out of there, they say we´ll stay there untill we have a free and democratic Iraq (whatever that means)

I was in college when the Soviets invaded Afganistan and - living in a "Soviet block country" - I had to listen DAYLY to their propaganda and you know WHAT?

THE REASONS WERE THE SAME, EVEN THE LANGUAGE WAS THE SAME!!! (I guess there are not many different words and reasons when you have to covnince a couple of hundreds of millions RUSSIANS OR AMNERICANS that your government has to invade a sovereign country...

Go and find out the old copies of "Pravda" or get the old chronilces of that time - the official theory was that



Wake up, America! This is not only corruption and getting richer - these are religious millitary maniacs who want to rule the world (who´s next on the list?)

Anonymous said...

Crikey! This is just the part of the "rehearsal" that we heard. I can only imagine how painstakingly idiotic the part(s) we didn't hear could have been! Candid indeed, Mr. President.

John Conor Ryan said...

The Goebellian playbook was written earlier ... by Machiavelli and used extensively by pre-Goebels Stalin & his thugs.
The Bush administration's propaganda relies on what Orwell, then parodying Stalin's Russia, called Doublespeak [peace is war; patriotism is treason (and vice versa); absurd spending is frugality; amoral perversity is values]

Resident Cynic said...

Bryan claims "She then goes through a list of questions Bush is going to ask and rehearses the answers with the troops, coaching them along the way."

Did you even listen to the audio on the NPR site? I did and I have a question: where, exactly, does she "rehearse the answers" and "coach them" what to say?

I'm no Bush-lover, so quell those jerking knees, boys -- but by the gods, this sort of crap is too much. There's enough to criticize Bush about... you don't need to invent stuff. No wonder the far left and so many so-called journalists find themselves marginalized.

You want to win over non-lefties, quit using any excuse to trot out the Nazi comparisons and invent another so-called 'scandal'.

Anonymous said...

of course it's all staged. bushco doesn't have an original thought in his booze and coke soaked brain.
If he ever had to improvise without a script, america would see that the emporor has no clothes.

Anonymous said...

Stuff it, Cynic. We don't care to win over people who refuse to see the truth. Enjoy your quickly sinking world as a Bush enabler. It won't last much longer.

Resident Cynic said...

Stuff it, Cynic. We don't care to win over people who refuse to see the truth.

I ask again: where, exactly, does she "rehearse the answers" and "coach them" what to say?

Since she didn't, and since the "rehearses the answers with the troops" meme is a easily seen flat-out lie, it's the likes of you who 'refuse to see the truth'. And you've just conceded that you won't win over anyone who doesn't see the world through your Bush-hating glasses.

'Course, we already knew that.

Anonymous said...

No cynic, what we clearly see is that this event, like everything else Bush does, was a very carefully choreographed event with friendly faces (including a PR flack dressed up as a combat soldier) giving friendly answers, the result of which is nothing more than an infomercial. Have you by any chance listened to the audio posted on NPR of the rehearsal for this event? It is very clear that the entire event is scripted. The soldiers had already reviewed the questions and decided who was answering each one. And the person doing the coaching explicitly states: "But if he (the president) gives us a question that's not something that we've scripted, Captain Kennedy, you're gonna have that mic and that's your chance to impress us all...". She then reads the president's opening remarks after which he poses his first question to a soldier, who then begins reading a prewritten answer.

For those wishing to hear this for themselves, the audio can be found at:

You can parse words and misdirect the argument all you want, Mr. Bush Enabling Cynic, but the bottom line here is that the entire world, including for once, the sheeple in the US, are able to bear firsthand witness to the methods used by the Bush administration to deceive the public.

And by the way, we're not wearing Bush hating glasses. We're wearing democracy loving, truth loving, America loving glasses. And we're sick and tired of watching the GOP criminals and the greedy bastards who support them destroy everything that is good about this country.

ER said...

I am with Ron and the Cynic on this one. Having spent years in teaching and coaching, this seemed no different than an Open House where we would be prepared with a topic to share our views on regarding some aspect of the school and then the order of our appearance. I do not see this as coaching and scripted. Both of those words are far from the truth of what I heard on the NPR audio and saw on the CNN video.

This is also no different than one of the interviews you will see done on most any news mag today where the questions that are asked are run by a PR person first and the celebrity, business person, politician, etc. can then be prepared to answer them. Does it make their responses untrue or wrong? No. It means that they are better able to communicate their perspective to the audience.

As far as having selected 10-11 people for the talk with the President, I really would not expect anything different from any administration involved in a war. There is no where else we will hear any of the positives from Iraq. If the media could move beyond reporting only body counts and roadside bombings in Iraq, then this kind of communication would be unnecessary. There are several stories from Iraq. Not just the negatives. Our press is failing by only focusing their attention on those events that advance their own agendas.

Bryan said...

I think where the press failed us the most was not questioning the administration on the way in. There was no reason to go the way we did and the press did nothing to help. And don't beleive the press "only reports the negative." I've never seen a body count on Network news. I have to go to the BBC or other sources around the world to stay informed. We need the body counts on the nightly news though. We need to see what a terrible thing war is. True, we do need to see positive aspects as well, but we also need to realize that we're doing more harm than good. Therefore we should hear about the harm we're doing more often than the good.

cowboy said...

Every media exposure is rehearsed. The MISSION ACCOMPLISHED event on the aircraft carrier was so rehearsed they had the ship turned so the photo-op wouldn't show the San Diego skyline in the background. Not even a TV series could have done better with the kind of prep-work done here. big deal some of you say? It's truth just played out with a bit more finesse?

At what degree of finesse do you start going into the framework of pure adulterated propaganda?

Examples: paying reporters to give positive, up-beat spin on the President's policies. Another expample of propaganda: handing over to the media prepared news-like events which look like interviews. Totally staged to look like news.

Then, to plant a newsreporter in the whitehouse press corps.

Where is the outrage?!...especially when it was discovered this newsreporter was a gay prostitute. Not only a gay prostitute but a self-loathing gay. The guy had no press credentials at all.