The Truth of Bush's Conference with Troops

Ely13

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Relevant portions bolded for those of you who don't like to read:

http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2005/10/ap_response_to.html

October 13, 2005

AP Response to Bush Teleconference Staged!
Media Madness
Hatched by Dafydd

UPDATE 18:23: See below.

Now the AP has taken to attacking the president for supposedly "staging" a teleconference with soldiers... because they rehearsed in advance which soldier would answer which question.

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged
Oct 13, 2005
by Deb Riechmann

WASHINGTON (AP) - It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.
When I first read that paragraph, my Skept-O-Meter™ went off like the Queen Mary's foghorn. What did Ms. Riechmann mean, the questions were "choreographed?" Aren't the questions always choreographed?

During an interview, for example, the interviewer always knows in advance the major questions he will ask, the order he will ask them, and to whom they will be directed (if multiple subjects are being grilled simultaneously). Often the subject also knows, to allow him to do whatever research is necessary to come up with a more detailed answer. Typically, major questions spawn follow-up questions; we have no clue from the AP story whether this happened this time, even though that would reveal much about the charge of being "staged."

So what the heck does Ms. Riechmann mean? How is this different from any other interview situation? Remember, the president is the interviewer, not the subject; he's playing Brit Hume, for a change of pace.

"I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," [Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison] Barber said.

A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.
Yes... it went, rather than crashed, because the soldiers actually knew in advance the order in which they would speak! They didn't talk over each other or tussle for the microphone. Will Bush's perfidy never stop?

"If the question comes up about partnering - how often do we train with the Iraqi military - who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit - the hometown - and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.
And here at last we have the substance of the charge of "choreographing" the questions: that the soldiers knew in advance which of them was the expert in a particular area -- hence who would actually answer the questions pertaining to that area.

This is what the Associated Press is trying to pass off as another "scandal" in the Bush administration. This barely even counts as a college try; Ms. Riechmann may as well have just used the pre-existing template titled Bush the Lying Liar Version 23.

Does even the Left doubt any longer the bias of the press against this president and against Republicans in general? Or do they just go through the motions occasionally, tossing a bit of tainted, gray meat to their base, more or less as a hobby?

Of course, they had to close with an eyebite from somebody hostile to Bush:

Paul Rieckhoff, director of the New York-based Operation Truth, an advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, denounced the event as a "carefully scripted publicity stunt." Five of the 10 U.S. troops involved were officers, he said.

"If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can't do it in a nationally televised teleconference," Rieckhoff said. "He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that's not a bunch of captains."
I don't know what branch of the service Mr. Rieckhoff served in (if any), but it's evidently one where junior officers stay at the Pentagon and only privates and non-coms actually venture into the field.

I wonder whether he applies that same scorn to a certain fellow who was a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam, the exact equivalent rank to "captain" in the Army or Marines: Lt. John F. Kerry.

UPDATE: I have now listened to the 4:26 audio that National Public Radio made available (hat tip to Octavius), and contrary to some of the commenters to this post and some lefty blogs, such as This Divided State, there is not one, single instance of anybody "coaching [the soldiers] along the way" (as Bryan at TDS claims).

Allison Barber asks one question and listens to Captain Kennedy's answer; she does not tell him to change anything or give him any feedback whatsoever. She runs through a couple of other questions but doesn't wait for the soldiers to answer.

Let me repeat something I said above, because it may not have sunk in. When you are evaluating verbal acuity or mental quickness, you don't want to reveal the questions in advance; you prefer to watch the subject squirm. But when you want to gather solid information, you do give him the questions in advance, so he will be prepared with complete and accurate answers.

President Bush was not giving these soldiers a pop quiz, for heaven's sake. He wanted to hear what they had to say when they'd had a chance to think about it. And even if every one of them had been given an opportunity to rehearse speaking his answer -- on national TV and before the Commander In Chief -- it is neither "staged" nor "choreographed," except in the most technical meaning of those words, and there is no example at all of "coaching."

These are the real opinions of real soldiers who know what the hell they're talking about. Even if half of them are captains.
 

JHendrix

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Should be posted or at least linked in the other thread, really.

I figured it was abit of a "tempest in a teacup" that VT mentioned before.
 

melchia

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Ely13 said:
I don't know what branch of the service Mr. Rieckhoff served in (if any), but it's evidently one where junior officers stay at the Pentagon and only privates and non-coms actually venture into the field.
Yeah, that's about right :kekeke:

Ely13 said:
Let me repeat something I said above, because it may not have sunk in. When you are evaluating verbal acuity or mental quickness, you don't want to reveal the questions in advance; you prefer to watch the subject squirm. But when you want to gather solid information, you do give him the questions in advance, so he will be prepared with complete and accurate answers.
Quoted for truth.
 

norton9478

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Yall is a bunch of Funny Spinsters....

Everything the Bush Administration does is STAGED.
It's all smoke and Mirrors....

Armstrong Williams.
Medicare Adverstisments distributed on feeds as News Reports.
Making Propogandists "News" Reports in Europe.
Jeff Gannon Getting Access
Dissenting Press Members Losing Access
Invitation Only "Town Hall" Meetings

Remember when the dude in Iraq asked Rummy about Body Armour? That shit was supposed to be staged. The Right wing state of Blogistan went off on how the reporter set it all up. Upstaging a Scripted Event? How dare he!!!!!!!!!!

The only differnce is that now that Bush is under so much fire for royaly screwing this place up.


Before when all of the Smoke and Mirrors were going on, the public was apathetic.
Armstorng Williams? Jeff Gannon? Propogandist News? Complete shoutout of Dissednts? No WMD's?------SO FUCKING WHAT

Now it's front page news because the public has woken up and are so pissed off about how bad shit is going.... Now they care. The news agencies know this and plan to capitalize on it.
 
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I'm getting a little bit para(noid) about Ely13s presense on this site. it's like he's here expressly to lay down the 'official' line. too well informed, too into persuading the idiots around here (by idiots I mean the general ng.com member, me included) that the US army/the US administration is bullet proof.

serious question here: Ely13, are you a journalist or work with/for any organisation linked to the army and/or US administration.

I'm tired of political talk around here. it's become so boring and I can easily get along with those with differing views if we don't touch on stuff that rubs me the wrong way.

religion is the last frontier now. fuck the bible :tickled: :tickled: :tickled:
 

Magnaflux

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DevilRedeemed said:
I'm getting a little bit para(noid) about Ely13s presense on this site. it's like he's here expressly to lay down the 'official' line. too well informed, too into persuading the idiots around here (by idiots I mean the general ng.com member, me included) that the US army/the US administration is bullet proof.

serious question here: Ely13, are you a journalist or work with/for any organisation linked to the army and/or US administration.

I'm tired of political talk around here. it's become so boring and I can easily get along with those with differing views if we don't touch on stuff that rubs me the wrong way.

religion is the last frontier now. fuck the bible :tickled: :tickled: :tickled:


I think we're just drama addicts.
 

norton9478

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DevilRedeemed said:
I'm getting a little bit para(noid) about Ely13s presense on this site. it's like he's here expressly to lay down the 'official' line. too well informed, too into persuading the idiots around here (by idiots I mean the general ng.com member, me included) that the US army/the US administration is bullet proof.

serious question here: Ely13, are you a journalist or work with/for any organisation linked to the army and/or US administration.

I'm tired of political talk around here. it's become so boring and I can easily get along with those with differing views if we don't touch on stuff that rubs me the wrong way.

religion is the last frontier now. fuck the bible :tickled: :tickled: :tickled:

He's Boiler Plate College Republican.....

The College Republicans are a bunch of Psudeo Intellegent, well trained propogandists. Much like the Hitler YOuth.....
 

Magnaflux

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norton9478 said:
He's Boiler Plate College Republican.....

The College Republicans are a bunch of Psudeo Intellegent, well trained propogandists. Much like the Hitler YOuth.....


That's taking it a bit far. I agree with your general summation.
 

norton9478

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Magnaflux said:
That's taking it a bit far. I agree with your general summation.

Yeah.... Hitler Youth is taking it a bit far.......
 

Ely13

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norton9478 said:
He's Boiler Plate College Republican.....

The College Republicans are a bunch of Psudeo Intellegent, well trained propogandists. Much like the Hitler YOuth.....
I'm a South Park Republican, probably (http://www.techcentralstation.com/100702A.html). I don't really align with the Democrats or Republicans. I have more than my fair share of criticism against any administration, whether it's Clinton's or Bush's, but I prefer saving my energy for critiques that actually matter instead of knee-jerk paranoia about the other party. It's too bad the libertarians are such nutjobs (like their Presidential candidate who drives without a driver's license because he believes in absolute freedom or something).

The answer could very well be the "South Park Republicans." The name stems from the primetime cartoon "South Park" that clearly demonstrates the contrast within the party. The show is widely condemned by some moralists, including members of the Christian right. Yet in spite of its coarse language and base humor, the show persuasively communicates the Republican position on many issues, including hate crime legislation ("a savage hypocrisy"), radical environmentalism, and rampant litigation by ambitious trial lawyers. In one episode, industrious gnomes pick apart myopic anti-corporate rhetoric and teach the main characters about the benefits of capitalism.

South Park Republicans are true Republicans, though they do not look or act like Pat Robertson. They believe in liberty, not conformity. They can enjoy watching The Sopranos even if they are New Jersey Italians. They can appreciate the tight abs of Britney Spears or Brad Pitt without worrying about the nation's decaying moral fiber. They strongly believe in liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, and free markets. However, they do not live by the edicts of political correctness.
DevilRedeemed said:
I'm getting a little bit para(noid) about Ely13s presense on this site. it's like he's here expressly to lay down the 'official' line. too well informed, too into persuading the idiots around here (by idiots I mean the general ng.com member, me included) that the US army/the US administration is bullet proof.

serious question here: Ely13, are you a journalist or work with/for any organisation linked to the army and/or US administration.

I'm tired of political talk around here. it's become so boring and I can easily get along with those with differing views if we don't touch on stuff that rubs me the wrong way.

religion is the last frontier now. fuck the bible :tickled: :tickled: :tickled:
I used to be an amateur journalist, but I have a different career path in front of me now. I'm not affiliated with the US Army, but it's a close guess. I have nothing but respect for them.

Honestly, I am not a big Bush supporter. He is my Commander-in-Chief, and I will support him on that basis as I would any President whether it's Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, or Bill Frist. The American people made their decision on November 2nd, and my political outlook would not have changed whether it would've been a Bush or Kerry administration.

The only reason I post these things is that I dislike seeing people accept spoon-fed information and launch into wild tangents based upon an incomplete picture. As some people note whenever one of those crime threads go up, 'what's the other side of the story?'. This thread would've been unnecessary if Walrus didn't feel the need to present a distorted picture of yesterday's conference.

From the London Times:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22649-1674668,00.html

In person Mr Bush is so far removed from the caricature of the dim, war-mongering Texas cowboy of global popular repute that it shakes one’s faith in the reliability of the modern media.
Of course, there's always D-Lite's political ideology...

http://www.whack.org/~skott/guiltied.html

:spock:
 
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Typical Neo-Geo.com political thread.

If you post something anti-establishment it generates all kinds of interest and frenzy. If you post something pro-establishment it generates all kinds of comments about how evil you are. Also, if the post is something against the Bush Administration, it is genuinely interesting. If it's not anti-Bush (ie balanced or pro) then "sick of political threads, bla, bla, bla..."
 

norton9478

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brentsg said:
Typical Neo-Geo.com political thread.

If you post something anti-establishment it generates all kinds of interest and frenzy. If you post something pro-establishment it generates all kinds of comments about how evil you are. Also, if the post is something against the Bush Administration, it is genuinely interesting. If it's not anti-Bush (ie balanced or pro) then "sick of political threads, bla, bla, bla..."

Dude, Nobody on these threads is Publicly Pro Bush.......

NOBODY

Not Jhendrix, not Stinky Dinkins, not Ely13, I don't even think Melachia is

They speak up when you trash him.... But they won't speak out and say "Damn I like him. He's doing a Great Job."
 
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brentsg said:
Typical Neo-Geo.com political thread.

If you post something anti-establishment it generates all kinds of interest and frenzy. If you post something pro-establishment it generates all kinds of comments about how evil you are. Also, if the post is something against the Bush Administration, it is genuinely interesting. If it's not anti-Bush (ie balanced or pro) then "sick of political threads, bla, bla, bla..."

Ely13, appreciate the response.

brentsg, I can see this comment is aimed at me in so far as the bla bla bla quote goes. check my post history - then tell me how many times within the past 6 months I have engaged in politically motivated discourse. there is little to discuss here really, you're simply wrong in your assumptions. end of story. now if a thread is made simply to antagonise I may just bite, but with ones like this one I was honestly interested as to the belying motivation. so you're wrong. as far as I'm concerned anyway. bye bye.
 

melchia

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norton9478 said:
Dude, Nobody on these threads is Publicly Pro Bush.......

NOBODY

Not Jhendrix, not Stinky Dinkins, not Ely13, I don't even think Melachia is

They speak up when you trash him.... But they won't speak out and say "Damn I like him. He's doing a Great Job."

I speak up when you post something I don't agree with (or when I have time for an argument)...to be honest, you probably follow Bush's career more closely than I do. I am too well aware of the machinations of the political animal to buy too much into ANYTHING the media reports. If I want information, I go to the source document(s). With that said, I supported Bush in that I voted for him. I DO NOT AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THING THE MAN SAYS, but I also keep in mind that he does not write his own speeches and that while much of what he says appeals to the religious right, his actions thusfar have not been dominated by religion. Quite the contrary, actually.
 

Stinky-Dinkins

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Fish out of water

"Typical college Republican." That's one hell of an oxymoron.

Also, once again Norton is so off base it makes me giggle and touch myself.
 

Magnaflux

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The campus at school is like a liberal black hole.

They smell the conservative on me, I fight tooth and nail against the liberal rage daily.
 

norton9478

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Stinky-Dinkins said:
"Typical college Republican." That's one hell of an oxymoron.

Also, once again Norton is so off base it makes me giggle and touch myself.

Actualy,

The college republicans are the backbone of the uper echelon of the modern conservative movement. Say what you will about the evangelicals but the College Republicans are a bunch of Lemmings and growing in number.

As the economy takes a nose dive, College students are becoming more and more conservative.

It used to be that people didn't turn conservative until they got into thier 30's. Today, they are being farm raised.

Do some reading/reserarch you will learn more about this trend. It's probably one of the most compelling trends in academia..
 
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Stinky-Dinkins

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norton9478 said:
Actualy,

The college republicans are the backbone of the uper echelon of the modern conservative movement. Say what you will about the evangelicals but the College Republicans are a bunch of Lemmings and growing in number.

As the economy takes a nose dive, College students are becoming more and more conservative.

It used to be that people didn't turn conservative until they got into thier 30's. Today, they are being farm raised.

Do some reading/reserarch you will learn more about this trend. It's probably one of the most compelling trends in academia..

College students are overwhelmingly liberal, it's not even funny. Campuses are festering pits of liberalism.

I don't know what you're smoking.

If you think "College Republicans" are the "backbone" of the conservative movement you're an idiot.
 

norton9478

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Stinky-Dinkins said:
College students are overwhelmingly liberal, it's not even funny. Campuses are festering pits of liberalism.

I don't know what you're smoking.

If you think "College Republicans" are the "backbone" of the conservative movement you're an idiot.

You listen to too much Conservative Rage....

You have absolutly no FUCKING idea what you are talking about.....
 

Magnaflux

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Seriously I go to an state school and the libs there are raging non-stop.

I probably fall more into the conservative side, but some of these loons are out in space.
 

melchia

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norton9478 said:
You listen to too much Conservative Rage....

You have absolutly no FUCKING idea what you are talking about.....

I can assure you that EVERY single class I have taken, in which political issues have been discussed, the liberal students far outnumber the conservatives. What's more the liberals tend to be tons more voicy with their opinions...
 
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