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[P]
Ari Fleischer admits Bush called from a prepared list of reporters

By maynard in Media
Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:28:45 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

March 7th, 2003, at an official press briefing, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer twice admitted under questioning that the President's staff preselected which reporters to call, and the order, for the East Room Press Conference on the evening of March 6th, 2003. This Press Conference was President Bush's eighth solo news conference since inauguration, and the second formally presented in the East Room during prime time.

Mr. Fleischer responded to a reporter's query over a short gaffe in which the President was heard to say to a reporter, "You'll be there in a moment," upon which he then called CNN correspondent John King and remarked "...this is a scripted...[pause]", after which an outburst of laughter from the press pool could be heard. The president then moved directly onto the next question. An audio excerpt of this gaff is available from this Buzzflash commentary. [*]


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See the video of Press Secretary Fleischer on C-SPAN. Go 20m:50s into the briefing for the first question, in which Ari responds by admitting that he prepared the list of questioners during Bush's Press Conference, and then immediately called on the next reporter:

http://video.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/kdrive/iraq030703_whpb.rm

Here is a transcript of that first question:

REPORTER #1: Last night after the fifth time the president looked down at an apparent list of reporters, he smiled and he said this is scripted - (interrupted)

ARI: are you going to complain he didn't call on you?

REPORTER #1: no! no! no! (continues) - which surely suggests he did not write that script, which gave two questions to one network, two questions to one wire service, and one to other big and wealthy media, but left all the rest - including Helen Thomas - ruled out in advance of any chance to ask, and left to serve only as window dressing, and my question is: since you, Ari, are always fair in recognizing us, who was it that wrote that script that the President confessed to, was it Karl Rove, or Karen, or who?

ARI: It was me who gave the president the suggestion on the reporters to call and the president called on all reporters and didn't call on any columnists.

He then abruptly called on the next question.

25m:50s into the briefing he is asked a followup question again by a second reporter. Here is the transcript:

REPORTER #2: First of all, without regard to who the president called on last night, what's the reason for working from a prepared list as opposed to doing it in a more spontaneous manner?

ARI: Because, as you know, for many of the people who've covered the President's pool sprays this is nothing new to you. Uh, the President just thinks it is actually a more orderly news conference, rather than to have the usual cacophony of everybody screaming where the person who gets called on is the person who has the loudest voice. I thought it was actually a very... it was a long news conference, uh, it was a solid news conference, uh, reporters were called from all over the place... uh, many people rushed out and bought new... [screams of "NO!!!" audible in the background] ... well, many different outlets, the president noted that many people went out and bought new shoes. uh president was pleased to have done it.

Not relating directly to this event, as it happened after publication, Mike Allen, of the Washington Post, wrote an article on President Bush's distaste for news conferences quoting White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett saying, "if you have a message you're trying to deliver, a news conference can go in a different direction." He further stated:

"In this case, we know what the questions are going to be, and those are the ones we want to answer," Bartlett said. "We think the public will see the thought and care and attention he's given to a lot of the different questions that are being asked about the diplomatic side and the military side and the potential post-Iraq issue. These are all legitimate questions that he has answers for and wants to talk about."
Unstated is that due to the format other legitimate questions would go unanswered. The article later states that Bush prepared for the press conference "...[from] a memo of about 50 possible topics with suggested answers." A formal Press Conference is traditionally an unscripted event with reporters raising their hand to be called upon at random (or the discretion of the President at that moment in time) in sometimes brutal questioning. Allen's article quotes Robert Dallek, a presidential historian at Boston University, noting that "...citizens lose an important measure of the president when he is shielded from sustained questioning," and further stating, "People don't want to just hear from the press secretary all the time," he said. "They want the real thing -- the horse's mouth."

Unfortunately, when members of the press core pool are selected by White House staff, and further when the White House staff preselects for the President exactly who will be called upon during a formal press conference, 'sustained questioning' and 'spontaneity' are the last words one can use to describe the process. Does setting such a precedent further diminish a Free Press in the United States? Discuss.

A previous article on this subject was posted to the K5 submission queue but revoked due to errors. The discussion from that first submission can be found here.

[*] Note that Buzzflash is a highly partisan site which promotes positions of the Democratic Party.

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Poll
Is it appropriate for Presidential staff to preselect a list of reporters to be called upon beforehand during a formal Press Conference?
o Yes. 23%
o No. 68%
o Don't know (Inoshiro). 7%

Votes: 196
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Press Conference
o audio excerpt
o commentary
o http://vid eo.c-span.org:8080/ramgen/kdrive/iraq030703_whpb.rm
o article
o here
o Also by maynard


Display: Sort:
Ari Fleischer admits Bush called from a prepared list of reporters | 311 comments (277 topical, 34 editorial, 1 hidden)
The Big Picture (3.11 / 9) (#5)
by Lelon on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 01:57:10 PM EST

The real issue here isn't the the President of the United States had a scripted press conference. This President avoid any interaction with the press because he's afraid the press will "trick" him into saying something stupid/incorrect (this is all according to the administration mind you). The goal of scripting the press conference was to convince the American people that our President is intelligent enough to handle complex questions. Sadly, this is not the case. One would think that a US President should at least be intelligent enough to do that.


----
This sig is a work in progress.
No, he didn't. (3.25 / 4) (#21)
by Demiurge on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 04:39:20 PM EST

It would have been a scripted news conference if all questions and answers were known beforehand. They were not. This kind of thing is common practice.

[ Parent ]
So you're saying censorship is good in this case. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by criquet on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 09:17:43 AM EST

What if the President only allowed reporters into the conference that were on his list? Is that common practice too? Won't that produce exactly the same result? And what if the selected reporters are all known Bush supporters?

Maybe people won't have a problem with that. I do and I would even if I supported the President because it subtle violation of freedom of the press.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, not REALLY scripted... (none / 0) (#124)
by minusp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:11:24 AM EST

Just call on the news-models that you know will lob up softballs that you can pound out of the infield. Remarkable.

Overall, that mess was a deplorable waste of a lot of bad prime-time TV.
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]

[OT] Brilliant sig (none / 0) (#160)
by Gromit on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:21:39 PM EST

Remember, regime change begins at home.
Absolutely perfect.

--
"The noble art of losing face will one day save the human race." - Hans Blix

[ Parent ]
Er... (2.50 / 2) (#148)
by synaesthesia on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:49:35 PM EST

When you bother to realise that k5 already has a built-in spell checker, perhaps you'll tone down your attitude. Until then, your sig makes you look like an idiot. STFU. Thank you.


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Where? (none / 0) (#213)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:35:55 PM EST

I'm looking around, but I don't see one, and I don't have a list of possible corrections come up when I do a preview. Perhaps you have a subscription and are forgeting that people without one don't have a spell checker?

[ Parent ]
I don't... (none / 0) (#228)
by synaesthesia on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:26:06 PM EST

I don't have a subscription, but I am aware that if I did, I would have a spellchecker. Admittedly I could have made that more explicit, but I wanted to be rude to Lelon in kind of the tone of h/er signature.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Standard practice (4.33 / 18) (#6)
by godix on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 02:05:23 PM EST

All press conferences are held before the White House press corps. The White House press corps is made up of reporters and organizations pre-selected by the White House. There hasn't been one single president in recent times that has taken questions from people who weren't screened first. Considering that then candidate Bill Clinton got asked the infamous 'boxers or briefs' question by a random audience member I'd say this policy is probably a good thing in general (note: Clinton did not answer random questions like this after he was elected). I'd hate to think that important issues will get buried under 'did you inhale?' style questions.

Anyway, what this all boils down to is that Bush didn't do anything new, he was just a little more selective this time than usual and he acknowledged what's always gone on.


If McDonalds began putting little Klansmen statues in their happy meals and talked about how neat it was to be white and proud...
- The

It's one thing to preselect reporters in the pool (4.42 / 7) (#17)
by maynard on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 04:21:39 PM EST

Quite another to preselect who is called upon during a press conference, especially in such a blatent manner. He even had ordered cards telling him who to call when. I've never heard of such a thing. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
Oh please. (3.57 / 7) (#36)
by Demiurge on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 09:31:29 PM EST

This is no different than what presidents have been doing for decades. Bush has made plenty of missteps, but this sure as hell isn't one of them.

[ Parent ]
re: Standard Practice (3.80 / 5) (#38)
by chale on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 09:40:49 PM EST

i think that a lot more important questions get buried by the standard practice than would happen if the audience was truly random.i think that you get a better understanding of someone (especially politicians and the like) by asking and getting answers to the off-beat questions.and i don't see where the important questions wouldn't get asked anyway.

clarence


Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing had happened.--Winston Churchill
[ Parent ]

Trivial buries importance (4.00 / 5) (#44)
by godix on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 10:47:15 PM EST

The trivial buries the important. For example, every single subject got shoved to page 2 during the OJ trial. We all know Clinton got a BJ, but few realize how much he advanced Chinas nuclear program. Your local paper will tell you what Michael Jackson is up to, but you have to really go searching to find out what cases are before the Supreme Court. Final example, do you remember the 'boxers or briefs question'? Do you remember a single other question from that Q&A?

I'm glad the White House filters the reporters, otherwise Bush would be so busy answering 'Why do you suck?' from Indymedia reporters that he'd never get a chance to make, much less announce, US reaction to North Korea.

I'd also like to point out that with 10 minutes of searching you could find out any private detail of Michael Jacksons life you might care to know, does this mean you understand her/him/it?


If McDonalds began putting little Klansmen statues in their happy meals and talked about how neat it was to be white and proud...
- The Parent ]

And what is our NK policy? I've been waiting... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
by maynard on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 11:14:22 PM EST

...for the last several months for the White House to issue a cogent policy statement on how we're going to deal with North Korea. Frankly, I'd rather we put our 230K troops dicking around waiting to invade Iraq up against the NK border and say to Kim Jong Il, "I dare you." NK is ten times the danger of Iraq right now. Our worst nightmare is a NK invasion of SK right after we commit our troops across the Iraqi border. Never mind the fact that NK has WMD, has three stage missiles which can reach US shores, has shown they are willing to sell missles to terrorist states like Sudan and Yemen, and continues to brazenly threaten the US repeatedly. I may be a liberal, but if they keep this shit up I'll gladly support a war to oust that MoFo. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
the US policy towards NK (none / 0) (#46)
by godix on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 11:21:24 PM EST

...can basically be summed up as 'Try to look tough and intimidating, but don't start another Korea war, we lost the last one.'

Incidently, China is a much more dangerous country than NK. Every arguement you used against NK applies even more so to China. I'm not defending NK here, just pointing out that worrying about NK and not China is like turning your back on a 6' 250 well-muscled boxer who's winding up his punch to deal with his scrawny computer nerd brother.


If McDonalds began putting little Klansmen statues in their happy meals and talked about how neat it was to be white and proud...
- The Parent ]

China won't help NK twice (5.00 / 3) (#50)
by maynard on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:48:54 AM EST

If China hadn't entered the NK war, and pushed UN forces almost into the sea, the NKians would be represented by Roh Moo Hyun today (presuming that the additional population would have voted for the guy).

I agree that China is a serious competitor to the west. But they have no history of expansionist policies going back thousands of years. They want to crush us - no doubt - but they plan on doing it economically. I previously wrote a comment on K5 stating that I think the US Iraqi war is not so much about our taking the oil as much as it is about us denying the oil through price increases to China (and possibly India). The real goal would be to keep cheap energy flowing here to bolster the economy while slowing economic development there over the next ten to twenty years while we sort out a sustainable energy policy. I note that China is a net importer of middle eastern oil and is almost completely dependent on imports. They've run out of domestic oil deposits, though I think they have a good deal of shale and some coal left. China desperately needs this oil, far more than Russia. Though the US could put the energy squeeze on the EU through this move too.

So, unless we really piss them off I doubt China will want to wage war with either the US or the western world. North Korea, OTOH, is run by a total lunatic. Unlike Saddam, who's just another brutal two-bit dictator, Kim Jung Il seems prepared to take NK to the edge of war with the US. And, come on, don't for a minute think that if we waged war with NK we would lose. It would take China entering for that to happen... in which case, God help us, because I think Bush is nutty enough to use tactical nukes and then who knows what the fuck might happen. Anyway, I strongly doubt China would follow through with troops for NK a second time. Kim Jong Il has been pissing President Jiang Zemin off lately; I think they're ready to cut NK lose. JMO. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Are you willing to bet nuclear war on it? (3.66 / 3) (#92)
by godix on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:12:01 AM EST

they have no history of expansionist policies going back thousands of years

One word: Mongolia
They want to crush us - no doubt - but they plan on doing it economically.

China has threatened to nuke California. China has been quiet recently, but they are definately prepared to go to war with the US if needed.
I think the US Iraqi war is not so much about our taking the oil as much as it is about us denying the oil through price increases to China

Iraq just doesn't have enough oil for the US to exert that type of control. Russia and Venezulea, not to mention other middle eastern countries, could easily invalidate any attempted oil blockade against China (if they would or not is another story though). Besides, if our goals really are controlling the oil why didn't we take it in 1991?
So, unless we really piss them off I doubt China will want to wage war with either the US or the western world.

I actually agree, I doubt China would get involved unless severly provoked. If you and I are wrong though Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and any other ally in the area could easily get nuked. Hawaii, California, and Alaska might get nuked. America would have a very difficult time defeating China unless we would resort to nukes ourselves. America would probably try and bring in allies, and at least some of them would probably join in. Russia and China have never liked each other, and they share a long border with lots of troops stationed there. So, considering that if China does get involved there is a reasonable possibility of another World War, this time with nukes flying, do you still want to invade NK?
Kim Jung Il seems prepared to take NK to the edge of war with the US.

I always got the feeling that NK is on the verge of self-destruction. The economy and welfare of the people are in total shambles. South Korea and Japan are sitting right in the area providing proof to North Koreans it doesn't have to be that way. As you pointed out, China is distancing itself from NK. America has stopped our end of the agreements so things will only get worse for them. I think what we're seeing is pretty much a last ditch effort by Kim Jung II to get America to prop it up. If we sit tight and keep from doing rash actions I think NK will go through radical change somewhere in the next 5 years.


Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]
oil, China, and the EU (4.66 / 6) (#96)
by radish on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:52:53 AM EST

Iraq just doesn't have enough oil for the US to exert that type of control.

I don't think that's accurate.  Iraq has lots of oil, and more to the point, it's easy oil to get at.  keep in mind that we're not talking about today's oil.  we're talking about ten, twenty, thirty years hence's oil.  furthermore, Iraq is a good "tactical pivot" for the whole region.  the Saudi royal family wouldn't dream of dissing the US because they would be up a creek without US support but we can't really run roughshod over there either because that would destroy them as well (Q: what was Osama Bin Laden's stated purpose in attacking the WTC, Pentagon, White House?).   we don't have that kind of leverage with most of OPEC, so occupying Iraq would give us a Very Big Stick™, both militarily and economically.

if they would or not is another story though

indeed, and I submit they would be a whole lot less likely to do so with the US occupying Iraq, especially if we decided to continue picking on anybody we didn't like.  we did just recently support a failed coup in Venezuela, so it's not like we're not thinking real hard about it.  Russia is less of a problem.  Libya, for example, is a problem but we don't need to cut the oil off entirely, we just need to exert a bit of strategic control.

Besides, if our goals really are controlling the oil why didn't we take it in 1991?

this is a legitimate and fascinating question.  I believe that the answer is that it simply wasn't our policy at the time.  bluntly speaking, George Bush Sr. was a diplomat, who knew he was on shaky ground already, and who, regardless of any other faults he may have had, was not an ideologue.  GW is not a diplomat by any stretch of the imagination, and appears not to have many diplomats on his staff.  he has also shown a remarkable lack of interest in any feedback which conflicts with his world view, whether it comes from nervous senior intelligence analysts or from wild-eyed anarchists roaming the streets.

[ Parent ]

more oil (3.00 / 2) (#229)
by godix on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:34:18 PM EST

I believe that the answer is that it simply wasn't our policy at the time.

Our policy of the time was keeping Saddam in check. After 12 years, and multiple terrorist attacks, we're tired of the situation. So our policy has shifted to removing Saddam so we can get the hell out of there. Seems to be a fairly straight forward evolution of policy to me.

NOTE: I freely admit there are more issues than this; oil, human rights, Saddams all but giving us the middle finger, plots on our ex-presidents life, amoung other issues come into play. I think these explain why we're removing Saddam before we leave, but they are not what pushed the US into a 'enough is enough' stand.


Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]

whoa (none / 0) (#285)
by radish on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 05:32:31 PM EST

are you predicting that the US will remove Hussein and head home without occupying Iraq?  if so, I would like to offer a prime piece of Florida real estate at an unbeatable price...

[ Parent ]
Re: worrying about NK and not China (none / 0) (#94)
by radish on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:55:46 AM EST

like turning your back on a 6' 250 well-muscled boxer who's winding up his punch to deal with his scrawny computer nerd brother

what an apt simile.  how come you're so realistic about NK and yet (IMHO) so naive about Iraq?

[ Parent ]

Because there's no other logical reason (4.33 / 3) (#225)
by godix on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:20:48 PM EST

I can't think of any other real reason for the war. It isn't about oil, if it was we would have grabbed it in 1991. It isn't about human rights, we were never motivated by that before. It isn't about terrorism (at least directly), I doubt anyone seriously thinks there's links between terrorism agains the US and Iraq. It isn't even about Saddam being a cocky bastard who seems to be doing his best to provoke us into attacking, he's been doing that 12 years.

The only real explanation I see for Bush's push to war is that the Iraq situation has been SNAFU for quite a long time. America was tying up it's troops and money into keeping the status quo over the last decade. 9/11 showed quite clearly that the status quo was dangerous (remember, that was all about Bin Laden wanting us out of Saudi Arabia). Bush & co decided it's time to end the SNAFU. That basically means either just packing up and coming home OR it means overthrowing Saddam then packing up and come home. For whatever reason Bush decided overthrowing Saddam was the correct course of action. I personally support just packing up and leaving, but I at least understand the motives to getting rid of Saddam.

If you have a better explanation of this war let me know, but keep in mind I've already heard all the typical answers and reject them.


Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]

Re: Because there's no other logical reason (none / 0) (#240)
by ptudor on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:44:47 PM EST

I doubt anyone seriously thinks there's links between terrorism agains the US and Iraq.

There's a Salon article from last month that surprised me. I was as hopeful as you until I read the article:

Of those surveyed, only 17 percent knew the correct answer: that none of the hijackers were Iraqi.

-- pt933
[ Parent ]

I would have expected at least in the 40% range (1.00 / 1) (#254)
by godix on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:45:28 PM EST

Although in the nation of Jaywalking lord knows why I'd expect that.


Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]
if you're willing to wade through some links (none / 0) (#287)
by radish on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 05:42:36 PM EST

you can go straight to the source at http://www.newamericancentury.org/

otherwise, suffice to say that control of Iraq is the linchpin of a US effort to protect it's position of dominance over world affairs at a time when the geopolitical landscape left behind by WWII is changing dramatically.

[ Parent ]

re: trivial (none / 0) (#76)
by chale on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 02:48:56 PM EST

the trivial burying the important is part of the standard practice.the trivial can often be sensationalized to draw a bigger audience while "just the facts" can be rather dry and subject to be taken out of context.i only read about the "boxers or briefs" question in the paper and my reaction was to think that at least Clinton took the chance to be asked that kind of question.my other thought was that the student who asked the question just made the school admin's shit list.

press conferences are supposed to be an opportunity for the public (through the reporters) to question policy.if the President wishes to make announcements without being exposed to questions, there are many avenues available.in fact, it would be nice if the press office would issue statements that laid out official policy.the current trend of trying to tailor response to criticism of unofficial "leaked" policy does not help the public understand what our government's policies are and how those policies came to be and how they will be carried out.

well, being able to find out the trivial details of anyone's life justs highlights the power of today's information retrieval system.i just wish that it was equally easy to find the important information and/or that the important info is/was available at all.

the more we learn about the way this administration handles information, the more it looks like they really would rather not have to let anyone know what they do or want to do.and if the public and the press let them get away with concealing information, we will only have ourselves to blame for what is done without our knowledge and consent.

clarence


Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing had happened.--Winston Churchill
[ Parent ]

China's _nuclear_ program? (1.00 / 1) (#162)
by michaelp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:23:05 PM EST

Since China exploded it's first H-Bomb in 1967, what did Clinton do to help them, go back in time with the anarchist's cookbook?

Not that I think such a claim would be too farfetched for the dittohead network to make...


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Clinton Admin approved missile tech xfer to China (5.00 / 5) (#211)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:07:57 PM EST

It's quite serious actually. While the Clinton administration didn't help China with their nuclear program, per se, they did allow a two US companies to transfer missile technology to China which tremendously helped their ability to build triple stage ICBM missiles. It's also why they have a space program today, and also why North Korea has recently built a three stage missile which can reach the US west coast. See:

Justice Begins Inquiry On China Missile Controversy, CNN, 1998 (got that from a google search). A nastier part of the scandal was that the Democratic Party had also accepted campaign contributions from China before this transfer had been approved. I don't think it was ever clear if Clinton had personally approved the transfer or not, or if he was personally aware of the campaign contributions, but it certainly happened under his watch. It was also never proven that this was a direct quid pro quo for the campaign contribution.

But no matter how you look at the issue, it was a terrible mistake for the administration which has had serious security consequences afterward. And that the Democratic Party accepted campaign contributions from a foreign government at all, never mind one which is so obviously an adversary, shows extremely poor judgment.

I may be a liberal, but honestly one must admit that was a major fuck up.

Cheers,
--Maynard


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Reference? (5.00 / 1) (#249)
by michaelp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:53:44 PM EST

why North Korea has recently built a three stage missile which can reach the US west coast

Reference? AFAIK, there is no evidence other than NK propganda that the TD-2 can actually reach the US (or even fly).

Nor is there any evidence that the TD-2 is based on technology stolen from the US, in fact the tested TD-2 appears (from the four first stage engines) to be based on Chinese technology from their DF-31 missiles, which were sucessfully tested in 1995-96.

Both the FAS and the UCS report that TD-2 capabilities are unknown.

So what is the source for your claim that the TD-2 can reach US soil?


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Good rebuttal: those are excellent links (none / 0) (#255)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:50:06 PM EST

I'm clearly wrong. I had heard that the three stage missile the NK's are developing were based on Chinese help gleaned from the Clinton administration era technology transfer, but I don't have a reference to back that up. Your source most definitely trumps mine. :) Thanks, that's a fascinating read. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
Help (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by godix on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:42:00 PM EST

Since China exploded it's first H-Bomb in 1967, what did Clinton do to help them

He gave them the technology to explode their next H-Bomb on American soil. Maynard explained it well enough I'm not going to repeat him, but basically it boils down to there is a huge appearance of impropriety in the Clinton administrations dealings with China. After 8 years of Clinton is there much doubt that the appearance of impropriety with him probably means something impropriety did go on?


Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]
If you knew this (none / 0) (#244)
by michaelp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:24:55 PM EST

what was the point of saying that Clinton helped China with their nuclear program when you meant multi-stage rocket program?

But that claim also has an accuracy problem: China's ICBMs have been able to reach US soil since 1971, the Loral controversy occured in 1997. So whatever Clinton's failings, "He gave them the technology to explode their next H-Bomb on American soil." certainly isn't one of them.

What is the point of making such obviously inaccurate statements anyway? Do you think you are talking to a bunch of children you can scare with a boogyman here?


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Timeline from your source (none / 0) (#252)
by godix on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:36:40 PM EST

what was the point of saying that Clinton helped China with their nuclear program when you meant multi-stage rocket program?

While technically inaccurate, many view the delivery systems as part of a nuclear program. Having the capability to hit America with a nuclear weapon is at least as important as having the nuclear weapon to begin with.

China's ICBMs have been able to reach US soil since 1971

Quotes from your source:

  1. : "Development problems evidently precluded initial deployment of the DF-5 as an operational ICBM"
  2. : "two long-range shots were made into the Pacific Ocean.... There seems to be agreement that the first shot was a success.... The second shot may well have been a failure"
  3. : "China inaugurated a DF-5 modification program to arm these ICBMs with MIRVed warheads. Technical difficulties, however, have stalled the program."
  4. : "as of 1992 only four DF-5 missiles on alert"
  5. : "some 8-11 were deployed"
  6. : "at least 13 missiles were deployed"
  7. : "the deployed DF-5 force consisted of "fewer than 25" missiles"
  8. : "the total deployed DF-5 force was generally estimated at about 20 missiles"
  9. : "some sources suggested that the total force was as many as 24 deployed missiles"
During Clintons 8 years China deployed six times as many missles as it had during that last twenty-one years. Chinas problems with hitting America were due to 'technical difficulties'. The Clinton administraton allowed technology for delivery systems to be sold to China. Clinton took donations from China. If you start to connect these facts together you'll see where I'm coming from. If you believe giving countries opposed to America aid in targetting the US with nuclear weapons is 'a boogyman' then that's fine, but don't insult me by being worried a US president helped our enemies increase their nuclear missles by 600%.

BTW: Thanks for the link, it helped back my statements.


Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]

Damn autoformat (none / 0) (#253)
by godix on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:39:06 PM EST

that timeline should be in the form of '1971:, 1990:, etc.' Sorry about the autoformatting screwup. Please mentally insert a 1 before each date, except for the last one which should have a 2.


Love - A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
[ Parent ]
No facts to substantiate that conclusion (none / 0) (#266)
by maynard on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:38:46 AM EST

The Clinton administraton allowed technology for delivery systems to be sold to China. Clinton took donations from China. If you start to connect these facts together you'll see where I'm coming from.

First of all, what I've read is that the Clinton administration allowed a technology transfer for two private companies, akin to allowing a private company sell crypto or other dual use weapons technologies, for the express purpose of space research. This doesn't mean Clinton was directly involved or knew a thing about it. I haven't seen any news articles which claim direct involvement by President Clinton.

Second of all, it was the Democratic National Committee, headed at the time by (I think) Chairman Steve Grossman, who accepted those donations. The donations were funneled through a third party, not directly by the government, but the third party had obvious ties to the PRC if a security check had been done.

So, to claim a direct quid pro quo between campaign contributions from China to Clinton for nuclear missile technology to China is dubious. This was not arms for hostages. And ostensibly the sale was to help their space program, not for weapons deployment. But we all know the cross technologies between space and the military. I was unaware that China had already developed their own triple stage missiles previously though. That's a gem of a reference. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

And during Bush's first year (5.00 / 1) (#269)
by michaelp on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 03:03:44 AM EST

Islamic terrorist killed more than 6 times as many Americans as during Clinton's 8 years.

However, to blame either for the events that occured during their terms without drawing actual links between actions of Bush or Clinton that caused these events is simply dishonest.

The only link you've even attempted to draw happened long after the DF-5's were sucessfully deployed.

you start to connect these facts together you'll see where I'm coming from.

Only if I knew so little about the situation and foolishly trusted your word on the matter. You've completely mixed up the situation: the DF-5s and 5As have been deployed for decades with the range & accuracy to reach the US. Meanwhile Clinton's hiring of Chinese rockets to launch communications satellites was simply a continuation of a policy begun by Bush and Reagan: there is no evidence that any thing more extraordinary took place, certainly nothing (other than perhaps increased trade which left the Chinese Govt. with more money) that would cause the Chinese to suddenly be able to deploy 15 more ICBMs than they had in '93.

Nor do the increase in numbers make the DF-5 a potential first strike weapon, they don't have the range for a first strike weapon (they can't reach the eastern midwest), and the difference between 5 of them to 20 makes them no more effective as a first strike weapon.

The replacement missile, the three stage DF-31, tested in 1995-96, is more accurate (although there is no evidence that this increase in accuracy has anything to do with anything Clinton did, or Bush1, or Reagan), but it's very short range for an ICBM makes it even more useless as a first strike weapon. At best Chinese ICBMs are revenge weapons that might survive a US first strike.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
and the sad thing is (4.37 / 16) (#7)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 02:05:24 PM EST

He still didn't do a very good job.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Don't matter President = Pope in US imagination. (2.75 / 4) (#33)
by Mr Hogan on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 08:56:08 PM EST

The President's stature transcends the abilities and descriptions reserved for common men he and the Pope lead by their spiritual presence - it oozes out of them - ever see the Pope? A debate would kill him.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Have you suffered major head trauma? (5.00 / 3) (#59)
by Demiurge on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 06:19:36 AM EST

Or have you simply confused obscurity with profundity? Perhaps you simply lack a basic understanding of the english language. Considering Bush's approval ratings have been sinking since 9/11. But don't let facts get in the way of your clumsy attempts at political rhetoric.

[ Parent ]
Yes they've been sinking upwards since 9/11. (3.00 / 2) (#66)
by Mr Hogan on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 11:50:53 AM EST

It was best tragedy ever.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Ok the caffeine is working now. (1.00 / 1) (#67)
by Mr Hogan on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:11:57 PM EST

Polls are for firemen and strippers. Reverential deference to the Presidency is for Nazis and Americans. So anyway I think this account of yours - it bores me says polarizing things never interesting things though I will admit your comment ratings are a good way to spot terriers. Troll another site please your work here is hurting people by spurring the influential white middle class lonely male vote to petition its government to wage war on a helpless people and call them Saddam.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

I think you need another double shot latte (4.50 / 2) (#68)
by 6502 on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:18:16 PM EST

'Cause what I read doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

[ Parent ]
Well you're only a 6502. (1.00 / 1) (#69)
by Mr Hogan on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:29:06 PM EST

Not even megahertz range.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

You are so wrong, loser P4 (3.00 / 2) (#70)
by 6502 on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:49:10 PM EST

I'm plugged into an original Apple II motherboard (not the II+, certainly not the //e -- can't boot from a floppy off of me without manually bootstrapping in hex from the monitor, dude) at a speedy 1.0 MHz. And I don't even need any caffeine to get up to speed, I'm there on powerup. [BEEP!] Just give me +5, -5, and +12 and I'm roar'n to go! I'm the Harley of old time processors, you pip squeak Hyundai of a P4.

0x7f

[ Parent ]

Yeah ok how big is your floppy. (1.00 / 1) (#72)
by Mr Hogan on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:53:04 PM EST


--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Single Sided / Single Density Shugart goodness (3.00 / 2) (#73)
by 6502 on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 02:00:37 PM EST

YEAH! All ninety un-fucking-formatted KiloBytes of me! That's right; I'm fine! Do a little jig for me! Hmmmph!

0x7f

[ Parent ]

What are you smoking? (none / 0) (#289)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 06:40:24 PM EST

Reverential deference? The pope some of that. The president gets little of that. I'm sure almost every president got his share of seething hatred from the American people. There's plenty of Bush hating Americans who regularly come to this site.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
bought new shoes? (3.28 / 7) (#8)
by dr k on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 02:14:31 PM EST

Is that some sort of sexual metaphor?


Destroy all trusted users!

Don't think so... (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by gauntlet on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 09:34:59 PM EST

I believe it's some sort of a political metaphor to indicate that the person that bought new shoes thought the occasion was important.

I think it's used to refer to the minister of finance presenting a budget in the house of commons, here in Canada.

This is, of course, wild conjecture.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

Something just occurred to me... (3.00 / 5) (#9)
by RelliK on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 02:32:35 PM EST

I am forgetting German, so could a native speaker please answer this: does the word fleischer mean butcher? Now that's an interesting coincidence!
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
a german english dictionary agrees with you.... (none / 0) (#11)
by DominantParadigm on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 03:09:24 PM EST

Butcher of Baghdad? It's predestiny!

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
Yes (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by sinexoverx on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 03:52:20 PM EST

I might add, it's a good thing Gore is not our president. (by the same thinking)

[ Parent ]
Further (4.50 / 4) (#65)
by Happy Monkey on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 10:52:05 AM EST

Our current president must be a pussy.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
...and Dick is his VP. (nt) (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by I am Jack's username on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 04:52:29 PM EST


--
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
Bush and Dick, what a team! (3.00 / 2) (#97)
by MrYotsuya on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:52:18 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Don't forget Colon [nt] (3.66 / 3) (#103)
by Mazaev2 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:37:09 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Rumsfeld (none / 0) (#109)
by k2r on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:19:13 AM EST

Yes, Fleischer is the German word for butcher.

And Rumsfeld reminds of a bomb testing ground:

Rumms = sound an exploding bomb does
Feld = Field, Ground

Pure coincidence i suppose...

k2r

[ Parent ]

bogus (2.00 / 2) (#24)
by tweetsygalore on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 06:13:18 PM EST


so what's next?  they're going to do a Hollywood and forbid being asked certain questions?  wimps.  UGH, C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
if you try to please everyone, you please no one (2.25 / 4) (#30)
by tiger on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 08:12:43 PM EST

I voted +1FP for your original article, but for this new version I voted -1.

The reason I changed my vote is because your original story was soon to make the front page (voting here), and you cancelled it. You cancelled it!

Some of the K5 comments made on your original article suggested that you had misinterpreted the extent of the scripting. Okay, maybe you did, but the comments had already covered that.

When you cancelled that story for your own selfish reasons, you betrayed all those who had written comments.

--
Americans :— Say no to male genital mutilation. In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child



I included a link to the original... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
by maynard on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 08:26:17 PM EST

...see the bottom of the article. No comments were lost. But I didn't cancel it for selfish reasons. In fact I knew that it was going to survive to teh front page. I canceled it because it was both misleading and factually wrong. That's not news, that's a lie. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
You did the right thing (4.80 / 5) (#47)
by rusty on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 12:25:34 AM EST

I'm disappointed in the extreme that this isn't doing better. It is a much, much better article. The problem, of course, is that it now is an intelligent and accurate article about a fairly abstract issue, whereas before it was an inaccurate and biased article that made Bush look bad. The first version was going up like a rocket, this one is struggling.

And we wonder why the media just keeps on giving us the lurid and sensational, rather than the facts. You get the media you demand.

Nevertheless, you should be proud of the process to get to this version. You did good.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Thank You...[wipes tear from eye] (none / 0) (#48)
by maynard on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:09:11 AM EST

Well, no, I'm not really crying. :) But thank you very much for what you said. It matters far more to me than the final outcome of this submission. Best. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
Part of the reason.. (none / 0) (#88)
by Kwil on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 07:30:49 PM EST

..is actually related to Demiurge's comment above.

The first story was a mountain.

This one really is more of a molehill.

Important, yes, but not nearly as important as the White House actually scripting the questions.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
He pleased me (4.85 / 7) (#34)
by godix on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 09:12:52 PM EST

Because of his mistake the first article came accross as a blatently biased lying piece of shit. Despite the fact that K5 is full of people who like blatently biased pieces of shit as long as it's their bias being supporting, Maynard pulled the article and replaced it with something factually correct. I like that someone is treating their beliefs with enough esteem to correct lies and half-truths. It took almost a year, but I found someone on this board who thinks honesty is more important than a chance to take pot-shots at Bush or America. I still think this is a non-issue but Maynard's actions derserves my respect and +1.


If McDonalds began putting little Klansmen statues in their happy meals and talked about how neat it was to be white and proud...
- The Parent ]
Thank you (5.00 / 3) (#35)
by maynard on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 09:23:41 PM EST

And frankly, even if this goes down in flames I still think I made the right decision. There will always be another submission. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
Who cares. He didn't answer the questions anyway. (4.64 / 28) (#40)
by criquet on Sat Mar 08, 2003 at 10:03:37 PM EST

It didn't matter what was asked. Bush just kept saying the same thing over and over. "Saddam bad", "UN Resolution", "War", blah, blah, blah.

There were only a few good questions asked and Bush just kept spewing the same garbage without ever answering the questions. Why didn't any of the Press press him for an answer? I think it's because they selected people that wouldn't or they weren't given the opportunity. And for me, that's the problem with having the conference scripted the way it was.

The fourth branch must be willing and able to keep the others on their toes.

Go back to the electronic soma of MTV, monkey. (1.68 / 19) (#58)
by Demiurge on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 06:15:29 AM EST

Either that or work on that trainwreck of HTML webpage.

[ Parent ]
Ouch! That hurts. I'm so upset now. (3.33 / 9) (#61)
by criquet on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 08:56:00 AM EST

Let me see if I can respond in kind.

Nanny, nanny boo boo, stick you head in doo doo.

If I ever want an nonsensical, childish comment, I now know who to seek.

[ Parent ]

Why I revoked the previous post (4.23 / 17) (#52)
by maynard on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 04:16:33 AM EST

I took great pains to be as factual and balanced in the resubmission as possible. This, however, is a comment, which I think is the right place to present my opinion. And I'm a pretty opinionated guy. so I'll say my peace and be done with it.

Some think that what happened during the press conference is really no more than a tempest in a teapot and not worth covering. Others are possibly just plain sick of reading about Bush and politics. It's your vote, do as you will. But a few are clearly annoyed that I killed a submission that was near the threshold of being posted, sort of a grasping defeat from the jaws of victory. Why would I have pulled a submission that was doing so well? Christ, it was about to go to the Front Page!

Because it was factually wrong. When I originally wrote the article I honestly thought the Bush administration had brazenly collected the questions beforehand, selected who they would call upon based on this, and then handed Bush a list before he walked out into the East Room. Seems crazy that one might think such a thing in the United States, with our representative democracy and a Free Press. But, frankly, that was the strangest press conference I've ever seen. I watched the entire event on C-SPAN, saw Bush's gaffe with the word "scripted", and immediately thought that he had accidentally stated something which wasn't supposed to leak.

I've been out sick for much of this week with the flu so I had an opportunity to see Fleischer's press briefing live. When I saw the two reporters make their comments, and Ari actually admit that the reporters had been preselected, I thought I had it bagged. Here was incontrovertible proof that the administration was engaging in Soviet style Pravda shenanigans. The sad thing is that even now I wouldn't put it past them. I'll simply state my opinion by quoting Helen Thomas, who summed him up like The Simpson's comic-book-guy: worst-President-ever. Well, actually her exact words were, "This is the worst president ever," and "He is the worst president in all of American history." Here is one reference. And another. Those were her exact words. And when the woman labeled "The First Lady of the Press", one who has been privy to just about every administration press conference since JFK says such a thing, it's time to take notice. And hell, while I didn't vote for Gore, I never liked Bush either. Just look up my previous submissions in the archive. But I'm biased. We all are.

So I was willing to believe that this was possible. I still am. We've seen so many civil liberties revoked since 9/11: stupid airport searches of the elderly; a ridiculous arrest over a T-Shirt with the innocuous text "Give Peace a Chance" printed upon it; Homeland Security terrorist threat levels yo-yo'd back and forth seemingly for political gain and with nothing furthering safety to show for the trouble. And, of course, there is the large domestic and foreign popular opposition to the administration's current war effort with Iraq. Bush is in one hell of a tough situation. If he accepts domestic and foreign popular will to go through the UN, this war will almost certainly not happen. And that will likely result in the failure of his re-election in '04. If he is able to push through the war and win decisively, and quickly, he may yet be re-elected with strong popular support. He has good reason to manipulate the press right now as this is a decisive moment in his Presidency.

So, that is the backdrop of what I was thinking as I wrote that article. Unfortunately, I was wrong and the facts don't support that assertion. I still think what the administration did was sleazy and underhanded. I think it's wrong. I think it undermines a free press, and as such it undermines our democratic republic. And I bet the White House reporters are seething over this. I bet they feel cheated. Rightly so. If you watch and listen to the video you'll hear many of the press core yelling in dissent. This is not the way to convince an educated citizenry that our President is competent enough to handle direct questioning from a free press. But neither is it Pravda.

There are many conservatives here who support Bush, as is their right. I may disagree with their position but I won't disparage the President with false claims of wrongdoing. It comes down to that. His administration preselected which reporters to call. Whatever one may think of this it is not the same as screening the questions beforehand. Certainly by doing so they were able to select those reporters who would offer them the best softball questions. And they were able to exclude Helen Thomas from asking a question, who has never been excluded during a press conference in all her years of service before (though they appear to have a beef with her after her comments were made public). But they didn't confabulate the news out of thin air. Those are the facts. So I just had to revoke that article. I just didn't want my name tied to something so clearly false and misleading.

I'm sorry if that causes this resubmission to fail. But I would do it again. It was the right thing to do.

Thanks,
--Maynard


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

You made a mountain out of a molehill, so now... (3.66 / 3) (#57)
by Demiurge on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 06:14:09 AM EST

that you've realized there was no mountain, you're resubmitting the molehill?

[ Parent ]
Not a molehill. What would happen in the UK? (4.44 / 9) (#63)
by maynard on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 09:55:43 AM EST

I think what happened is very important. It, at least publicly, sets a terrible precedent for formal news conferences. This is not how a Free Press should interact with the leadership of a representative democracy. Compare what happened to what the UK Prime Minister must face at a press conference. Same for most other democracies throughout Europe. The leader is expected to take a pummeling from the press unscripted on camera live, and respond intelligently with reasonable policy. Hell, the PM faces the House of Commons questioning on camera must often deal with extreme rancor from House Members of parties in the opposition (and sometimes his own). In this manner the public is educated on policy and how that policy has been thought through by the leadership. The US has seen this type of open discussion and questioning before in prior Republican administrations. I see no reason why the US citizenry should have to relinquish a basic right of the press to directly question our leaders in a formal setting without either being "managed" by White House staff out of their questions or the fear of being banished out of the press pool for their audacity at asking. Like I said, what happened isn't Pravda, but it sure ain't a free press either.

And let's look at some of the critical policy issues this administration refuses to answer. WTF is going on with North Korea? We Play it cool and refuse to hld bilateral discussions and they respond by restarting their previously frozen plutonium enrichment facilities and then publicly threatening a nuclear standoff. This is not good. And instead of formulating a consistent policy between Iraq and North Korea on how we handle rogue states Bush instead issues statements like:

Q Thank you. Another hot spot is North Korea. If North Korea restarts their plutonium plant, will that change your thinking about how to handle this crisis, or are you resigned to North Korea becoming a nuclear power?

THE PRESIDENT: This is a regional issue. I say a regional issue because there's a lot of countries that have got a direct stake into whether or not North Korea has nuclear weapons. We've got a stake as to whether North Korea has a nuclear weapon. China clearly has a stake as to whether or not North Korea has a nuclear weapon. South Korea, of course, has a stake. Japan has got a significant stake as to whether or not North Korea has a nuclear weapon. Russia has a stake. [...]

Does that mean that Iraq is not a regional issue? WTF does that mean? How does that consistently express our concern over Saddam manufacturing and then potentially selling WMD to other small terrorist states and stateless terrorist organizations, but not Kim Jong Il, who has in fact stated that he has and will build the most dangerous kind: nuclear, and has in fact been caught selling missile technology to real terrorist states like Sudan and Yemon? Bush and his administration appear to be unable to present any kind of policy WRT this, and no amount of "managing" the message is hiding that truth.

The disastrous Miguel Estrada nomination is another good example of how Bush misread the political landscape and refuses to accept the reality of his situation. Regardless of whether you think he's suited to be a federal judge, you must admit that Bush has expended so much political capital, fighting on so many fronts for his domestic and foreign policy agendas, that he is failing to win broad support.

Members of his own party are even publicly in opposition to some of his other policies, such as the his dividend tax cut. Hell, even Alan Greenspan, certainly no political liberal, has stated that he is concerned about how that might affect future budgets, thus signaling some opposition from the Federal Reserve.

In a real press conference reporters would be able to ask hard questions and then a biting followup if the President hadn't at least come close to answering. These are legitimate criticisms of policy and the citizenry deserves some kind of reasonable answer from our adminstration. But all we got was "managed" much. I don't respect Bush for what happened, because I just can't call that leadership.

Cheers,
--Maynard


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Absolutely nothing would happen. (2.66 / 3) (#80)
by Demiurge on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 04:32:11 PM EST

Because it's common practice there too. Really, there's absolutely nothing sinister or outrageous about all of this, you're just grasping at straws since you failed to realize what the facts were the first time around.

[ Parent ]
Well.. (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by Dresen on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 07:12:46 AM EST

..do you have any evidence to back that up?

-===-
Forgive people.
[ Parent ]

RE: North Korea (2.50 / 2) (#137)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:14:07 PM EST

I don't know why people can't seem to get this through thier heads.

Even though North Korea acts in many ways (not all) similar to Iraq we very well can't treat them like Iraq because they have different CAPABILITIES. As much as we might like to deal with North Korea like Iraq if we did Seoul would be sitting under a mushroom cloud right now.

Part of the whole reason we're doing what we are doing in Iraq today is so that 10 years from now we don't have to ponder the possibility of Tel Aviv sitting under a mushroom cloud.

Heck China's invasion of Tibet wasn't all that dissimilar from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Does that mean because we can't stop a powerfull nation from doing something like that... when a nation which we DO have the capability to stop engages in such actions we have to ignore it?

The world isn't utopia. You pick your battles, you fix the problems you are capable of fixing. You don't throw yourself in front of speeding train even for a good cause... not unless you are forced to.

No do you actualy expect any politician (even one as tactless as GWB) come out and say that directly?

[ Parent ]

That line of logic... (2.50 / 2) (#163)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:31:38 PM EST

As much as we might like to deal with North Korea like Iraq if we did Seoul would be sitting under a mushroom cloud right now.

...that since NK just recently built a nuclear weapon we can't possibly treat them with a consistent WMD policy, simply promotes secret nuclear proliferation among other third world countries. What is implied here is that we'll spank you hard if we care (Iraq), and if you can't fight back (Iraq), but if you can build yourself a nuclear arsenal (North Korea) for self defense, we'll back off. I think that's a serious policy blunder. I think we would be much better off following a coordinated multilateral / multinational approach to preventing proliferation through the UN, rather than continuing this policy of diluting UN in furtherance of our current pax Americana empire building. I fear that will lead to nuclear weaponry scattered all over the third world, which can't possibly lead to greater world safety. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Line of reasoning (5.00 / 3) (#200)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:18:09 PM EST

It's an interesting line of reasoning. However it makes some very important assumptions that I think simply don't bare out;

1) The primary motivation for a millitaristic dictator to build nuclear weapons is so that they can prevent U.S. interference in thier actions.

  Israel, Pakistan and India all have developed nuclear arsenals in recent years. I think you'd be hard pressed to make a case that any of those nations (particularly Israel and India) had legitimate concerns about U.S. millitary intervention against them.

  Millitaristic dictators want nuclear weapons for the very same reasons that they build large conventional armys and tend to restrict freedoms in thier own nations. It gives them firmer control over the reigns of power. Allows them to project power into the region against weaker states and deters ANYONE (including the U.N.) from interering with them.

 Essentialy such people want power for powers sake. I suspect that even if the U.S. was entirely isolationist that would hold equaly true.

2) There is any way other then the use of force to prevent such regiemes from acquiring nuclear weapons. I hate to bring the WWII analogy into play here but I think it's apt. In the late 1930's the Western Allies thought that they could negotiate with Germany peacefully....they would make certain concessions in return for Germanys assurance that it would not make any further demands and thus could avoid war (i.e. "Appeasement"). The real failing of that policy was that it relied on the false assumption that Germany had any intention to abide by the obligations it made and that the breach of such obligations were of any consequence to the German leadership. While I don't think it would be accurate to compare any nations situation today to 1936 Germany, the practice of making agreements for temporary political advantage that one has absolutely no intention of honoring and then going ahead and doing what one wants anyway is DEFINATELY not something which is unique to the Nazis.

I think it was in 1994 that North Korea signed a non-proliferation treaty with the U.S. In return for abandoning thier nuclear weapons program, the U.S. provided North Korea with billions of dollars in aid and technology (mostly related to power generation). However, North Korea NEVER had any intention of honoring that obligation. They accepted our aid money.... meanwhile they simply moved the public aspects of thier nuclear weapons program underground and blissfully continued their nuclear weapons program in secret.... which is why they have nuclear weapons today.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that other totalitarian regimes wouldn't pull exactly the same stunt unless they believed that there was credible threat for the use of force against them if they did.

3) The U.N. has both the RESOLVE and the ABILITY to enforce the treaties it signs with individual nations and to take decisive action (including the use of force) when nations place the world (or at the very least a Region) in jeopardy by reneging on such treaties.

   It's been what 12 years, since the Cease Fire Agreement requiring Iraq to disarm was signed. We're still waiting for Iraq to fulfill it's obligations....and while it's cooperation might have "increased"  (strangely coininciding with the deployment of U.S. forces to the Gulf) in recent months.... according the UNMOVIC it still is not "fully cooperating" with the weapons inspections.

I think the fiasco with the Iraq situation clearly demonstrates that the U.N. has neither the RESOLVE or ABILITY to enforce the treaties it makes.... particulary when several of the more influential member states have vested interests in not enforcing them.

I'm all for the "coordinated multilateral / multinational" approach. That definately is the best option.... but at the end of the day if that's not going to happen (and I think it's clearly been demonstrated that it wont) and a problem DOES need to be resolved... then you're better off dealing with it unilateraly then closing your eyes and hoping it will go away.

[ Parent ]

So many factual errors... It's hard to begin... (5.00 / 1) (#277)
by maynard on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:00:49 PM EST

Israel, Pakistan and India all have developed nuclear arsenals in recent years. I think you'd be hard pressed to make a case that any of those nations (particularly Israel and India) had legitimate concerns about U.S. millitary intervention against them.

No. India and Pakistan tested their nuclear arsenal back in 1998 in a tit for tat show of nuclear strength over the longstanding Kashmir boarder conflict, over which three wars have been fought since the 1947 division of the two countries due to ethnic and religious conflict.

Israel, OTOH, has had nuclear weapons since the late '50s. These weapons were provided by France, and were not developed internally. Obviously, they were not given over as a nuclear deterrent to the US, nor honestly as a deterrent to the Soviet Union. Israel has much worse enemies locally.

I think it was in 1994 that North Korea signed a non-proliferation treaty with the U.S. In return for abandoning their nuclear weapons program, the U.S. provided North Korea with billions of dollars in aid and technology (mostly related to power generation).

No. The Nuclear nonproliferation Treaty is an international treaty written under United Nations mandate and signed by nearly all the nations of the world, including North Korea - though they have just recently revoked their signature. Here is the text of that treaty. It is verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency, who provides annual reports on the status of WMD proliferation to the United Nations Security Council.

In October of 1994, under threat of a second immediate Korean war, the United States and North Korea signed a treaty named The Agreed Framework. North Korea agreed with the United States to shut down two graphite nuclear reactors, at the time generating electricity but also capable of enriching weapons grade plutonium, in exchange for a the promise that we would finance and build Light Water Reactor(s) for generating 2000 MegaWatts of electricity. In the interim we would supply them with enough oil to offset their loss in electrical capacity. These graphite reactors can enrich enough plutonium for about six nuclear weapons a year, so the Clinton administration stopped what would have been both an immediate second Korean war and the near immediate proliferation of nuclear weapons in North Korea.

After signing the Agreed Framework the North Koreans continued to clandestinely develop a Uranium enrichment facility, which could potentially develop a single nuclear weapon within several years due to the nature of the process. This did not formally break the Agreed Framework, because there was nothing within that agreement which related to uranium enrichment. Clinton's diplomats made a big mistake here. However, as Clinton was leaving office his staff informed the Bush Administration of NK's uranium development program and offered several policy recommendations, none of which were followed.

During the President's 2002 State of the Union Speech he stated that Iran, Iraq, and North Korea represent an "axis of evil". Previously he had also publicly stated that Kim Jung Il "made his stomach churn." Apparently, this offended the leader of North Korea, who later openly admitted to US diplomats publicly to the world his uranium enrichment facilities, and thus offered President Bush a big FUCK YOU in reply. The United States responded by cutting off food aid and oil, the oil portion being part of the Agreed Framework. North Korea responded back by reactivating it's graphite nuclear reactors, thus again being capable of generating enough plutonium for about six nuclear fission bombs a year. In addition, North Korea has recently been not so subtly threatening Nuclear War with the United States over the standoff, and has is thought to have also recently developed a triple stage missile capable of reaching United States borders. This is what is known as a Nuclear Standoff.

Your third point is simply a bunch of assertions without facts to substantiate as well. At least I've heard them stated enough times from Republican talking heads blathering their talking-points on cable TV "debate" shows. I suspect you've only seen the administration views and not bothered to verify any facts reported in print. Might I suggest you consume news from a more varied set of sources?

Best,
--Maynard


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

In what way (none / 0) (#299)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 11:03:51 AM EST

I don't see in what way your post has contravened the assertions I made.

Assertions:

 1) Regimes want nuclear arsenals for a whole host of reasons which often have nothing to do with the U.S. and U.S. policy.

 (You pointed out that Israels aquisition of nuclear weapons wasn't recent but dated back to the 50's, which if true certainly is news to me but still doesn't refute the basic premise of the assertion)

 2) Regimes are willing to break diplomatic treaties both in letter and in spirit to acquire those arsenals.

(I was refering to the "The Agreed Framework" in my post. I did not know that the framework constrained only plutonium and not uranium based weapons - a major snafu by whoever crafted it to be sure. However the intent of the treaty was to prevent North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons, it obviously didn't work as they found a way to circumvent it.... even if they didn't technicaly violate it [maybe they could have debated the meaning of the word IS in the treaty if it had included uranium]. Unless I'm badly mistaken the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is NOT restircted to plutonium based weapons only. North Korea clearly had no intent to abide by that agreement as it never ceased it's nuclear weapons program [whether plutonium based or uranium based] while it was a signatory to the treaty. Still not seeing how this refutes my assertion that nations are willing to disregard treaty obligations in order to accumulate power.

3) With some regimes use of force or credible threat of the use of force is the only means by which to constrain their actions. With these regimes peacefull diplomacy is simply not effective.

(Haven't seen anything in your post to refute that assertion)

4) The U.N. seems to lack both the RESOLVE and the ABILITY to engage in the use of force to curtail dangerous regimes, particularly when certain of it's member states have a vetted interest in supporting those regimes.

(Where is the evidence in your post to refute that point?)

[ Parent ]

Adding one more (none / 0) (#300)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 11:29:38 AM EST

Adding one more assertion which is what started off this whole tanget in the first place:

Assertion:

5) The U.S. is correct in not responding to North Korea in the same manner as Iraq.

Iraq and North Kora both:

 - Are brutal dictatorships that repress thier citizens.

 - Are potential agressors who can destabilize their local regions

 - Are ruled by dictators who enjoy playing games of brinksmanship

 - Are trying to buildup thier NBC arsenals

There are critical differences howerver:

  - Iraq does not CURRENTLY have nuclear weapons or sufficient means of delivering them. North Korea does.

  - Iraqs has biological and chemical weapons but these do not pose a significant threat to a properly equiped army and it does not posses reliable means (that can't be intercepted) for deploying these weapons against civilian population centers. On the other hand, Seoul is in artillery range of North Korean forces.

  - Iraq has lousy defensive terrain.

  - Iraq's armed forces are demoralized and poorly equiped.

  - Iraq can be forcefully disarmed without massive allied/civillian casualties (and probably without massive Iraqi casualties if thier forces are demoralized enough). North Korea can't.

[ Parent ]

Answer. (2.00 / 1) (#168)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:13:55 PM EST

No do you actualy expect any politician (even one as tactless as GWB) come out and say that directly?
Do I expect it? No. But do you really think that our country is better off with our leaders repeating catch phrases and slogans instead of displaying some practical reasoning ability in public?



[ Parent ]

Biggest unanswered question: (3.00 / 1) (#173)
by ethereal on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:43:05 PM EST

My personal vote would be for the question of why, if it's been 12 years already, and the inspections are appearing to make some limited progress, why must there be a war immediately? AFAICT, he entirely sidestepped that question by just stating that if nothing had happened in 12 years, nothing was going to happen now. Which pretty much ignores the fact that some things, at least, are happening now.

Runner-up would be why, if our allies have all the information we have, why have they drawn in some cases diametrically opposed positions from that data? Sure, oil contracts can be part of it, but is that really all there is?

Maybe it's just me, but even a grudging and drawn-out disarmament of Iraq is preferable to a $100-billion war and unknown $billions of reconstruction. I'd rather even wait for the six months that the inspectors say they'll need, than pay for reconstructing Iraq for the next six years of my taxes. And that doesn't even take into consideration the general international ill-will that the whole thing will generate, although probably that ship has already sailed.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

The real making of molehills into mountains (3.00 / 2) (#158)
by michaelp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:13:12 PM EST

was done by the folks who made GW Bush into a President.

Absolutely nothing would happen

Sounds like a direct falsehood to me. Do you have evidence that scripting press conferences is "common practice" over there (western europe)? Do you have any evidence that if it did occur and became public knowledge, nothing would happen????


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Do you like what happened? (3.00 / 2) (#195)
by Gooba42 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:03:18 PM EST

Does it serve you in some way that it doesn't serve the rest of us to have the president buffered from having to give real answers to the hard questions?

I wouldn't necessarily say this is something for which only Bush can be blamed, but I would say that this is something which shouldn't happen. If all of the current candidates for his job pull such nonsense then we need to find new candidates and replace the whole shebang.

Because it's been done before does not make it acceptable for it to be done again. You can't justify merely by precedent.

[ Parent ]

Hehe (2.00 / 2) (#108)
by puppet10 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:09:47 AM EST

I'll simply state my opinion by quoting Helen Thomas, who summed him up like The Simpson's comic-book-guy: worst-President-ever.

Hmm, I wonder why she wasn't called on? ;>

(not that I disagree with the assessment)

[ Parent ]

There's still the money issue (1.00 / 1) (#201)
by Sloppy on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:21:41 PM EST

If he is able to push through the war and win decisively, and quickly, he may yet be re-elected with strong popular support.
The only way Bush is still going to have pop support in 2004, is if after invading Iraq, we find war rebate coupons and pillage them as the spoils of war. It is too late for Bush: even without the war, the colossal amount of money that is being flushed away by the federal government expansion, has completely exposed him as a pseudo-conservative poseur who admires another legendary Texan crusader: LBJ. If the war happens, it will just be that much worse.

Compared to how the economy will be a year and a half from now, we are currently in a 1999-like bubble of extravagant growth and prosperity. The only thing that could save Bush at this point would be if he does a complete 180 right now and admits that the Soviets had the wrong idea about government.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

I'm still trying to figure out... (3.40 / 5) (#53)
by Skywise on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 04:38:07 AM EST

I know the questions were pre-screened but I want to know how, as that makes a big difference in my attitude towards this.

For instance:
If the selected reporters were allowed to submit the questions freely and the White House just got to spend time coming up with the answers, the White House is still responding to original questions.  The White House is still being held to task, but gets a chance to buttress Bush' ad hoc speaking abilities (which everybody knows is lacking).
(Is this worse than the usual tactice of only answering questions from reporters who ask softball questions and giving precanned answers anyway?)

On the other hand...
If the White House cherry picked the questions they would answer (in effect controlling both the questioning and the response)... that's bad.

Questions were not pre-screened by administration (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by maynard on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 04:49:28 AM EST

The president was handed a list of reporters to call upon, and in what order, by Ari Fleischer (by his own admission). They know which who, generally, supports them and who does not. So they pre-excluded from questioning a number of reporters they didn't like and simply followed a set of answers based on the questions they expected from their favorite reporters. However, every formal Presidential press conference I've seen the President has pointed to reporters who were raising their hand to denote who would be allowed to ask the next question. This is supposed to happen at the President's discretion on the fly. He is supposed to respond off the cuff and from the top of his head, though it is expected that he will prepare beforehand through practice sessions with his staff covering expected questions of current events. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
So the questions were NOT pre-screened? (none / 0) (#55)
by Skywise on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 04:51:55 AM EST

I thought I had read that elsewhere besides your last article...

[ Parent ]
If you can provide evidence to the contrary... (none / 0) (#56)
by maynard on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 04:56:07 AM EST

...I would LOVE to see it. Preferably several links from various non-affiliated news sources. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
Let's face it ... (5.00 / 5) (#60)
by pyramid termite on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 08:46:57 AM EST

... if the whole thing was scripted, do you think the media that cooperated in this scripting would talk about it - it would make them look as bad as the President. But that's probably just paranoia.

What I think is that by preselecting the reporters that were to ask questions and by making it clear that questions about Iraq would be preferred, it made the President's job a lot easier. Instead of having to prepare for a lot of questions on lots of subjects he could prepare for just questions on Iraq and North Korea, which gave him the opportunity to come up with pre-formed statements that he could work into his answers without sounding like he was skipping around. It's not exactly scripted, but it's not spontaneous either.

Let's look at the questions asked -

1. Are we close to war? Are we giving him an ultimatum?
2. Are we days away?
3. Are you resigned to N. Korea becoming a nuclear power?
4. Why don't our allies agree with us if they have the same intelligence?
5. Why don't the protesters and others have the same views on this that you do?
6. Is it personal? What's the worst case scenario - what's the cost?
7. Why are these countries disagreeing with us? Why do they think we're arrogant?
8. Is getting Saddam a victory condition?
9. Some people are saying that they haven't seen the evidence and don't understand why blood has to be shed.
10. Are you calling for a vote in the UN, even if you'll lose it?
11. Is the US going to be seen as defiant of the UN if it goes to war? 12. Isn't Turkey making this tougher on us? Do you still support EU membership for them?
13. How is your faith guiding you in this?
14. Do you ever wonder if you're wrong? Couldn't this lead to worse things?
15. Are you going to warn the inspectors before you start this war?
16. When are you going to submit your budget for this war to Congress?
17. Should we prevent N. Korea from getting weapons?
18. What do you say to the Vietnam vets and relatives to assure them you'll handle this differently than that war?
19. The British want to set a deadline - do you agree?

That's 17 questions about Iraq, 2 about N. Korea. I think that only the faith question was a bit unlikely - most of the others were quite predictable, and 5 or 6 of them are close to being duplicates. (I guess the reporters aren't that good at thinking on their feet, either.) There's no questions about the economy or the deficit, no questions about the Patriot Act 2 leak and related subject, no question about the affirmative action case going before the Supreme Court, no questions about our involvement in the Phillipines or Colombia, and no question about Homeland Security or duct tape. Yes, they were told that Iraq would be the subject, but there's no reason a couple of the reporters couldn't have snuck something in. I could go on and on, but the truth is, no one dared throw him a curve ball. The questions weren't that tough and were predictible.

So, technically speaking, they weren't scripted, but they were tacitly coordinated by some sort of gentlemen's agreement. I blame the media more than the President for this. Shame on them for playing dead like this.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Interesting, but I don't think it's new (4.00 / 4) (#64)
by Silent Chris on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 09:58:04 AM EST

I would think with a pre-selected White House press core (which is what is used -- look back to the various press parties presidents have had) that scripting the questions would be easy.  It maybe even unthinkable to do it otherwise.  Remember, Bush was trying to push an agenda that night.  If it means "stacking the cards" in one direction, I think most people would do it.

Most people? (3.66 / 3) (#117)
by avery on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:34:36 AM EST

If it means "stacking the cards" in one direction, I think most people would do it

I think you mean "most totally morally corrupt people" would do it.
Undermining the premises of democracy is _not_ acceptable behaviour from a government - no matter how many administrations have done it in the past. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
You are too cute.. (2.20 / 5) (#128)
by derek3000 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:19:33 AM EST

"Totally morally corrupt"? Um, naw. They haven't undermined the premises of democracy at all. Please stop trolling.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

You do make it sound like it's uncommon (3.00 / 1) (#176)
by Silent Chris on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:01:13 PM EST

Look, it's politics.  The same science that involves tricking people into votes.  Why would democracy be any different after the person is elected?

I think it's morally unacceptable for a person to walk around, willy-nilly, crushing bugs without seeing them.  Clearly, every person should look towards their toes all day long, and make sure they never step on anything.  But, how am I going to enforce that?  It's impractical.

[ Parent ]

JFK (4.00 / 1) (#179)
by Silent Chris on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:08:53 PM EST

"The same science that involves tricking people into votes."

Cynnical and innacurate.

Try going to JFK at Harvard and tell me it's not the case.  

Don't believe that?  Try an official definition.  Check out #4.

[ Parent ]

JFK is... (5.00 / 2) (#193)
by Silent Chris on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:54:41 PM EST

The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.  I attended some classes (not as a full-time student, but off-credit).  Typical discussions were about psychological influence and the "bending" of laws to meet polticians' needs.

Like it or not, politics is just another science.  It's nice that you're idealistic about democracy, but it really doesn't exist as you think.

[ Parent ]

The particular reporter, (4.37 / 8) (#71)
by theforlornone on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 01:52:10 PM EST

who asked this question during this press conference, is pure comic relief. A few weeks ago, during a press conference with Fleisher, (concerning the UN and the Iraq situation) he asked Fleisher about the "bug chasers", (those who've chosen to seek out AIDS intentionally) and what the White House and Bush's administration was going to do about this situation. I've seen the guy before, asking such ridiculous questions, completely irrelevant to the topic of the conference.

While I disagree with pre-selected reporters and questions, I have to admit that reporters like this make really take away from the seriousness of the conference, and do nothing but cause a distraction. But, he's been chosen by Fleisher on several ocassions, for the simple reason of fairness and balance.

--------------
It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!
-Nietzsche
as long as real questions don't get asked (none / 0) (#292)
by sgoldgaber on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 10:36:43 PM EST

Listen to Scott Ritter speak on Iraq, or Ramsey Clark tear apart a Pentagon spokesman on the relentless decade-long bombing of Iraq

It is sharp, eloquent people like that and like DemocracyNow reporters, people who pose tough, probing questions instead of rolling over and begging for a bone every time a blatant lie is told to them that Ari is afraid of. They would, just by their questions alone, bring to light certain issues that the current Administration just doesn't want the world or the nation to even be aware of.

It Fleischer's job as a Propaganda Minister... er, i mean Press Secretary, to deflect consciousness of these issues alltogether, and he does that very well.

Now, if you want to ask questions about "bug catchers", or other irrelevant issues, I'm sure Ari is more than happy to call on you time and time again. It's all part of the circus.

--Sergey

[ Parent ]

Welcome to the world; (3.45 / 11) (#74)
by cavalier on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 02:04:04 PM EST

Press Conferences have been controlled by the smart and capable ever since mass media has been with us. Where have you been? It takes political wrangling to get into the White House.

Doesn't matter if you're going into the oval office or into the press room. Everybody has to do the dance to get into the hall.

While one would hope that established news organizations would still try to "reach for the truth" out of all the lies they're fed, the simple fact is you don't get invited to the president's briefing unless you're entrenched in the "system." Make good reports, earn points towards your next visit. Make a bad report, lose points and run the risk of losing your seat at the next briefing (if you run out of points).

---rant---

As US Citizens we are charged with the task of watching those we place into power. This article should only remind you that you need to think for yourself always and never trust any single mass media outlet as they are all corrupted in their desire to be part of the system. The game corrupts everything, from the top of the ladder to the ground underneath. From the Secretary of State to the local City Council member.

How do we overcome this?

The only truth and opportunity comes from the democratic system we inherit and must always vigilantly protect -- that when the corrupt go astray from the masses at large, the masses at large depose those responsible and choose someone else. This is the ultimate check and balance. Unfortunately, the masses lose sight of this and seem to think the "system" is all powerful and unchangeable.

George Walker Bush became president with less than 1,000 votes in the last election.

Some look at that number and wrongly bitch, "See? It doesn't matter! We cannot effect change, it doesn't matter what we do." I still do not understand this argument. The example so vividly points in the OTHER direction --

Your vote MATTERS. If 1,000 apathetic "left leaning" people had gone to the polls that morning, there would be a different president in office. A different person with the most powerful role in the world. 1,000 votes out of a country of millions upon millions.

As a US citizen it is your upmost GIFT, your CHARGE, your RESPONSIBILITY to stay involved and watch the game. Watch those that are playing, watch those that are winning, (tying back to the article) watch those who are watching.


-- rant passes out

Get a clue (1.00 / 1) (#84)
by jt on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 06:27:23 PM EST

popular vote != electoral vote

You're telling me there was a total margin that slim for all the Bush-controlled states?

[ Parent ]

I realize you've taken social studies, soo... (none / 0) (#89)
by cavalier on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 10:28:04 PM EST

Er, yes, you see, 1,000 votes in Florida would have swung the Florida electoral vote,  the Florida vote was enough points (25) to win the election.


[ Parent ]
Ah, I am a retard. (none / 0) (#91)
by jt on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 11:11:42 PM EST

But still, considering the fiasco that was Florida, there could have been 1000 votes that went uncounted or whatnot.

[ Parent ]
Or simply denied the right. (4.66 / 3) (#104)
by evilpenguin on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:45:02 AM EST

To vote, that is.

I suggest picking up Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men".  This is all explained in the first chapter.  No matter what you may think of him (Moore, that is), the facts he presents are indisputable.

In a nutshell, GW's brother got a list of all the people in Florida convicted of felonies or greater (I believe that was the baseline), then matched that list by name against the list of registered voters, preventing those people from voting.  Obviously, matching by name is a great source of error, as there is most likely more than one person with the same name in a given state.  This process effectively denied many thousands of potential voters from lower-income areas (read: Democrats) the right to vote.

In comparison, those thousand "hanging chads" seem negligible.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]

They did.. (3.75 / 4) (#85)
by Kwil on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 06:47:21 PM EST

If 1,000 apathetic "left leaning" people had gone to the polls that morning, there would be a different president in office

..but they were black.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
it REALLY doesn't matter (none / 0) (#87)
by hn0org on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 07:29:40 PM EST

If 1,000 apathetic "left leaning" people had gone to the polls that morning, so would 1,000 apathetic "right leaning" people had gone. As a US citizen it is our upmost GIFT to stay provincial, to protect local culture from being taken over by federalist morons.

[ Parent ]
That feels more like an excuse for apathy (5.00 / 2) (#90)
by cavalier on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 10:40:58 PM EST

So you argue that the system is indeed unchangeable, and that even if the amount of difference is only, say, 100 people, that this does not matter since another 100 would counter?

I have to bite: Did you vote in the last election? What about the election before that? Do you know who your local elected officials are?

I understand it can be frustrating to vote in a system and end up in the minority, but why would you automatically choose to remove yourself from the system -- thus perpetuate your belief -- that the system is unchangeable?

This is the more or less standard argument I get, and I always have to ask, why empower the injustice you feel is being committed?

[ Parent ]

what matters is how do you make your own living (none / 0) (#274)
by hn0org on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 09:19:50 AM EST

my view is that we really don't need as much attorneys and professional politicians as our system would like us to believe that we need their protection, their rhetoric and their activism to legislate people's genuine compassion into an elaborated capitalist system with its sole objective to exploit other people born in places and in subgroups that haven't come up with our 'profound' comprehension that "gold is wealth".

[ Parent ]
Left leaning and in florida (none / 0) (#102)
by delmoi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:13:23 AM EST

Since I wasn't from FL, my vote didn't matter.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Yea, the World Turned Upside Down (4.00 / 1) (#119)
by Rand Race on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:58:35 AM EST

Press Conferences have been controlled by the smart and capable ever since mass media has been with us.

I think the whole point here is how badly managed this press conference was. These people in the White House are heavy handed, blundering, incompetents who seem to think they can get by on sheer arrogance alone. They are obviously neither particularly smart nor capable. They can't handle the White House press corp, yet we're supposed to believe these maladroits can handle the Arab world?


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

That's not half of it (5.00 / 2) (#131)
by bheerssen on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:41:59 AM EST

When thousands of votes are thrown out for no <b>good</b> reason, when thousands upon thousands of legitimate voters are turned away from the polls, when the voting system itself (aka: butterfly ballots) is poorly designed, we have a much bigger problem than just mobilizing a few hundred voters.

The system needs fixing, and it needs it now.
 I just wish I knew how to do it.

[ Parent ]

Just say "NO" to voting (none / 0) (#290)
by sgoldgaber on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 10:07:15 PM EST

cavalier wrote:
>
> Your vote MATTERS. If 1,000 apathetic "left leaning" people had gone to the polls that
> morning, there would be a different president in office. A different person with the most
> powerful role in the world. 1,000 votes out of a country of millions upon millions.

"If anyone ever seriously thought that his vote counted, surely the Florida freak show of 2000 blew that fantasy into tiny fluttering fragments, showing as it did that it's not the votes that count, but the counters. Whether or not they actually bring out the bearded lady and dog boy, Florida style, be assured that whenever an election is so close that one vote may make a difference, the final decision will be made by bureaucrats, pols, lawyers, and judges. In other words, if other words are needed: not by you." --http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/lights123.htm--

And I have to agree with the Thornwalker article that voting lends an air of legitimacy to a thoroughly illegitimate system.

As they say:

"If voting could make a difference, it would be illegal."

--Sergey

[ Parent ]

GODDAMNIT! This fucking story won't go down! (1.62 / 35) (#83)
by noop on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 06:20:40 PM EST

GODDAMNIT!! gyan promised us here that a he would help "[...]co-ordinate the fastest vote-down in K5 history.", but this fucking post just hangs in there! I've voted against, but it's just not enough. We need to really work together to take this fucking post down! I used to think that it was unfair and naive that people might vote with multiple accounts in the queue, but looking through the voting history I see that gibichung has the right idea. He claims to have numerous accounts in his bio, two of which "Demiurge" and "onyxruby" also voted. Now he's got the idea! And hey, look at all these accounts which voted but have no comments associated with them: And hey, here are more accounts which have almost no postings associated with them but go back years in posting history:
  • Colin Powell three comments. Hasn't posted since 9/01/2002
  • skeptic - three comments. Hasn't posted since 12/21/2002
  • ankhgoel - five comments. Hasn't posted since 12/10/2002
  • seppyk - three comments, two from 2/24/03, one from 8/18/2002
  • GeekTroppo - three comments from 7/15/02 to 1/28/03
  • sctfn - four comments 07/06/02 to 01/01/03
  • kingsquab - one comment 11/17/02
  • limpdawg - five comments 12/07/2002 to 02/15/2002
  • gliptak - four comments from 3/10/2002 to 3/3/2003
  • rthomp1 - two comments from 3/31/02 to 9/08/2002
  • eht - four comments - from 10/2/02 to 3/7/03
  • gutigre - seven comments from 4/29/2002 to 3/9/2003
  • gliptakm - four comments from 3/10/2002 to 3/3/2003
and just recently: This is just circumstantial, I know... But if there are as many multiple votes here as it looks, let me be the first to THANK YOU for helping to clean the queue up the honest and honorable way! Whoever you folks are. But you know, the problem is that you guys didn't make enough accounts! Why don't we go over to hotmail and yahoo and make a couple hundred??? That'll fix the problem. This is a community site and it's up to us to get rid of these fucking obnoxious stories when they pop up in the queue! Christ almighty, otherwise users might think voting for a story actually had some meaning. Silly naive fools!

0x7f

*sniffle* (none / 0) (#86)
by 6502 on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 07:02:14 PM EST

That is the most beautiful troll I've ever seen. You SIR are my hero!

[ Parent ]
Maybe they're not dupe accounts (4.50 / 2) (#93)
by KilljoyAZ on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:39:22 AM EST

Maybe they're just shy. To be fair, Colin Powell's been pretty busy these last 6 months.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
noop also voted -1, so this is a troll (none / 0) (#95)
by bsimon on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:59:35 AM EST

Anyway, we are but facets of the universal consciousness. All accounts are multiple.

you have read my sig
[ Parent ]

Well it just got posted (4.00 / 2) (#100)
by morkeleb on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:30:53 AM EST

95 - Thanks to me =)

You know that is the very first time that has ever happened to me.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Bayesian estimate w/ weighted votes (5.00 / 2) (#101)
by gengis on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:00:35 AM EST

As a jumping off point for discussion...has a system like this been considered previously?

# of Votes = n % t
where:
n = number of posted comments during the past N days
t = comment vote threshold

Score S = (v ÷ (v+m)) X a + (m ÷ (v+m)) X c

where:
v = number of votes for the story
m = minimum required votes
a = average vote for the story
c = average vote for the section

You could even weight the scores based on average comment moderation, though that may be unfair.

[ Parent ]

so... (none / 0) (#125)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:11:57 AM EST

some Kurobots are better than others then, is what you're saying?


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Well, yes (none / 0) (#144)
by gengis on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:37:52 PM EST

Weighting votes based on comments would just make it that much harder to create accounts solely for voting.  Presumably if accounts were created just to vote, and completely random comments made to boost the number of votes associated with that account, the account would be deleted for spamming.

And smoothing the score based on average section vote helps to ensure that the the front page is not overrun with politics, which one might guess would be the most frequent target of a rigged-voting campaign.

[ Parent ]

Bush gets help (3.92 / 13) (#98)
by tiger on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:01:47 AM EST

Apparently, Bush has trouble with a teleprompter, so his handlers have switched him to getting what to say from an earphone that he wears. The story by Jay Weidner is here: Bush The Articulate - Hearing Voices…

Perhaps Bush used this method during his recent primetime “press conference” (I didn’t watch it, so I don’t know if he was pausing periodically so he could hear what to say next).

--
Americans :— Say no to male genital mutilation. In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child



Probably using 2 teleprompters (3.66 / 3) (#99)
by bsimon on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:29:53 AM EST

Jay Weidner's says that Bush's left to right eye movements while giving a speech recently show that Bush isn't reading from a teleprompter - and therefore he must be using an FM radio earpiece.

Actually, it's not unusual for politicians to use 2 or 3 teleprompters when talking to a group of people. That's so the speaker's gaze can move naturally from one side of the group to the other, rather than being fixed. I think Reagan was the first president to use this technique.

I don't know which of Bush's speeches Weidner is describing, because he doesn't bother to say, but I suspect that, despite being a film director, he doesn't know what he's talking about.

you have read my sig
[ Parent ]

Hey (5.00 / 3) (#106)
by Big Dogs Cock on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:23:01 AM EST

You could have real fun if you could get hold of the transmitter.

People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
[ Parent ]
FM transmitter (none / 0) (#182)
by banffbug on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:26:59 PM EST

wouldn't you be able to tune into this with a FM radio? The broadcast range may not be great, but it's possible..

[ Parent ]
Maybe (none / 0) (#273)
by Big Dogs Cock on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 07:03:44 AM EST

I was thinking of fun stuff like maybe ... declaring war on France or something.

People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
[ Parent ]
Well (1.00 / 1) (#111)
by Herring on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:24:29 AM EST

This Weidner character seems to put a lot of effort into criticizing Bush as "inarticulate" and "dyslexic" and then spells "on cue" as "on queue". Hmm.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Well (2.00 / 1) (#140)
by Amesha Spentas on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:18:04 PM EST

I guess it's just lucky that he never claimed he was a poor speller then, huh?

Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
[ Parent ]

Bush has trouble with a teleprompter (3.33 / 3) (#114)
by the on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:02:35 AM EST

For those who are having trouble with the concept of euphemism: that's a polite way of saying he has trouble reading.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
hmmmm (none / 0) (#241)
by gdanjo on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:50:02 PM EST

If Bush does use a simple FM transmitter, it brings up an interesting situation: grab a scanner and listen (then go to prison for being an al-kyeda operative).

It probably wouldn't work anyway; I'd say he uses a super-sekret-service eliptic curve encrypting 12-guage transmitter, like they used in the 'ol West.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

ha ha (2.28 / 7) (#107)
by turmeric on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:43:13 AM EST

and they said the editing queue was stupid/short enough/etc.

Has anyone (4.00 / 1) (#133)
by Amesha Spentas on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:07:58 PM EST

ever explained to you turmeric, that a low number for the score that your rantings receive is indicative of a poor argument? And does not, as you may have believed, mean that you are "Number 1"

Hmm, I may have to change my sig to reflect your type of reasoning.
How about "They, as I, are probably wondering if it were possible that they, too, could have a hit -- just one hit -- of whatever powerful mind-altering muscle-destabilizing spatially-perverting narcotic this guy must be on. But we can only dream."

Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
[ Parent ]

what (none / 0) (#258)
by turmeric on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:29:11 PM EST

what im tryingb to say. look here k5ians. this story was in the queue for like 3 days. last year this story wouldnt have made it. this year, since the scoop update, it has made it. if the 'queue abuse needs to stop' people had their way, this story would never have made it.

[ Parent ]
Queue abuse: coming from the guy who submitted... (none / 0) (#288)
by maynard on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 06:12:05 PM EST

slashdot sucks ass of the military industrial complex

test2

...within a few minutes of one another, I find that quite a hypocritical statement. Whatever. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

testing a bug (5.00 / 1) (#301)
by turmeric on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 12:36:40 PM EST

in the queue. im sayin g'queue abuse ranting' is stupid. if they had their way this story wouldnt have made it.

[ Parent ]
OK, I'll back off. (none / 0) (#302)
by maynard on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 01:02:27 PM EST

Didn't realize you were testing a bug. Curious though, why not test that over at scoop.kuro5hin.org? --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
because uhm... (none / 0) (#303)
by turmeric on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 11:36:51 PM EST

i didnt think of it.

[ Parent ]
This is news? (4.14 / 7) (#110)
by Quila on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:22:34 AM EST

I thought they always did that.  There's no way a president's handlers want hard questions to be thrown at a press conference.

What a handler wants and what they get... (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:47:38 AM EST

... can be two very different things. When the handlers are running the whole show to the point that the whole show is twisted into a mockery of the reason why people come to the show, something has gone quite wrong, IMHO.



[ Parent ]

Handlers (none / 0) (#237)
by rho on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:18:05 PM EST

The President may have once been totally accessible to the press, but that stopped immediately after one reporter took a quote out of context and made it into a scandal.

The press sometimes has an overinflated opinion of themselves--as if they are impartial judges for the lesser three branches of government. In reality, they're just another obstacle to overcome, or tool to prop up the Getting The Message Out.

In this, they've outsmarted themselves. They abused their power by manufacturing, rather than reporting the news; and those in power responded by marginalizing them, or limiting their influence, or (in this case) hiring a phalanx of guards to protect the President.
"The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw
[ Parent ]

Don't leave us hanging... (none / 0) (#270)
by baron samedi on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 03:08:12 AM EST

So, who's the reporter and what did he say out of context, and who was the president?
You can't just bust out with something like that and not tell us...
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Duh. (4.16 / 6) (#112)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:43:03 AM EST

If I were W., I wouldn't trust myself to ad lib jack shit either.

I don't know why they didn't have Tony Bliar on hand to do the Q&A. The podium hand-off would have been a bit awkward, but I'm sure the B-man could have smoothed it over with a charming smile and some quick wit. That man is just darn dreamy, and I find myself far more convinced that there could be a persuasive reason for war when I watch his news conferences in various countries.



and? (3.66 / 6) (#115)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:05:52 AM EST

big deal...so he did not call on Helen and placed her inthe 3rd row. she is not a journalist, she is an editorialist and never askes journalist questions, she makes arguments and editorializes. she gets called on in the breifing becasue she has been there so damn long.

That he didn't completely snub her... (none / 0) (#296)
by bill_mcgonigle on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 09:29:06 AM EST

...says something about who he is.

She's personally insulted the guy and apparently harasses his press secretary.

Some Thomas quotes:
"Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'" Her short list of answers seems not to vary from war, President Bush, timid office-holders, a muffled press and cowed citizens, pretty much in that order.
"This is the worst president ever," she said. "He is the worst president in all of American history."
"I have never covered a president who actually wanted to go to war. Bush's policy of pre-emptive war is immoral - such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. It's as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam," she said to enthusiastic applause.
"Bush has held only six press conferences, the only forum in our society where a president can be questioned. I'm on the phone to [press secretary] Ari Fleischer every day, asking will he ever hold another one?"
Note, she doesn't "disagree" with him or "dislike" him, she "hates" him.

We're trying to fight a war on hate here. I wouldn't have let her in the room.

[ Parent ]
Whoa (none / 0) (#298)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 10:47:53 AM EST

We're trying to fight a war on hate here. I wouldn't have let her in the room.

Whoa, whoa, we're doing what now? A war on hate? Unlike many other types of wars, you don't fight a war on hate by killing people who hate you. That's how you start an escalating pattern of violence. And none of our recent foreign policy seems to have the goal of reducing hate.
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Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
To quote Kaki: "Duh" (3.20 / 10) (#116)
by Dphitz on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:13:40 AM EST

I would be frightened to see Bush try to answer any difficult questions on his own.  I'm sure all the questions were previewed and approved before the damn thing happened.  This is why he speaks so damn slow.  He's got to say it in his head first so it doesn't come out sounding dumb.  If this country wants to keep any credibility, we've got to shield Bush from the hard questions.  

Besides, did we really want to hear that wacky bitch Helen Thomas ask some insane question?  Even the liberal press is embarrassed of her.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

Actually, I can't imagine (none / 0) (#284)
by Scratch o matic on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 04:37:46 PM EST

any reporter submitting a question for review. This is considered virtually taboo in the world of journalism, as far as I know.

[ Parent ]
The media is free not required (3.00 / 6) (#118)
by StormShadow on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:44:53 AM EST

The media is free to ask any question it wants but no one -- not even the President -- is required to answer any questions. If the White House wants to pre-select reporters, screen questions or prepare answers ahead of time it is in no way abridging the freedom of the press. The only questions you are require to answer are those given in a court of law, and even then you are given the right not to answer a question by the 5th Amendment. Bush is a poor public speaker but that doesn't make him an automatic idiot. Pre-screening reporters and questions doesn't make the Republican party the Soviet Politburo. Does anyone here really think there are not any Democrats that engage in similar behavior?


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


It was intentionally misleading. |nt (4.00 / 1) (#121)
by criquet on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:00:33 AM EST



[ Parent ]
The criticism is about ethics, not legality (5.00 / 6) (#122)
by revscat on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:02:34 AM EST

From looking over the above aritcle, I don't see anywhere that the author makes a legal claim about the scripted press conference. Instead he seems to be implying whether or not it is ethical do do so. The President may not be required by law to answer questions, but IMHO he is required by ethics to do so.

Pre-screening reporters and questions doesn't make the Republican party the Soviet Politburo. Does anyone here really think there are not any Democrats that engage in similar behavior?

Why would it matter if Democrats did it? Would that make it any less wrong? I just do not understand this line of reasoning, and I see it quite frequently. "My political opponent does X -- which is wrong -- therefore I have to do X in order to survive." It doesn't change the underlying wrongess of the behavior. Excusing it in this manner does nothing to change this.

This seems to expose a degree of insecurity. I am not one who thinks that the ends justify the means. This is even more true when it comes to the leaders of our nation.



- Rev.
Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
[ Parent ]
reasoning (none / 0) (#129)
by StormShadow on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:21:15 AM EST

The idea is not: Since Y does X, then it is OK for me to also do X But rather: Only group Y engages in X. I didn't make a claim that it was right/wrong to engage in this behavior only that I sometimes see the implication that only Bush engages in it. I fail to see why it is unethical to pre-screen reporters and/or questions.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
5th amendment protection has limits (none / 0) (#123)
by HidingMyName on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:08:06 AM EST

The 5th amendment protects against self incrimination, one case where you can still be compelled to answer questions is when the government gives you immunity.

[ Parent ]
You've missed the point here. (5.00 / 5) (#127)
by bheerssen on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:13:40 AM EST

You are correct in one sense, nobody is required to answer (truthfully or not) any question from anybody outside of a court of law.

But that's not really the issue here. The issue is that the questions were not being asked in the first place due to judicious selection of the questioners. We all know that someone from MSNBC or Fox is not going to ask the same questions as someone from NPR or PRI. The scripting that occured in this case begs the question "What did the President not want to answer?" As I'm sure you are aware, a non-answer can be just as informative as an answer. But the question has to be asked first.

This directly impacts the right of the public to information possessed by the government. If we can't ask (through journalists or otherwise) the really pertinant questions, then how is the government held accountable for it's actions? I, for one, think this type of scripted news conference sets a dangerous precedent. It amounts to a news release dressed up as a conference. Not a true conference at all.


[ Parent ]

How would that be any different (4.00 / 4) (#130)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:37:12 AM EST

How would that be any different from the President simply choosing which reporters he wanted to answer questions from when they raised thier hand "spontaneously"?

How would his having a pre-selected list be any different from simply making the same decisions about who to call on "live" without a list?

There are only 3 entities the president is really required to be answeable to; The Supreme Court, Congress, and the American People. In case you haven't noticed it's been a long time since the press really represented the voice of the american people.

[ Parent ]

Good point (5.00 / 1) (#134)
by bheerssen on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:08:23 PM EST

I guess the difference may be semantic. But every measure taken toward scripting of a press conference means one less chance that important questions are going to be asked. That means that we should decry any attempt by the administration to script them, even when the difference is negligable. Doing so makes it just that much harder for them to blow smoke up our collective asses.

And yeah, I have noticed the press' general lack of responsiveness to the public interest. To that I say, support public radio and other independant news outlets such as this one - they are your only access to news that is not filtered through government offices and/or corporate board rooms.


[ Parent ]

Who else? (none / 0) (#181)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:25:24 PM EST

There are only 3 entities the president is really required to be answeable to; The Supreme Court, Congress, and the American People. In case you haven't noticed it's been a long time since the press really represented the voice of the american people.

Who else does? If the press doesn't count, then you might as well just remove the American People from your list. Unless you think Bush is required to answer mail from Americans.
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[ Parent ]
Not far off (none / 0) (#208)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:45:58 PM EST

You are actualy not far off. People write the Whitehouse or thier Congressmen all the time.
While they don't neccesarly answer individual letters you can bet that when they get enough letters on a particular subject that they feel the need to address it publicaly.... because they know that they are going to be called on it when election time comes.

People have many ways of letting thier sentiment known to elected officials... while this might not be the same thing as a direct one on one question and answer with a reporter in many ways it's a much more powerfull method of calling upon an elected official to make an answer.

I'm not sure if the press ever really accurately represented a cross-section of the american electorate.... but it certainly does seem that in recent years there has been a growing trend to pass off "editorializing" and "advocacy" as "reporting". Increasingly the media seem to be attempting to impress thier own agenda onto the political scene.... which I think you'll find is not very representitive of the cross-section of american voters (unless you want to restrict that cross section to wealthy Manhatten and L.A. liberals).

 

[ Parent ]

Keyword: required (5.00 / 1) (#212)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:24:48 PM EST

You are actualy not far off. People write the Whitehouse or thier Congressmen all the time. While they don't neccesarly answer individual letters you can bet that when they get enough letters on a particular subject that they feel the need to address it publicaly.... because they know that they are going to be called on it when election time comes.

How many anti-war letters would change Bush's mind? How many letters asking Clinton to resign would have convinced him? How many of those letters would get anything more than a form letter in response? The only way questions get asked and answered of and by the President is through the press. An elected official who won't hold unscripted sessions with the press has no credibility.
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[ Parent ]
On that note (none / 0) (#297)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 10:14:46 AM EST

How many questions from reporters would get GWB to change his mind on Iraq or Clinton to have resigned?

Short of removal from office, elected officials are only constrained in their actions by the cheques and balances placed upon them by the Constitution.

However if they ignore the electorates wishes they certainly wont get the opportunity to serve another term. (Thus the REQUIREMENT to answer to the electorate)

I'm not sure how the involvement of the press makes the procedure somehow more representative.
After all no one "elected" those reporters to represent them in asking questions... this is true even in terms of circulation. If you allowed reporters into the press conference based solely upon circulation/readership the composition of the press room would be considerably different (and likely considerably more freindly toward Bush and his agenda).

Finally, the session wasn't "scripted".... It's not like the reporters were asked to submit a list of prescreened questions before the breifing. Bush simply had a list of who he intended to call on before the briefing. Now maybe he could have guessed what questions they might ask him... but the reporters were free to ask anything they liked. Also it's not like he only called on republican reporters (who, according to the last survey done on the matter, happen to comprise less then 5% of the Washington Press Corps).

[ Parent ]

If Demos do it too, it must be okay! (nt) (none / 0) (#175)
by startled on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:00:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
What was that bit about shoes all about ? (none / 0) (#120)
by salsaman on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:58:49 AM EST

Was it some kind of in joke ?

You must support slave labor in china (none / 0) (#135)
by gr00vey on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:09:36 PM EST

and support favored nation status for those dictatorships we are currently happy with, especially when they play an integral role in the shoe industry. At least that is how I read it! ;)

[ Parent ]
China (none / 0) (#151)
by forii on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:03:32 PM EST

You must support slave labor in china and support favored nation status for those dictatorships we are currently happy with, especially when they play an integral role in the shoe industry. At least that is how I read it! ;)

Okay, this is way off-topic, but China is not a dictatorship. They aren't a democracy, but they do change leadership every now and then (albeit to a hand-picked successor). And the People's Republic is changing to a more democratic capitalistic society, just slowly. While it was decided in the late 70s/early 80s that the socialist/communist system wasn't working, the changeover has been gradual, mainly due to the Government's fear of 1-point-something billion people running things in anarchy. Sure China has personal liberty and rights issues, but to compare them to places such as, say, Iraq, is inaccurate.
Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

It was an attempt at a joke... (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by gr00vey on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:06:56 PM EST

Granted a poor attempt... ANd I DID NOT COMPARE CHINA TO IRAQ, somehow you read waaay to much into my poor attempt at a joke. ;) However, that does raise an interesting point, who has killed and improperly imprisoned MORE of their own population historically, CHina or Iraq?

[ Parent ]
Sorry (none / 0) (#166)
by forii on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:46:44 PM EST

Oops, I didn't get the joke, it's still morning, way too early for hilarity.

As to your question, asking the question "historically" is tough, being that both areas (and actual political units, in the case of China) have histories that go back 5000+ years. And how would you define "killed or imprisoned"? For example, millions died of famines in China because of the policy of making the intellectuals run the farms, while having the farmers run the colleges (perhaps one of the greatest examples of the failures of book-knowledge ever known...).
Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

How is it not a dictatorship? (none / 0) (#194)
by ethereal on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:01:53 PM EST

I mean, is it because technically it's an oligarchy, or what? Is there any question that the people at the top of the government are the only ones deciding on policy and the only ones picking who the new government are? Do the people have effective recourse to the dictates of their government, or not? Because if they don't, then it's effectively a dictatorship, no matter what the government de jure is.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Yeah so? (3.20 / 5) (#126)
by StrifeZ on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:13:11 AM EST

Uhhhh, this is news. This press conference was in the very formal East Room, not the usual White House briefing room. To maintain an aura of civility (i.e., instead of having every reporter raising their hand and saying "Mr. President"), Bush had a list of all the reporters in the room and called those he wanted to. The reporters from all the major outlets got called on (AP, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Reuters, New York Times etc.). There was nothing wrong with the way this was done, and dont believe for a second that Bush got the questions ahead of time. Thats just k5 conspiracy theorist bullshit.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
So? (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by gr00vey on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:12:27 PM EST

What was your point? That you fabricated a conspiracy and then projected it onto K5 readers?

[ Parent ]
More like (none / 0) (#268)
by AmberEyes on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 01:37:11 AM EST

K5 readers are comprised mainly of conspiracy-theory-ridden pathetic jerk offs who don't understand how government works.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised this is surprising (3.50 / 2) (#132)
by DingBat1 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:45:40 AM EST


I thought all lefty, anti-Bush types would have read "Manufacturing Consent" by now.

Actually, the surprising thing is that reporters can laugh about it while actively participating. Has anyone ever tried just not showing up to a presidential press conference?


To hell with this. (2.66 / 18) (#138)
by avdi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:14:34 PM EST

I started reading K5 because it had a better S/N ratio, especially for technical articles.  Here you could actually have a civil discussion of some vagary of C++ without the discussion getting crudded up with dozens of "C++ sUXX0rz, C is 0wnz j00" posts.  I liked Rusty's sense of community as opposed to CmdrTaco and co.'s "the commenters are scumsucking peasants"  attitude.  I even bought an add when Rusty put out his plea for support, because I wanted to see this forum survive and flourish.

I realize that K5 is not solely a technology forum, but as the focus has shifted slowly towards politics and away from technology, the quality of stories has also deteriorated.  As evidenced by this one, which at most deserves at most a blurb on various political blogs.  Let alone a K5 MLP; let alone a freakin' front-page story.  This isn't news.  This isn't culture.  It isn't a story about the suppression of civil liberties.  Just like the last presidential press-conference story, it's a merely bit of depressing minutae about the US political process.

Fuck this.  There are blogs that cover technology better, like http://lambda.weblogs.com/.  There are blogs that cover politics better, from all sides of the fences, like http://www.janegalt.net/, http://unmedia.blogspot.com/, http://www.denbeste.nu/, and http://www.windsofchange.net/.  And if I ever miss my daily fix of hysterical left-wing conspiracy theroizing, I can always turn to http://indymedia.org.

Kuro5hin no longer deserves my eyeballs, my money, or my time.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir

amen (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by rafuzo on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:24:14 PM EST

that's all I can say, you summed up my thoughts precisely. If I wanted political commentary, I'd go elsewhere.

[ Parent ]
So true (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by mmealman on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:42:52 PM EST

Couldn't have said it better myself.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry you feel that way... (3.50 / 2) (#149)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:49:48 PM EST

I do note that I've been posting and contributing to K5 since early(?) 2000. I don't think the site has migrated away from technology and toward politics though. Even back then there were many articles submitted and posted on politics and culture. I think what's going on is that these political issues loom so large in the public sphere that a lot of people can't help themselves but think and write about how they feel. What's going on is big news with important consequences. When happenings in the news become less consequential I think you'll see the focus shift back to technology and coding again. JMO. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
mind you, it's not a bad article (3.50 / 2) (#223)
by avdi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:13:06 PM EST

It just doesn't belong in the FP, IMNSHO.  I think the FP should be for cream-of-the-crop articles with far-reaching appeal.  If they are political, they should be political articles with global signifigance, not (forgive me) brief-lifespan stories about  trivial breaches of protocol that are likely meaningless to anyone oustide the US.  I wouldn't have put up a fuss if I'd seen it in a section page; but when I click on a FP article I expect something big, dammit.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
My theory on how K5 flows (5.00 / 2) (#150)
by llamasex on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:02:56 PM EST

It flows with the times, a couple years ago technology was on the forefront of people's minds, now with the bubble popped and war looming the majority of what people think about is political, if something else comes along I am sure that is where the majority of k5 stories will be heading. The whole thing process is very liquid k5 will continue to be relevant as the issues of the day changes, sadly those who liked the old issues and don't care for the new ones are shit out of luck.

Howard Dean punched me in the face
[ Parent ]
hey cool (4.00 / 1) (#152)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:04:50 PM EST

thanks, I wsas looking for better political blogs.

[ Parent ]
you're welcome (none / 0) (#221)
by avdi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:06:51 PM EST

those are just a few off the top of my head; I've got hundreds (literally) on my blogroll.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
any that use a /. or K5 enguine? (none / 0) (#233)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 07:54:22 PM EST

casue that layout is much better IMHO.

[ Parent ]
nah. (none / 0) (#239)
by avdi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:27:57 PM EST

These are primarily personal weblogs written by one person or a handful of people, for which something like scoop would be massive overkill.  They are soapboxes, not forums.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
dang...it realy sucks (none / 0) (#245)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:25:54 PM EST

I wish there were political sites that used one of those enguines...it is so much easier to read and contribute to.

[ Parent ]
well go somewheres else (1.00 / 1) (#154)
by gr00vey on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:08:06 PM EST

and biotch.... ;) Seems to me you are wasting a lot of your time ranting about how you have wasted time...

[ Parent ]
The other reason... (4.00 / 1) (#159)
by opensorcerer on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:20:05 PM EST

Technology, at bottom, has assertions that can be proven empirically ("C++ is slower than C on Platform X compiling Program Y").  Proving political assertions has always been dicey, and because few political debates can really be settled in an empirical fashion, it leaves the largest amount of room for discussion.

Thus, it seems quite natural that any site geared towards promoting discussion will start talking about those issues that most easy foster it.

Steve Arlo: There aren't evil guys and innocent guys. It's just... It's just... It's just a bunch of guys.
[ Parent ]

poppycock (none / 0) (#220)
by avdi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:05:34 PM EST

There isn't less to discuss about technology; it's just less inflammatory (at least when it's not being discussed at Slashdot).   The fact that Politics typically produces more heat and less light doesn't really equal an expansion of the opportunity for discussion.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
balderdash (none / 0) (#278)
by Metatone on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:16:44 PM EST

The less deterministic state of Politics, caused particularly because it is vastly more complex than Technology DOES equal an expansion of the opportunity for discussion.

[ Parent ]
fiddle-faddle (none / 0) (#280)
by avdi on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 02:40:22 PM EST

No one can quantify the complexity of technology or politics.  They are both potentially infinite wells of discussion material.  While the answers to most assertions made about technology are inherently more provable, there is no less potential for "what ifs" to be posed about technology than there are about politics.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
Then go (3.66 / 3) (#164)
by criquet on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:34:25 PM EST

If the community wants the story, then the community gets the story.

If you no longer have interests in common with the rest of us, then you are free to not visit any longer. If you don't care about certain stories, vote them down and then ignore them if they get posted anyway. Just deal!

[ Parent ]

I can lament, can I not? (3.00 / 2) (#219)
by avdi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:02:07 PM EST

The community used to provide me with a valuable service: only the finest, most intrguing and well-researched stories made it to the FP.  Which meant it often took a painfully long time for the FP to update; but when it did, I knew that the new story would be worth reading.  This is no longer the case, at least as regards political articles.   Which means I no longer can count on that valuable service of collaborative filtering.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
Filtering (4.50 / 2) (#250)
by OneEyedApe on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:56:31 PM EST

I think when the political scene quiets down a bit, the front page will slow in its updating and the quality of stories on it will rise again. I hope this will be the case.

[ Parent ]
Why did you click the link? (3.00 / 2) (#187)
by zaxus on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:35:32 PM EST

This is clearly not a technical article. If you have nothing to contribute to a political discussion, why did you click the link to view an article which is clearly stated as being a political discussion?

---
"If you loved me, you'd all kill yourselves today." - Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan


[ Parent ]
It's not that I want only technical articles - (none / 0) (#218)
by avdi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:57:57 PM EST

...It's that I expect the political articles to live up to the quality of the technical ones.  There's a reason for having a voting queue - it's to give people some kind of assurance that if they click on a front page headline, they are going to get a story with a certain amount of quality and import.  Admittedly this one is better quality than most political articles on this site; but the actual subject matter is the political equivalent of "dog bites man".  It doesn't belong on the FP.   I wouldn't expect a brief article on some obscure usage of the select() call on the FP, either.

My point is, if I can no longer trust the K5 users to do meaningful prefiltering for me, what's the point?  Sure, I can still browse the technology section(s) from time to time; but I remember a time when I could click on a front page article with some assurance that it would be worth reading.  FP used to be for the cream of the crop.  Now that I can no longer count on that, I've lost a valuable service.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]

Articles (none / 0) (#248)
by OneEyedApe on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:52:31 PM EST

I suppose you would prefer "Man bites dog"?

I will agree that the article itself is . . . lacking, but the discussion which it has spawned has been quite interesting. But I too would like a few more technical articles.



[ Parent ]
scary (4.28 / 7) (#139)
by crazycanuck on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:15:01 PM EST

this was prime-time propaganda disguised as a press conference.

but the really scary part is that a lot of americans don't see anything wrong with it.

duh (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by rafuzo on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:23:01 PM EST

Yeah, I don't see anything wrong with it, mainly because any idiot who actually watched the conference in question SHOULD HAVE KNOWN it was scripted. How else was the president supposed to call on reporters that weren't raising their hands? Why were there no followup questions on those asked earlir? Has anybody told you that wrestling is fake, too?

[ Parent ]
wrestlers (2.00 / 1) (#143)
by crazycanuck on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:32:35 PM EST

don't pretend it's real.

everyone knows it's fake, it's not presented as a real fight.

[ Parent ]

Wrestlers also don't... (3.66 / 3) (#145)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:39:52 PM EST

...run the fucking country. At least not yet. Jesse Ventura for President, '04! Not even Bunuel could have imagined (or filmed) such a surrealist reality. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
no way bill Kristol said that (2.00 / 2) (#157)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:12:57 PM EST

are you kidding me.

[ Parent ]
This National Review debate sources that quote... (2.00 / 2) (#165)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:36:00 PM EST

From the New Yorker, May 22, 1995. Though I honestly haven't gone to the Public Library and verified the reference. See:

ttp://www.nationalreview.com/debates/debates020503.asp

Cheers,
--Maynard


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

hmm...and a google search for the comment turns up (2.00 / 1) (#170)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:36:13 PM EST

a lot. so I guess he did say it, but I would like to actualy see the context. Alterman is not above takeing things out of context as are many editorialists. It could have been a sarcastic comment which would only be apparent when you look at the context.

[ Parent ]
what? (4.00 / 4) (#146)
by rafuzo on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 12:42:49 PM EST

What was "unreal" about that press conference? Were the questions fake? Was Bush answering dishonestly?

Or are you questioning the veracity simply because they preselected the questioners? If so, how is that any different from Bush simply picking questioners? Is it any more or less "underhanded" that he preselected questions instead of picking them off the cuff? Seems to me he would've avoided the troublemaker journalists either way.

Somebody else further down commented that the only issue people seem to be citing here is that it wasn't a press-room-style briefing, with every reporter shouting questions that the guy at the lectern may or may not have answers for. I still don't understand what the problem is. So there weren't any "gotcha" questions in that press briefing. So there was no yelling and shouting and competing between reporters to <b>be called upon</b> to ask a question. So what? Many of the people here wouldn't even credit Bush with that if he <b>did</b> answer questions off the cuff, they'd say he was simply answering questions from the sanctioned media members, that true independent views would never be addressed, etc. etc. etc. So this strikes me as a particularly silly reason #45,997 to hate Dubya. Why should anybody be inflamed when someone they paint as an evil dictator apparently behaves like one?

[ Parent ]

Bad question. (3.66 / 3) (#156)
by Dresen on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:12:53 PM EST

Why should anybody be inflamed when someone they paint as an evil dictator apparently behaves like one?

Just because people expect Bush to 'misbehave' doesn't mean that they suddenly think it's okay, and are going to stop protesting when he does so. I would have thought this is reasonably obvious.

The president of a superpower should be able to hold his own, to a reasonable extent, in a spontaneous session of questioning, and should certainly be willing to try. Issues like the rowdiness of the reporters do not reflect on the effectiveness of the event as a democratic tool.

What's more: even if this isn't unprecedented, that still doesn't make it acceptable.

-===-
Forgive people.
[ Parent ]

let me try again (5.00 / 1) (#174)
by rafuzo on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:44:36 PM EST

"why should anybody be shocked when someone they paint as an evil dictator apparently behaves as such?"

I think that expresses my point better.

I think the term "to a reasonable extent" is key there. I agree, but what constitutes "a reasonable extent" will vary from person to person. Writing as a newspaper columnist I learned what it meant to be on both sides of the coin, as I'd question other people's policies and have my own opinions questioned by readers. It's difficult enough to be able to hold one's own in a venue where I have the opportunity to prepare for and against such questions. Many people have the view that such a head of state is inferior if he can't get a thoughtful rejoinder for every possible question, a prospect I think is ludicrous.

All things being equal, I'd rather have a head of state that is better at drawn-out, deliberate decision making than quick answers to snappy questions. That's the job of a PR rep, not a head of state.

[ Parent ]

teh contact and physical nature of it is real (1.00 / 1) (#155)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:10:26 PM EST

the fight it self is scripted.

[ Parent ]
Sure. (none / 0) (#161)
by Dresen on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:22:49 PM EST

Those punches look really nasty.

Snrk.

-===-
Forgive people.
[ Parent ]

teh punches are pulled some what, but (none / 0) (#169)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:27:48 PM EST

tehy must be trained how to take a punch and a fall and other things becasue gravity is real as is the surface of the square circle.

[ Parent ]
You watch wrestling, don't you?(n/t) (none / 0) (#209)
by baron samedi on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:46:40 PM EST


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
no I don't (none / 0) (#234)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 07:56:33 PM EST

but I know enough to know that when some one gets fliped and lands on the concrete it is a REAL fall and Realy hurts and when a metal chair gets smacked over some ones head, while the structure might be comprimized, the impact still stings.

[ Parent ]
same thing here (1.00 / 1) (#191)
by crazycanuck on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:49:04 PM EST

the war is scripted, but the dead Irakis will be quite real.

[ Parent ]
spelling (1.00 / 1) (#231)
by crazycanuck on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:58:54 PM EST

they like to be spelled correctly?

really...
which spelling would that be?
since when did they adopt English as their national language?

[ Parent ]

In defense of idiots (4.00 / 2) (#196)
by ethereal on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:04:46 PM EST

If you listened to it on the radio, there was no way to tell that the reporters didn't have their hands raised. In the TV coverage I also saw part of, the camera stayed on the Pres. until after he called on a reporter, so there was no way to tell that the reporter hadn't had their hand up prior to being called on. From that perspective, I don't think it was obvious that it was staged. I listened and/or watched the whole thing and thought that although the reporters were softballing it, it didn't seem actually staged at the time.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Mirror world (4.66 / 3) (#185)
by sinexoverx on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:32:55 PM EST

The way I see this, is that maynard's article (and other's I have read lately) is very like the stuff I have seen on Rush Limbaugh during the Clinton years. For those who aren't familiar, Limbaugh is an ultra-conservative media mouthpiece for the Republicans. He typically scans the daily news, takes any little story he can find about the left or Democrats, puffs it up, adds some spin and spews it out in a way that conservatives can feed on. (Or that non-conservatives can feed on in the opposite sense.)

Scripted presidential news conferences are not news. I am pretty sure that I have seen some scripted news conferences during Clinton's admin. Is that good? Well, I would prefer they weren't but I understand the reasons why they are. To me this article seems like a Monty Python script. A parody of both the left and the right. (King Arthur and the muck collectors. or maybe "burn the witch!")

Maybe someday, in a perfect world, we can have a leader that is perfect and has one hundred percent of the population's support. Until then I will just have to put up with all the sniping from both sides. But it isn't news or worthy of meaningful discussion. And next time the President is a Democrat (or non-Republican at least), we will step thru the mirror and everybody can see the world in reverse.

[ Parent ]
PBS program (3.00 / 1) (#217)
by sinexoverx on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:56:44 PM EST

Sounds like an interesting program. I will look for it to be rerun. PBS has some really good shows but everytime I turn it on, Antique Roadshow is playing.

[ Parent ]
I assume you were appalled (none / 0) (#283)
by Scratch o matic on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 04:34:21 PM EST

at the custom, apparently discontinued in this press conference, of calling on Helen Thomas first? After all, we wouldn't want to know in advance who was going to get to ask a question. That would be propaganda.

[ Parent ]
PMQ (4.20 / 5) (#167)
by alyosha1 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 01:54:37 PM EST

Does the US have something similar to Prime Minister's Question time in England, whereby parliment gets to interrogate the PM for half an hour every week on any subject they want?

PMQ (5.00 / 3) (#171)
by Herring on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:36:33 PM EST

Initial question have to be submitted beforehand. Supplementary questions can be asked without notice though. My uncle used to be a civil servant with the Home Office. At parliamentary questions, a couple of times, he found himself in the position of having to write both the question and the answer.


Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Dorothy Dix (5.00 / 2) (#222)
by Pseudonym on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:09:41 PM EST

For the benefit of the USians present, questions of this form are known as "Dorothy Dix" questions. Dorothy Dix was a pioneer of the newspaper advice column. Apparently many people believed made up questions from her "readers", hence the name.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Nope (3.80 / 5) (#198)
by Dphitz on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:13:53 PM EST

We don't have that here because our "leader" isn't quick enough to go through that.  I've seen what you are talking about on C-span and Bush wouldn't last 5 seconds in a format like that.  Or he'd just babble the same BS answers without really giving answers like he did the other night.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Sadly... (5.00 / 4) (#227)
by wilson on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:25:30 PM EST

These very rare press conferences with the president are the only format in which the president is questioned. If they are going to be strictly controlled like this, then self-respecting journalists should refuse to play their part in the pantomime.

[ Parent ]
Why no.... (none / 0) (#272)
by deanoh on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 05:29:04 AM EST

The consitution requires a State of the Union address. No matter who the president is...anyhting else is gravt.

[ Parent ]
It's right to script under such conditions. (3.00 / 5) (#172)
by word man on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 02:37:04 PM EST

The conference was scripted and Bush did not try to hide it. When some paparazzy got noisy he reminded them the need to follow the script. In this light the title "Ari Fleischer admits..." sounds completely gay. Nobody ever denied that the president follows a script. So Ari's words are not an "admission" . Scripting is not a bad thing either. There is a crisis in development. The administration is under a lot of strain. There are negotiations going on multiple fronts. Every word that the president says is examined under a microscope. Things have to be done very carefully. It's right to script under such conditions.

So what's the point of this whole argument here? Resolving an imaginary problem?

Press Release vs. Press Questions (4.50 / 2) (#178)
by opensorcerer on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:08:44 PM EST

I can't speak for anyone else, but I for one think that if the White House simply wants to tell the public answers to a list of questions it either compiles or can more or less guess at, then a press release is most appropriate - "print this, it's from the President".  An event where reporters are invited to ask questions seems better suited when the administration is actually interested in what questions the reporters will end up asking.

Part of my interest in the continued tradition of asking the President unscripted questions is reassurance - I would like to know that the guy who's running my home country is at least thinking about the major issues, even if all he can say is "the economy is in the toilet but I'm working on it".  Otherwise he comes off as thinking "the economy is in the toilet but me and my friends are set so who cares".  The other part of my desire for unscripted Q&A sessions is thoughtfulness - a president should be capable of putting into words his answers on any major issue the administration is confronting, because if it's a major issue then by damn I want a man in the Oval Office who has at least considered it.  "Boxers or briefs"-style questions can and should be ignored, but not by the mechanism of scripting the event.

Steve Arlo: There aren't evil guys and innocent guys. It's just... It's just... It's just a bunch of guys.
[ Parent ]

Ari's the guy to get your answers from (none / 0) (#188)
by word man on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:37:16 PM EST

I think, we'll have to excuse the president until this mess is over. This war is a serious business. It is about issues that the previous administration did not even dare to mention much less to act on. You can get some insight by reading on your own about radical Islam, its spiritual, intellectual and financial supporters, where and who they are, what is the strategically sound way to neutralize them. Bush is no high school teacher. He's got decisions to make. His press conference made only a few clear statements that people around the world should know - it was no infomercial. It's our responisbility as voters to educate ourselves. And listen to Ari for the rest.

[ Parent ]
Uhh, which war? (none / 0) (#207)
by michaelp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:36:02 PM EST

"Radical Islam" and the War on Terrorism seem backburnered right now to deal with the "serious business" de jour: Iraqi Drones that may or may not be able to fly 300 miles.

You can get some insight by reading on your own about radical Islam, its spiritual, intellectual and financial supporters,

And for folks who have done the above and found that Iraq turns up as not by any stretch a significant "spiritual, intellectual, or financial supporter of Radical Islam", but rather that most of the above are found in Saudi, Qatar, and Pakistan?

Some time in a "Re-Education Camp" perhaps? After all, we could call it "therapeutic" using the same logic we use to call a scripted performance a "Press Conference", right?


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
tonight, when go to home to your bridge... (none / 0) (#210)
by mikelist on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:49:39 PM EST

...look for real evidence of anyone saying that SH is a good guy. He is neck-in-neck with Khadafy (who has been strangely silent of late) and Kim Jong Il as most pathological national leader. That doesn't mean that we have legitimate basis to invade Iraq.
  This whole thing has taken on a witch-hunt flavor, especially after considering the CBR primer posted last week. The 'weapons of mass destruction' categories of chemical and biological weapons are not generally very effective. They weren't meant to be, only to slow down and distract a military mission. Of course they could be used by terrorists in enclosed settings, but getting them to terrorist cells and handling them safely and secretly before the attack are issues I'll leave for someone else to opine.

[ Parent ]
Ari? Answers? No. (5.00 / 3) (#215)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:40:39 PM EST

Ari's the guy to get your answers from

I watch Ari's press briefings on C-SPAN pretty regularly, and I've yet to see him give a straight answer to a direct question of any importance. Misdirections, non sequiturs, long diatribes of meaningless gibberish are his usual forte. The man is simply brilliant at dealing with the press on his feet. But then again, Ari's the Press Secretary, saying anything meaningful is not his job. Ari's actually quite an amazing Press Secretary, possibly the best I've ever seen. His ability to misdirect and restate the obvious and then move onto the next question before a followup is simply astonishing. Next to Colin Powell, he's the best talking head this administration has up it's sleeve. But don't expect answers from the man, especially from an administration hell-bent on not giving out any answers at all. Maybe one day, long after he's out of office, he'll write a tell-all book like Stephanopoulos some years back. We can only hope. :) --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Partially (5.00 / 1) (#279)
by Happy Monkey on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:50:57 PM EST

Ari's actually quite an amazing Press Secretary, possibly the best I've ever seen. His ability to misdirect and restate the obvious and then move onto the next question before a followup is simply astonishing.

Well, to be a truly skilled press secretary, he would also have to not be obviously misdirecting and restating the obvious and moving on before the followup. As it is, he is simply infuriating to listen to, which isn't the best image for a representative of the President.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Its right to script? (2.00 / 3) (#183)
by ThaboZ on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 03:27:42 PM EST

Whatabout Freedom of Information? You remind me of the people in Europe that said that the nazis where bad BUT the jews were a problem...

[ Parent ]
The press is still free to bash Bush (5.00 / 1) (#197)
by word man on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:11:19 PM EST

Get the first paper or look at any TV channel. Everyone is free to talk whatever they want. "Freedom of information" is also to let the president say what he feels right to say and in the manner he feels comfortable with. I thought this was obvious. And after finding you ignorant about "freedom of information" should I even continue with the "European" allusion?

[ Parent ]
"Still Free"? (1.00 / 1) (#203)
by michaelp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:23:13 PM EST

implying that this is a problem that will soon be fixed?


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Being free to talk is only meaningful... (none / 0) (#247)
by maynard on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:37:34 PM EST

...when one has something factual with which to base an assertion. When nothing factual emanates from government, all that is left to discuss policy-wise is nothing. Freedom to say nothing meaningful is not freedom of the press. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
Freedom to say nothing (none / 0) (#275)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 09:44:01 AM EST

The President has the right to say nothing meaningful! The press has the right to point out that he said nothing meaningful! I don't see the problem.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
We disagree. (none / 0) (#276)
by maynard on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 10:39:33 AM EST

But that's perfectly OK. Reasonable people can disagree and move on to the next topic. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
A better question (4.00 / 4) (#202)
by michaelp on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:21:55 PM EST

in the light of your arguments is: what is the point of having a press conference if the whole thing is scripted?

Why not just issue a press release? It could include "The reporter from Fox news would have asked:____________" and "the President would have said:__________, in response" if you feel we should keep the form intact.

But why bother with the things if the whole thing is scripted? Because 'Press Conference' sounds better than 'Press Release'? Maybe because it is the sort of thing (an open press conference) a democracy should have in an ideal world? Sort of like all the places that call their dictators El Presidente because it sounds better?


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
completely gay (none / 0) (#311)
by PurpleBob on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:55:55 AM EST

In this light the title "Ari Fleischer admits..." sounds completely gay.

This is K5, not middle school. Surely you can think of a better adjective. If you mean to say that the title is stupid, misleading, or worthless, use one of those words instead of equating them with a group of people. Because, you know, that's such a nigger thing to do.

[ Parent ]

"gay" (none / 0) (#313)
by robo on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 09:37:07 PM EST

I like gays, sexual preference is a free choice, etc.

However, the gay community has chosen to associate themselves with a word used by straight people to describe them. Remove the definition related to sexual preference from the word, and you still have a word people may use to describe a situation in a negative light.

gay adj. gay·er, gay·est

1. Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex. 2. Showing or characterized by cheerfulness and lighthearted excitement; merry. 3. Bright or lively, especially in color: a gay, sunny room. 4. Given to social pleasures. 5. Dissolute; licentious.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Lots of people describe something ludicrous, silly, or inappropriately lighthearted as "gay" without meaning that it's "relating to having sexual orientation to persons of the same sex."

All are fair uses of the word. Nigger, however, is not nearly as widely accepted.

[ Parent ]

wow... all i can say is wow! (2.64 / 14) (#199)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:14:29 PM EST

i mean truly, my entire life is changed by this story. i am so glad the good people of kuro5hin voted this to the front page. this is revelatory and newsworthy to the highest order of insight.

stunning, absolutely stunning.

everyone reading this story: remember where you were when you were sturck by this thunderbolt, you will be telling your grandchildren about it. truly, a story like this reveals the moral corruption and ineptitude at work in the higher offices of the executive branch of the us on a level unparalleled in the history of western democracy. if this is not an argument against war on iraq, i don't know what is!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

And you're redundant. (none / 0) (#236)
by Crono on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:01:47 PM EST



[ Parent ]
redundant? redundant? (1.66 / 3) (#243)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:01:23 PM EST

am i redundant?

am i redundant?

lol

thanks for caring ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

well tell us then (none / 0) (#306)
by phred on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 06:00:44 PM EST

did you like the article or not?

[ Parent ]
my god (2.31 / 16) (#204)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:26:24 PM EST

who

fucking

cares

does anyone anywhere actually believe this is front page material? or is it possible this got posted to the frontpage due to ideology? does anyone doubt that propaganda flow from either end of the spectrum now?

does anyone here honestly believe this is in anyway important at all? does anyone really see great meaning in this absolutely stupid insignificant issue?

if you do, you have my absolute stunned silence and awe at your extreme blindness on the subject of your own hypocrisy: propaganga flows from both ends of the spectrum.

is there any further proof that is needed?

how can people who consider themselves to be intelligent and wise vote this to the front page and treat this speck of minutiae with solemnity? and not be aware of the propaganda machine they are fully immersed in?

aboslutely

unfucking

believeable

if you are leftist, if you are a rightist, does this not insult your intelligence either way?

while the rest of the world debates iraq, kuro5hin coughs up this furball

amazing, stunning blindness on the part of anyone who thinks this is important. stand up for the importance of this speck of ridiculousness, and you only further prove my point. so go ahead, wriggle away and act indignant at my indignance. adds to your foolishness, not mine.

fuck kuro5hin. the ideologues here have taken over.

and anyone who says "fine, goodriddance to you" do you really know what happens when you reject intelligence in favor of ideologically correct "me too" kneejerk bullshit?

fine, say good riddance to me.

fine, act indignant at me.

it is your folly and blindness at work, not mine.

anyone who is intellectually honest would be nothing but ashamed at this progandizing.

so the leftist ideologues take over kur5hin.

let the stagnation and insignificance begin.

thank you, propagandizers, for killing kuro5hin as a place of intellectually honest debate.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

The significance explained (5.00 / 3) (#224)
by wilson on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:18:34 PM EST

I

fucking

care.

This isn't an unimportant topic. The job of the press isn't to publish White House press releases. The press is only valuable when they are unearthing new information or - as is the case with press conferences - challenging information that has been presented.

while the rest of the world debates iraq, kuro5hin coughs up this furball

I see this as relevant to a war in Iraq. Don't you think that the president, when presenting his case in an allegedly open forum of journalist, should have to field uncomfortable questions about the war? Do you think it's cool for the White house to use the media to fabricate a false sense of consensus about the war?

I don't see how this is the "progandizing" [sic] of "leftist idealogues". I consider myself a moderate liberal, so you wouldn't give a rat's ass about my opinion, but I have a family that's chock-full of gun-toting reactionaries. They've given more money to the Republican party in the past 30 years than you or I will ever see. And these people, who will allow no mockery of President Bush and no sympathy to Clinton, these people are far from sure this war's a good idea.

If members of the far right have doubts about administration policies, don't you think the president has some obligation to stop pretending that his press releases are genuinely forums for the president to field whatever questions the media might have?

[ Parent ]

tempest in a teapot (none / 0) (#232)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 07:33:25 PM EST

tempest

in

a

teapot

the value of what you are concerned about defines you as a person.

if this ranks as important in your book, you risk becoming an insignificant person. because if ever there was an issue that can be called "insignificant," it is this.

and if you don't understand how this is insignificant, you failed an intelligence test as well.

these things are true whether you are a reactionary war pig, or a leftist pacificist tree hugger.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Eh (none / 0) (#235)
by Crono on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:00:11 PM EST

Why is this so insignificant? I rather enjoy when I have a chance to learn the President's opinions on topics he hasn't had an all night sweat session with his pr crew to prepare for. I guess you're satisfied with his prepared answers, because the government never covers anything up. And how about freedom of the fucking press?

And why are you such an asshole? And why do you have so few words per paragraph? You do know each paragraph is supposed to portray one idea and support it, right? You say its insignificant but you don't feel the need to inform us why.

[ Parent ]

yes, you are correct (1.00 / 1) (#238)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:24:41 PM EST

i am just an asshole, and i have nothing interesting to say to you

nothing i have said so far makes any sense, nor has any value to you

yes, that's it, that is what makes sense to you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

not quite (3.50 / 2) (#246)
by OneEyedApe on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 09:26:58 PM EST

If nothing else, thank you.

It is people like you who provide balance and help encourage a variety of viewpoints. In my opinion, you are not an asshole, you are someone who makes a meaningful contribution to the discussion at hand rather than just repeating the same meaningless gibberish that occasionally fills this site.

Your statements may be a bit "blunt", but in this world of polished words and political correctness, that can be a good thing.



[ Parent ]
thank you (5.00 / 1) (#251)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 10:11:17 PM EST

there are those here who do nothing but posture ideologically

kuro5hin will cease to be meaningful if the armies of the "me toos" here keep up their mental claptrap

intellectual honesty is all that matters

and the article all of this is attached too is so insignificant, so much tempest in a teapot, so much propagandizing, it is incredible that there are people here who defend it


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#265)
by Crono on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:28:38 AM EST

If it's culture jamming, I suppose it's okay. DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE. ^_^

[ Parent ]
Cool your jets, sport. (none / 0) (#304)
by wilson on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 02:00:01 PM EST

I don't know if I would rate this as "important" or not. Certainly, it merits a little bit of attention from anyone interested in the coming war or how the current administration handles relations with the press. That's really all I've given it.

What's more peculiar than me finding significance in this - confirming your ad hominem attack, by the way: I must be insignificant and unintelligent - is that you have spent so much of your time arguing against this story's significance. Does the insignificance really signify? More than the story itself? If you really believed the tripe you've been writing wouldn't you just let it be instead of working yourself up while eschewing the rules of capitalization?

[ Parent ]

Honesty (5.00 / 1) (#257)
by azurensis on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:25:30 PM EST

So what you are saying is that we shouldn't even expect the smallest bit of integrity from our highest elected official? That wasn't a press conference, it was propaganda. He had all the questions and answers laid out in front of him, and there was to be no deviation from the script. Of course that's understandable - the man is completely incapable of answering a question that he hasn't rehearsed in advance.

If you don't see the relevance of being lied to by our 'leader', it is you who is having problems seeing past your politics. It was wrong when Clinton did it, but even moreso now that people's lives are being risked.

[ Parent ]
this is so important (none / 0) (#260)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:42:54 PM EST

this is so, so important

really, this is extremely cutting revelations here

amazing, dark, heady stuff

my whole being is electrified by this article

...

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You don't know the meaning of debate (4.50 / 2) (#259)
by morkeleb on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:37:14 PM EST

thank you, propagandizers, for killing kuro5hin as a place of intellectually honest debate.

I've been reading your posts. Your central arguments seem to be:

1. If you disagree with me - you are stupid and insignificant

2. This story is liberal propaganda perpetuated by the left-leaning punks who hang out on K5.

The story is true. A fair number of people seem to feel (including me), that a US President should be able to stand on his own two feet in a press conference devoted to explaining the reasons for leading his country into a war which a large percentage of the US public does not support. So it's important. You don't think so apparently. So why are you being such a whining bitch about others who do?

As to your own intelligence - I haven't read anything yet of yours that would lead me to believe you have some sort of stellar intellect the rest of us are lacking.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
you disagree with me (1.00 / 1) (#261)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 11:44:12 PM EST

you disagree with me, so you are stupid and insignificant

yes, that is the thrust of what i am saying

that is all i am about

that is all i want you to understand from my position

that is the complete, end-all bottom line of the point of my post

...


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Oh - one more thing.... (none / 0) (#262)
by morkeleb on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:00:28 AM EST

Your passive-agressive style of responding really sucks. Work on it.


"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
au contraire mon frere (none / 0) (#263)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:04:16 AM EST

passive aggressive responses bring the point home in more ways than one lol ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Have a sense of humor (none / 0) (#291)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 10:36:10 PM EST

This is a very funny story, in my opinion.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Americans.. (1.00 / 2) (#205)
by ThaboZ on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 04:30:26 PM EST

What can you expect from them?... Their country is blowing up the *anti-Hitler* un as is see it

Did you really think otherwise? (none / 0) (#216)
by steveftoth on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 05:49:09 PM EST

I mean duh.

Our beloved US president was not chosen for his tactful comebacks to questions.  

This is a non-issue (none / 0) (#226)
by jubal3 on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 06:25:14 PM EST

Could you show me where the constitution requires a President to hold press conferences at all, much less submitting himself to every reporter with an agenda?
Everyone knows Shrub is not very bright. You'd have to be an idiot to expect him to set himself up to be skewered. (His handlers are smarter than that).
Hell, I don't even like the guy and I wouldn't quibble about this.



***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
I noticed that (none / 0) (#242)
by dipierro on Mon Mar 10, 2003 at 08:57:29 PM EST

I thought I had noticed Bush reading the answer to the first question... I guess my intuition was right.

Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#264)
by Sheepdot on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:22:01 AM EST

After the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out, Clinton went 11 months without sitting down with the media. The questions asked of him were all giveme easy ones too, save for 3, two of which were asked by FoxNews and the other asked by CNN.

11 months without a press conference with the President. Wow. And someone is complaining about Bush doing a scripted one?

Why should that be acceptable? (5.00 / 1) (#267)
by maynard on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 12:43:33 AM EST

Seriously. President Clinton stood in front of a camera and lied about having sex with an intern. There was a media shit storm and an attempted impeachment. He should have stood out and answered any fucking question a reporter chose to ask instead of hiding behind his administration and having his cabinet officials lie for him. It was disgraceful. So you're using that to justify preselecting the reporters in a press conference? Isn't it all just the same bullshit? --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
well hell (none / 0) (#317)
by Sheepdot on Thu Mar 20, 2003 at 12:37:27 PM EST

Yes, they're both pretty lame, I'll bite. The US President doesn't have the chutzpah that some like say, Prime Minister of Britain, are bred to have.

But for that matter, US politicians as a whole are generally idiots. Hell, I got a clip of a Democrat US Representative asking the Secretary of Treasury how much war cost. Someone who holds the policies of the economy didn't know what war cost. Amazing huh? No, what's amazing is that the bitch that asked the question didn't seem to understand that the guy had no fucking clue and she should go to the Department of Defense.

Even worse is that her original argument was correct, so the Secretary of the Treasury should never have commented on the cost of war relative to GDP if he didn't know what the fucking cost of war was.

We've got a bunch of morons in office, and its not going to ever change.

[ Parent ]

In other news... (none / 0) (#271)
by cei on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 04:49:57 AM EST

Britney Spears doesn't actually sing in her concerts.

Discuss.

False assumption (none / 0) (#281)
by Scratch o matic on Tue Mar 11, 2003 at 04:25:27 PM EST

Unstated is that due to the format other legitimate questions would go unanswered.

Perhaps it's unstated because it's not true. The President can select whomever he pleases. Whether he selects from a prepared list or selects whomever strikes his fancy at the moment, the same number of legitimate questions will get answered. Unless, of course, you claim that the questions that were asked in this case were not legitimate.

Yes, he can. (none / 0) (#294)
by mikelist on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 06:18:04 AM EST

Bush can do as he pleases, after all, he's the president. The question remains; is his staff editing out questions that he's not prepared to answer? That would make it a press release, not a press conference.

[ Parent ]
illegitimate process, not illegitimate questions. (none / 0) (#309)
by darkonc on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 05:07:43 AM EST

Unless, of course, you claim that the questions that were asked in this case were not legitimate.

If the order that questions are asked are scripted, then it's easy to also argue that the questions themselves could also be scripted. This does not even require the willing consent of the reporters in question.

  • The CNN reporter gets told by his editors to ask Questions A and E
  • The Time reporter gets told to answer questions C and F.
  • The ABC reporter gets told to ask questions B and X
  • The Washington Post reporter gets told to ask questions D and Y
Bush then calls on CNN, ABC, Time, The Washington Post, CNN and TIME -- in that order

Thus the questions get asked in the order A B C D E and F. Questions X and Y (possibly the most interesting) don't get asked due to 'lack of time'.

To each reporter it seems like he's being directed to ask two very legitimate and independent questions. In actual fact, he's been handed part of a script.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)
[ Parent ]

13 Questions that SHOULD have been asked (5.00 / 7) (#293)
by Klom Dark on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 04:06:16 AM EST

From Editor and Publisher magazine
  1. You say Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and is evil enough to use them. If not during an American invasion of his country, then when? Have you calculated how many U.S. troops might die in such an attack?
  2. Why, if North Korea has the capability to produce six nuclear warheads by mid-summer, are you letting their very reluctant neighbors take the lead in deterring them (as you announced tonight) while demanding that the U.S. take charge in confronting Saddam?
  3. You praise the Iraqi people, say we have no quarrel with them, pledge to save them from the dictator and give them democracy. Would you tell us how many of them are likely to die in even the best invastion scenario? And how many civilians might die if Saddam, indeed, uses chemical weapons to defend himself?
  4. Why do you think Turkey's parliament voted against hosting U.S. troops after being offered such a large aid package, especially since they are on Iraq's border?
  5. With the economy skaken and deficits climbing, how do you respond to critics who say you're ignoring domestic issues and the long-term economic security of this country by focusing so much of your time and resources on Iraq?
  6. You say one major reason for taking this action is to protect Americans from terrorism. How do you respond to the warnings of CIA Director George Tenet and others that invading Iraq would in fact likely increase terrorism?
  7. Why have you threatened "retribution" against Mexico if it votes against our U.N. resolution? And do you think it is wise to warn that Mexicans could face the same reaction as the "backlash against the French" from our public (as you recently said) when this might be directed at some of the tens of millions of Hispanics living in the U.S.?
  8. Rather than make us wait for a supplemental budget request -- after the war has been launched -- to tell us what it, and its aftermath, will cost, don't you think the American people (who will pay the bill) deserve to know the latest long-term estimates before the fact?
  9. Why did the U.S. edit the 12,000 page Iraqi weapons report (as recently revealed) to the U.N. Security Council, removing all names of U.S. companies that sold weapons materials to the Iraqis in the past?
  10. Would you confirm or deny the reports this week, based on a leaked memo, that the U.S. bugged and otherwise spied on representatives of countries that are swing votes on the U.N. Security Council? Do you approve of such actions?
  11. You claimed tonight that Iraq has started producing new missiles -- but are these nothing more than less capable versions (fully permitted by the U.N.) of the missiles being destroyed now?
  12. How do you respond to reporter Daniel Schorr's statement that the "coalition of the willing" is actually a "coalition of the billing?"
  13. Why is the U.S. threatening a non-U.N.-backed war if 59% of Americans do not support a U.S. invasion without the approval of the U.N. Security Council, according to a Feb. 24-26 USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll?


Question 14 and 15 (none / 0) (#307)
by Lost Penguin on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 01:02:25 AM EST

14 Why did your DAD sell anthrax and VX gas to Iraq? 15 Why did you appoint a man, convicted of lying to the Senate in the Iran Contra scandel, as director of Homeland Security?

[ Parent ]
Admitted? (5.00 / 1) (#295)
by bill_mcgonigle on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 09:18:16 AM EST

He admitted this?

Did anyone here actually watch the press conference?  After one reporter was done Bush would look down at his list on the podium, then call on the next reporter.

It was obvious to anyone (with a pulse) watching that there was a list of reporters to call on, and Bush didn't try to hide it.

So what was there for Fleischer to 'admit'?

admitted (none / 0) (#308)
by darkonc on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 04:36:43 AM EST

After one reporter was done Bush would look down at his list on the podium, then call on the next reporter. . It was obvious to anyone (with a pulse) watching that there was a list of reporters to call on, and Bush didn't try to hide it.

If bush doesn't have the werewithal to make it thru a scripted press conference without giving the show away, his staff may be worried that he doesn't have the brainpower to handle a spontaneous question session. If that's so, they may also be correct.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)
[ Parent ]

no kidding (none / 0) (#316)
by yoders on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 09:03:55 PM EST

I watched it. He was making a joke of the fact that it was scripted.

But who cares. People see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear.


"It doesn't work, but that's okay because we finished ahead of schedule" --anonymous
[ Parent ]

this is so serious (4.50 / 2) (#305)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 13, 2003 at 02:40:18 PM EST

President Bush and Colin Powell are sitting in a bar. A guy walks in and
asks the barman, "Isn't that Bush and Powell sitting over there?"
The barman says, "Yep, that's them."
So the guy walks over and says, "Wow, this is a real honor. What are you
guys doing in here?"
Bush says, "We're planning WWIII ".
And the guy says, "Really? What's going to happen?"
Bush says, "Well, we're going to kill 140 million Iraqis and one blonde with
big hooters."
The guy exclaimed, "A blonde with big hooters? Why kill a blonde with big
hooters?"
Bush turns to Powell, punches him on the shoulder and says, "See smart ass,
I told you no one would worry about the 140 million Iraqis."

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

The RISK of a safer world???~ (none / 0) (#310)
by darkonc on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 05:16:52 AM EST

... the risk of hoping that Saddam Hussein changes his mind ..... that somehow inaction will make the world safer, is a risk I'm not willing to take for the American people.

Bush considers the possibility of a safer world a risk?!! That pretty much says it all.

Call it a Freudian slip, if you like, but the wording is too consistent to say that it doesn't expose an underlying thought process.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)

My language parser must work different from yours. (none / 0) (#314)
by Rhinobird on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 05:12:08 AM EST

I read that and apparently came to a different conclusion than you did. Bush considers inaction a risk.
"If Mr. Edison had thought more about what he was doing, he wouldn't sweat as much." --Nikola Tesla
[ Parent ]
Who cares? (none / 0) (#312)
by sgp on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 08:35:41 PM EST

I watched that broadcast here in the UK, noted the comment, and thought little of it.

Why?

Some very good questions were asked, in the time allowed for the entire broadcast, and the answer to all of them was the same: "Saddam is a bad man." In that circumstance, does it really matter who got to ask the questions, when every question gets the same answer?

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

NYT edits scripted->unscripted (5.00 / 1) (#315)
by Robin Lionheart on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 05:21:18 AM EST

After the dog-and-pony show, CNN posted a transcript which deleted Bush's "this is scripted" slip, and MSNBC and the New York Times actually quote him saying the opposite ("this is unscripted"). The Memory Hole has an audio file and quotes from several news agencies' versions.

Free Press vs. transparency (5.00 / 1) (#318)
by frijolito on Wed Jun 18, 2003 at 07:24:57 PM EST

I don't believe this sets a wrongful precedent against Free Press... however, it *does* set a precedent against government transparency. The Press still is able to publish anything they can find out (hence, the freedom is not diminished); what is reduced, is the amount of meaningful information about what the government does.

Ari Fleischer admits Bush called from a prepared list of reporters | 311 comments (277 topical, 34 editorial, 1 hidden)
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