The “Staged” Press Conference

On Thursday morning President Bush led a “staged” event with a group of troops in Iraq, at least according to numerous Main Stream Media (MSM) reports (see resources at the bottom of the post). News Busters has a great post on the Network coverage of the “staged” Bush event starting off with noting that NBC Nightly News kicked off their show stating directly that Bush had conducted a staged event via statellite with 10 US soldiers and 1 Iraqi soldier in Iraq. The post continues with the other reports from other outlets of the MSM. Michelle Malkin has pointed to a blogged response to the MSM reports by one of the soldiers (a combat medic named Ron Long) in the satellite conference. The post is well worth the read and I will quote some here:

Yesterday, I (bottom right corner in the picture) was chosen to be among a small group of soldiers assigned to the 42ID’s Task Force Liberty that would speak to President Bush, our Commander-in-Chief. The interview went well, but I would like to respond to what most of the mass-media has dubbed as, “A Staged Event.” First of all, we were told that we would be speaking with the President of the United States, our Commander-in-Chief, President Bush, so I believe that it would have been totally irresponsible for us NOT to prepare some ideas, facts or comments that we wanted to share with the President. We were given an idea as to what topics he may discuss with us, but it’s the President of the United States; He will choose which way his conversation with us may go. We practiced passing the microphone around to one another, so we wouldn’t choke someone on live TV. We had an idea as to who we thought should answer what types of questions, unless President Bush called on one of us specifically. [...] It makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the US, while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President and our morale, as US Soldiers. They seem to be enjoying the fact that they are tearing the country apart. Worthless!

I think the last comment quoted there was particularly poignant: “It makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the US, while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President and our morale, as US Soldiers. They seem to be enjoying the fact that they are tearing the country apart.” Read the rest, he has some good things to say.

My question is this: Why does the MSM think that jumping all over Bush like that is newsworthy? How do they think it is unbiased? The only goal of this lack of reporting is slander (or libel as the case may by). If you disagree with Bush, fine, but at least have to guts to disagree on legitimate matters and don’t try to debase Bush just because you have the freedom to.

Malkin also pointed to another MSM blunder at NewsBusters: Up the Creek. NBC’s Today (ironically, just before airing a report on the Bush “staged” event) aired a report on flooding in the Northeast by rowing a conoe in a flooded suburban street only to be shown up by two men who just casually walk in front of her with the water barely passing their ankels. Heh. The video is funny to watch.

Malkin: A Soldier Speaks to the MSM
Ron Long: Speaking with the President
Fox News: Pentagon Denies Talk With Troops Was Staged
San Francisco Chronicle: In carefully coordinated event, Bush tries to boost war support
ABC News: Shocked, Just Shocked Network Reporters Hype “Staged” Bush Event with Troops A role rehearsal
Guardian: Bush accused of staging chat with troops
Washington Post: Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged
Pentagon: video of the sotellite conference
Newsbusters: Shocked, Just Shocked Network Reporters Hype “Staged” Bush Event with Troops

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Categories: Politics, Social Commentary Tags:
  1. October 14th, 2005 at 15:57 | #1

    The staged press event is newsworthy because the administration has a history of passing off highly planned events as casual encounters between a President and the people he works for. For example, in his town meeting-style campaign events, only registered Republicans were allowed in and questions were hand picked. When citrizens are being fooled into believing they are seeing something authentic when it is actually a well-rehearsed dramatic play, they deserve to know. That is news. (hope i didn’t take up too much space)

  2. October 14th, 2005 at 16:14 | #2

    I agree. If this had been a staged event it would have been news worthy, but the fact that it was not just shows the bias in the MSM and is not true news. In this case citizens were being fooled into believe they are seeing something authentic when in fact they are seeing a story constructed by the media itself. And no comment takes up too much space, they are always welcomed (unless you quoted all of War and Peace or something like that).

  3. October 14th, 2005 at 17:08 | #3

    Eh, I don’t know, I didn’t actually see it I mean did the Bush admin make this seem like a spur of the moment thing as in some White House guy is at some military base and just goes grabbing people on the spot or did they admit that “Yes they’ve had a few day’s notice.” It’s not necessarily staged but it’s far from spur of the moment.
    Besides why bash him for something like this when there’s so many easier ways to target him, I mean really people gotta learn how to pick something interesting and something that’s just a waste of coverage….

  4. October 14th, 2005 at 22:00 | #4

    Did you see the video of Alison Barber, literally, coaching them? Telling them to stick to, as she called it, “the script”? What do you think it means to be staged? Nobody’s saying they’re actors. They’re saying it was fixed like the 1918 World Series, NOT a conversation.

    And saying that the media is trying to ruin America by criticizing Bush is the lamest argument I’ve ever heard. Bush is doing that plenty well by himself.

  5. October 15th, 2005 at 14:41 | #5

    Being coached about what types of questions will be asked is not the same as “staging” something. “Staging” implies that the questions and answers are known beforehand.

    I am saying that the media does not help American at all by spewing opinion as factual news.

  6. Nancy
    October 15th, 2005 at 16:01 | #6

    Sorry Matt, i can’t agree with you here…nor can I really disagree…the press says it was staged, you read somewhere when a soldier says it was not staged nor were they coached . Tell me, why should we believe that over the other or visa versa?? Bush is doing a great job of hurting himself..just look at his approval rating. The press is not doing that to him. I love you bunches Matt, but I just cannot agree with your way of thinking when it comes to Bush. He scares the heck out of me.

  7. October 15th, 2005 at 16:09 | #7

    And thats ok that we disagree. :) I don’t have to agree with someone to respect them.

    I would tend to agree with the soldier who has a first hand account over the media who has a track history of being sensationalist and biased (which is not to say that the soldier doesn’t have any biases).

    Bush’s approval rating is down quite low and he has made mistake, I don’t deny it. That does not mean that I don’t still stand by many of his policies (although not many of his economic ones).

    What is it about Bush that scares you?

  8. October 16th, 2005 at 12:57 | #8

    Did you see that OVER 10 million people voted in Iraq? That’s the real story here. Hallelujah…there is a beginning of freedom for these people who haven’t tasted it in decades. I think they are liking the taste very much. That’s not scary, it’s exhilarating!

  9. October 16th, 2005 at 19:17 | #9

    This is just another lame attempt by the media to make Bush look bad. THey are probably
    just angry that they weren’t able to plant questions and ambush the President like they
    did with Rumsfeld.
    You may remember Rumsfeld at a simple Q&A in Iraq, when a
    suspiciously sophisticated question about uparmoring Humvees came up.

    Turned out a reporter planted the question. Liberals went nuts with it… they were like,
    “Rums-filled claims to go to war with army we have not the one we wish to have” and what
    not. If there was any staging at all, it was probably just pre planning to prevent the
    president from being blindsided like Rumsfeld was. I dont think the president could snap
    back as Rumsfeld did, so it was probably a smart move to make sure he wasn’t blindsided.

  10. October 16th, 2005 at 21:44 | #10

    Seriously, Iraq rules. Democracy spreading is always a good thing! I am just tired of the media. News is supposed to a report of the events (I am not saying it is completely possible to eliminate all bias) and not present opinion as fact. It is just painful to watch how sensational everything is now.

  1. October 14th, 2005 at 17:49 | #1
  2. November 9th, 2007 at 16:35 | #2