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WP: Don't Mind Me. I'm Just Doing My Job (Minders at Inauguration)

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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:08 PM
Original message
WP: Don't Mind Me. I'm Just Doing My Job (Minders at Inauguration)
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 05:19 PM by Pirate Smile
Don't Mind Me. I'm Just Doing My Job

By Paul Farhi
Sunday, January 30, 2005; Page B02

Reporters who cover the White House are accustomed to being spun by administration officials. The modern presidential toolbox includes carefully rationed press conferences, say-nothing spokesmen, dead-of-night releases of unfavorable news, and phony "town hall" meetings composed solely of sycophantic supporters. More recently, government agencies have issued fake-news videos and secretly contracted with two pundits to promote the administration's policies on education and marriage.
But now the art of press handling has evolved into actual manhandling. The Bush team has expanded the use of "minders," employees or volunteers who escort journalists from interview to interview within a venue or at a newsworthy event.

-snip-
I had arrived early to get a head start on mingling among the roughly 6,000 people eating and dancing to celebrate the president's reelection. Unaware of the new escort policy (it wasn't in place during the official parties following the 2001 inauguration), I blithely assumed that in the world's freest nation, I was free to walk around at will and ask the happy party goers such national security-jeopardizing questions as, "Are you having a good time?"

Big mistake. After cruising by the media pen -- a sectioned-off area apparently designed for corralling journalists -- a sharp-eyed volunteer spotted my media badge. "You're not supposed to go out there without an escort," she said.

-snip-
As I was dictating from my notes, something flashed across my face and neatly snatched my cell phone from of my hand. I looked up to confront a middle-aged woman, her face afire with rage. "You ignored the rules, and I'm throwing you out!" she barked, snapping my phone shut. "You told that girl you didn't need an escort. That's a lie! You're out of here!"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46409-20...

This is the article we thought we were going to get on Friday (per Newsjocks thread). It will be in tomorrows WP.
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98geoduck Donating Member (590 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. This Is HILARIOUS!!! Freedoms on the March...
Right out the f#ckin door.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. You have freedom of speech.
Just don't use it!
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pokercat999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. I've said it before, I'll repeat myself
All Democrats and Freedom loving people everywhere should not stand for ANY infringement to the 2nd amendment. It will be needed.....maybe sooner than we expect.
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. Mind boggling.
First they're paid and then they're corraled.

Why can't people see how fascist this is?
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madaboutharry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. The bushies are Fascist.
Sooner or later Americans are going to have to wake up and see what is going on: The slow boiling of the frogs.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. Protesters have free speech zones, Reporters get no free speech zones
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 05:19 PM by Robbien
This is the most telling part of the article:

Consider that the escorts weren't there to provide security; all of us had already been through two checkpoints and one metal detector. They weren't there to keep me away from, Heaven forbid, a Democrat or a protester; those folks were kept safely behind rings of fences and concrete barriers. Nor were the escorts there to admonish me for asking a rude question of the partying faithful, or to protect the paying customers from the prying media.

Their real purpose only occurred to me after I had gone home for the night, when I remembered a brief conversation with a woman I was interviewing. During the middle of our otherwise innocuous encounter, she suddenly noticed the presence of my minder. She stopped for a moment, glanced past me, then resumed talking.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. The only people there were DONORS.
BushCo doesn't trust its donors???
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Bushco doesn't trust it's DONORS. There ya go. The donors should
get a clue from that, wouldn't ya think?
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
7. What do the Rethugs do to a donor or party member who speaks out?
Someone who doesn't keep with the talking points or says the things we know they really think but aren't supposed to say?

Do they keep a list?

What are the repercussions?

Hmmmm.
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. these are tactics used by very repressive governments like those of our
neighbor 90 miles to the south of key west: fidel castro!
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. and the Chinese and the Russians in the heydey of the Communists
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. "Modern" Presidential Toolbox? It's BUSH'S Presidential Toolbox Of
decieptful methods.

Modern?

CLINTON didn't need to use 'phony "town hall" meetings composed solely of sycophantic supporters.'

Neither did the last legally elected POTUS ever use 'government issued fake-news videos' nor was he guilty of 'secretly contracted with two pundits to promote the administration's policies on education and marriage.'

This isn't 'Modern'.

It's fucking Bush and it's also FASCISM.
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AirAmFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
11. There must have been a meeting to give the 'minders' their marching
orders. Who was in charge, and what exactly were the volunteer 'commissars' told?

Also, the 'volunteers' must have had supervisors, who must have rewarded those who did 'well' with promotions and increased responsibility. What's next for them?

This whole episode is reminiscent of Orwell's writing about the 'inner party' and the 'outer party' in '1984'.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Actually, You're Right. There May Very Well Be Memos Floating Around
maybe one of the minders boyfriends or girlfriends could secure one.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Kick
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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. Eaves Droppers
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
17. Whoa! This is like something out of old Russia, or a banana republic,
or.....

<<<<shudder>>>>
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