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Justice columnist is mad as hell about WH Protest Manual; says no more staged Bush speeches on TV

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:07 PM
Original message
Justice columnist is mad as hell about WH Protest Manual; says no more staged Bush speeches on TV
Bench Conference, by Andrew Cohen
The Charade of Presidential Public Speeches

I don't really need another reason justifying why television networks should no longer automatically cover live public appearances by the current or any other president. But if you do, read Peter Baker's startling piece in today's Washington Post, a chronicle of the manipulative and insulting extent to which the Bush administration has gone to ensure that presidential appearances are like campaign commercials.

(NOTE: Link to the article referenced by Cohen, "White House Manual Details How to Deal With Protesters": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20... )

Thanks to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two protesters who were arrested in West Virginia in 2004 for failing to cover their "anti-Bush" t-shirts during a presidential rally, we now have proof that the White House choreographs these events as closely as if they were a scene from the movie "Reds." Free speech rights are nullified. Free expression is thwarted. The spirit of the First Amendment, if not its letter, is completely ignored -- all in the name of pretending to a television audience that the president is beloved and, quite literally, beyond criticism....

***

Roaming "rally squads"! In America. In 2007. Can you imagine?

What can you do about it? Probably not much. What can television executives do about it? Plenty. They can refuse any longer to offer a live, free national platform to this or any other White House's staged event. They can tell administration officials that until those folks respect the First Amendment rights of protesters, they will not broadcast their events.

Would doing so ignore their newsgathering responsibilities or functions? Absolutely not. Reporters still should cover such events, and producers still should tape them. But they should be evaluated for broadcast the same way that political speeches are.

If the White House is going to treat dissent with such premeditated disrespect, then the White House deserves to be precluded from continuing to use the media to manipulate its message. All the king's horses and all the king's men can't hide the president's overwhelmingly unpopularity -- and the media shouldn't either.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/benchconference/2007/08/...
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. One of the puppies rearing up on its hind legs?
Cute, very cute. But hardly of any concern to a White House that can count on the fawning coverage of an entire network, and a scared gaggle of puppies who are petrified that they'll lose their "access" to these canned events.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. Yes, this was the outrage to have a war or two ago. - n/t
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alstephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, good luck with that. eom
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Of course Bush's appearances are staged.
You don't actually think he could handle anything that wasn't scripted, do you? That would require an ability to think.
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elmerdem Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. hell
He can't even handle the scripted ones!
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. True that.
:rofl:
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. There goes Cohen's invite to the big Crawford BBQ!
A manual on how to deal with protesters? Say it isn't so!

Maybe FAUX can apply for the sole coverage of campaign events -- oops, White House speeches.

Julie
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. Recommended!~ When are the American
People as a mass majority going to know that Pravda("the truth" in Russian) hijacked our television waves. Why the hell should we be subjected to that fucking moron because the corporatedmediawhores tell us we should?!!!~!!?????

Why doesn't cnn, msnbc(mostly) just call their stations "THE TRUTH"(they're shoving down our collective throats)?

Everybody already knows fauxnoise is the mouthpiece for buSHIT.

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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. Riiiight.
Just last week, CBS was airing their morning show live here in KC on public property. They had the police arrest a woman who was holding an impeach sign, then denied they did it. proud2Blib has a thread about it somewhere.
There is precious little free press or free speech in Amerika.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well, it's worth a shot
barking up the ownership chain, that is. Perhaps the corporate media executives can be sued for failing to insure the First Amendment is followed. They're probably much more concerned with money than much else.

And the author is partly wrong (though it's a minor bit). Little people can do something. Turn off the TV, refuse to watch staged events of the Unitary Executive. When you see *, change the channel. Eventually the corporate media will figure out nobody's watching.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. Brownshirts.
Read your history. The SS never locked people up in free speech zones until this junta came along.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. we all know why they did this
little georgy would get all mad and throw a little hissy fit.....
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
10. When Little Boots was here in 04
we got 1500 people out to give him a very special hello. After his limo blew by us (and he'd gotten countless one finger salutes) a teenage girl fell into the street from getting jostled in the crowd--things were a bit rowdy. Jr. was long gone, the incident didn't interfere with the motorcade at all. Well she got arrested. As a local lawyer stepped in, offering to represent her, he also got arrested. It was so ridiculous.

That November hundreds of us wrote that lawyer's name in on the ballot in the Prosecutor section of the ballot.

Still, what a waste of resources!

Additionally, a lady who's a high school teacher had a ticket to the "Bush rally". Nice lady and a good Dem, she's been racking up experiences seeing heads of state. They wouldn't let her in because she had a Kerry sticker on. She offered to take it off, they wouldn't let her in even then.

Yes, heaven forbid a citizen who doesn't adore Little Boots be in the same facility as him!

Asshole.

Julie
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thanks for a good example of what goes on! nt
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. Gee, traditional media is just now figuring this out?
We've been talking about this since at least 2001 ...
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Agreed.
Edited on Wed Aug-22-07 03:58 PM by DCKit
I gave my brother and his wife matching "My Job was outsourced and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" shirts in 2000 and they tried to wear them to a Boosh propaganda event, I mean a town meeting in PA. All I could say was "Duh."
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-23-07 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
17. The boy king forgets that he's an elected official
Edited on Thu Aug-23-07 11:40 AM by 8_year_nightmare
& that he is supposed to be representing the interests of all citizens. He is not the president of the Republican party & when (all of) his policies are geared to make his corporate royal subjects happy, he needs to face the consequences by hearing about the complaints from his unhappy constituency.

As long as we still have the right to vote in these public servants, we have every right to complain when their policies adversely affect our lives.
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