My goodness, is Dana Perino a sourpuss at National Review Online today (here)…
I like a robust debate, and finally we’re starting to see some really good reporting on the merits of the president’s reform proposals. Judging by the reaction, people don’t seem to like what they’re learning. And some may feel like they’ve not been getting the full story about how much the reforms will cost them. Now that that cat’s out of the bag, their skepticism is rising. It’s no wonder the White House wants to open its doors to ABC for a large-scale PR push.And by the way, I’m not being mean here; in case you thought I was choosing to exclude the portion of the post where Perino provides the background on what she’s talking about, I should let you know that I didn’t, because she didn’t include it.
Perhaps ABC will help provide more clarity and “select” people who will ask tough questions; however, no matter how tough the questions are, President Obama will have home-field advantage. And it’s hard not to look like you’re in the tank when you’re anchoring from the Blue Room.
President Obama gets to lead the news with his announcements every night. What might provide a more informed debate would be to use ABC’s considerable resources to go outside the Beltway and Manhattan and see what the rest of America is thinking about health-care reform.
So I navigated here, and I found out from wankerific Baltimore Sun media pundit David Zurawik that “Primetime” will devote an hour on Wednesday June 24th to the president while he answers questions on health care, with the “health care conversation” continuing on “Nightline.” “Good Morning America” that day will originate from the South Lawn of the White House and will include an exclusive interview with President Obama (and clips of an interview correspondent Robin Roberts conducted with Michelle Obama). Also, Charlie Gibson will broadcast the ABC Evening News that day from the White House “blue room” (Perino referenced that much anyway - at least, as a news reader, it will be impossible for Gibson to ask any questions about the capital gains tax).
So basically, if you love the Obamas, the White House, and the ABC television network, just camp out in front of the tube all day and vegetate with your snack food and beverage of choice.
Hell of a bunch of details for Perino to omit, huh?
Update 6/18/09: OK, to be fair, I should note that Zurawik was, once more, trying to draw an equivalency between Rachel Maddow, who actually converses with her guests and, to my knowledge, has never cut off someone’s mic, and a certain falafel-abusing, murder-encouraging Fix Noise talking head whose initials are B. O’R. That is what got me steamed, and it wasn’t accurate for me to summarize this as “Z” saying that Maddow didn’t want to have guests who disagreed with her. Maddow’s point is that she wishes to have substantive discussions with Republican policy makers, assuming that’s possible, not self-anointed spokespeople like Gingrich, Romney, Huckabee, etc. And when anyone on Faux “News” communicates something to that effect, please let me know (I won’t hold my breath). Also, this is the Zurawik post in question that I should have linked to earlier.
Also, I realize I could run with the quote from Perino about her version of “robust debate” within the White House, but I’ll let that go for now because, happily, she and the regime she fronted for are gone.
Instead, I’ll merely point out that Perino’s old boss used the media as much as he could also to forward his own agenda, such as this interview five years after 9/11, in which he STILL made the Iraq/9-11 connection, saying “that we're in– we're in a – a– a major struggle with extremists. You know, when you really think about why would somebody kill 3,000 Americans?”
And he, no doubt, always will.
Oh, and this tells us of the Bush’s 2001 Christmas special, a “behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the holiday transformation of the White House. This year, First Lady Laura Bush chose ‘Home For the Holidays’ as the theme of her first Christmas with President George W. Bush in the White House. The White House Curator, White House Chief Florist and the White House Chief Pastry Chef give viewers an insider's perspective of the days of preparing the ‘People's House’ for the holidays.”
Yeah, I’m sure we got the “full story” on the intricacies of designing table centerpieces so as not to obscure the seasonal poinsettia plants.
And another thing: do you remember that little movie Dubya made (here). In 2004? It was called “Faith In The White House.”
So in terms of a “large-scale PR push,” former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History wasn’t even satisfied with TV. He needed a damn feature film!
Really, though, all we have here is the typical Bushie whining when they can’t control their precious narrative (or, absent that, the narrative of their party), such as here when well-connected Repug stooge Ed Gillespie whined about NBC’s editing of an interview Bush gave to correspondent Richard Engel.
Also, there's more than a bit of jealousy on display here; this informs us that Obama’s inauguration was the second highest rated in the history of TV inaugural coverage (Reagan’s was the highest), with 37.8 million viewers. Conversely, “the least watched inauguration would be George W. Bush's second one in 2005 that withdrew only 15.5 million.”
Tee hee hee…