Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Presidential Address

I wanted to ask some people about their opinions of Bush's recent address about Iraq, but then it hit me -- nobody saw it. It wasn't carried on any of the big four networks around here (although I heard that Fox at least offered it to its affiliates) so if you wanted to see it, you would have to turn to MSNBC or the like. How often does that happen, that a prime time presidential address is not aired? Well, it's sweeps month.

It's probably good for Bush that no one saw it. He seems to be having a terrible run of luck with any kind of publicity whatsoever...the big news was the Abu Ghraib is to be torn down. Does anyone else think this is not the best way to handle this? Why not make it into something positive, like a learning center or a soup kitchen, or really, anything at all? What's it going to be, a parking lot? And doesn't it seem weird to be essentially destroying evidence while an investigation is ongoing?

Maybe I'm overreacting. What does everyone else think?


Raised By Republicans said...

Hi Bell Curve,

Yes, it is unusual for the networks to mess with Presidential TV time. But it's not unheard of. You may remember that one of Clinton's State of the Union adresses had split screen insets with the O.J. Simpson verdict in the corner.

I did see part of it (on CNN) but I was with my parents and it seemed more fun to watch a video instead. I pretty much knew that the papers would say if he said anything new in the morning and if Bush said anything new, I could get a transcript online. They did, he didn’t.

The closest thing to new in the speech was his statement that he is asking a number of Arab and Muslim countries to join him at a summit of the Group of 8. But so far all the RSVP’s have been declining to attend. Bush is like the opposite of Vito Corleone – “he made ‘em an offer they had to refuse.”

The part I did see was very telling. As usual, Bush made sure that his speech would be to a friendly audience – this time to the Army War College (a kind of grad school for West Point). But there were several obvious places where Bush paused to wait for applause…applause that didn’t come (imagine crickets chirping). Bush got the usual applause for the “we all thank our troops” lines but not for the lines about policy – at least not the first 15 minutes I saw before we put in the video. By the way, if a political news junky like me watched a video instead, how many people made a point of tuning into CNN or C-SPAN to watch the speech?

Finally, I don't think it’s luck that has brought all this bad news. This is all the result of incompetently designed and implemented policy.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Abu Ghraib will be torn down only after we have built a new prison. That's not saying much. Most buildings are torn down once a replacement is created. The timing on the replacement is, like all reconstruction in Iraq, impossible to guess, if ever. So this was another non-promise.

The address was pathetic. The bit about Ambassador Negroponte presenting his credentials to the New "sovereign" government was facile. We all know what's going on.

Dr. Strangelove said...

From MSNBC & Hollywood Reporter May 24, 2004:
LOS ANGELES - The broadcast networks are not expected to carry President Bush’s primetime speech Monday night, in which he will lay out a “clear strategy” for the future of Iraq.

The Bush administration has not requested the Big Four to air live the president’s address to an audience at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn., scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT on the last Monday of the May sweep, a crucial period when networks chase high ratings in order to set ad rates.

Anonymous said...

Bush's proposal to tear down Abu Ghraib is more than evidence destruction; it's typical of the propaganda machine. The last anyone wants is to have Abu Ghraib standing as a reminder of what happened there. But the truth is, you can tear down the building (which won't happen soon) to build an even bigger prison with more room for even more inmates, but Arabs have long, deep memories. 50 years from now, they will be talking about Abu Ghraib as if it just happened that morning. This is psychological game playing. Better to tear down the prison than the administration that turned it into a torture chamber.