Lars Larson: Obama and Staged Press Appearances

By Lars Larson,

What does it mean when the White House starts staging press events and even the guests and the sob stories in the audience? There’s a problem in the White House right now of “staging”. The stagecraft that is being employed by the Obama administration is amazing. They arrange for ABC to give up its journalistic integrity by staging a “Town Hall on Health Care” in the White House and ABC signs up. They arrange for a woman to show up for an event in Florida months ago to tell her sob story to the audience. We found out later the story has some holes in it.

Now, more recently, a woman showed up at a Town Hall on Health Care and she tearfully talks about her experience with cancer and her lack of health care insurance. It turns out she is a volunteer for the Obama campaign. The White House is going to have to be careful about this kind of thing. Even the lap dog mainstream media is starting to ask tough questions about how well they are being managed by the Obama White House. The folks who read, and watch, and listen to them should be asking the same kinds of questions.

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  • Provo

    Everything seems staged nowadays.

  • Roadrunner

    Gee, Lars, I don’t recall that you complained about staged press events during the Bush administration, or that you complained about the extraordinary access that male prostitute “Jeff Gannon” (real name Jim Guckert) had at press conferences.

    IOKIYAR, I guess.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Can we name a staged press conference Bush had that approached anything BO Co. has done? I sure can’t think of any but maybe I am wrong. The closest thing that even comes to mind is the “mission accomplished” photo op and the staging of that event was pretty straight forward. I can remember Bush being pretty roundly criticized for that one, O’ Reilly went on about it forever as a precipitous inane event.

      Does this even come close to the BO Co. health care special on ABC or the phony town halls? In those we are lead to believe the audience is a random sampling.

      Somehow trying to blame Bush for BO Co’s phoniness, in fact blaming Bush for virtually every fault is starting to sound a little like a Saturday Night Live skit.

      You know, its always the same thing, when something is pointed out about a Democrat, liberals always wonder where conservatives were when it came to criticizing Republicans. Given the amount of criticism Bush got from Republicans, certainly some on this blog, that really rings hollow. Seems to me that Republicans are far more likely to criticize one of their own than Democrats.

      • Tim Lyman

        The “Mission Accomplished” banner was planned and hung by the crew of the ship. I don’t know if the Bush administration even knew it was going to be there.

    • Moron Detector

      Yes, I’d like to know which of Bush’s press events were staged? Or was this just some liberal making another false accusation about someone?

      • Tim Lyman

        The only staged event I can rememeber from the Bush administration was from Bush I. Remember the crack purchased across the street from the White House? The buy was initially set up a couple of blocks away, but was moved. The press, completely ignoring the obvious fact that the crack dealer agreed to the move to sell crack, not to enhance B1’s talking points, and would have done so for anyone wishing to purchase crack, had their panties in a bunch for weeks over it.

  • Scottiebill

    Rupert has it right. The Komrade’s administration, and the Komrade himself, are blaming Bush for every thing that has happened since the Titanic hit the iceberg (put there by Bush himself, don’t you know?). That whole schtick of blaming Bush for all the country’s problems is getting to be more and more like a cheap vaudeville act put on by a bunch of third- and fourth-rate wanna-be actors.

    The Komrade took office in January and by March 1 had gotten the fiscal deficit increased four -fold, then whines about the economic problems he had “inherited” from Bush. This guy came in with the word “PHONY” tattooed across his forehead and 52% of the voters either ignored the warning or just plain did not see it or just didn’t give a solitary damn (take your choice), as long as they could see Bush in their rear view mirrors.

    We must remember that 52% of the voters put this phony into office, but 100% of the population now have to live with the consequences.

    Get a deep seat and a faraway look, folks. It’s going to be a long and hard 3-1/2 years ahead. There will be a time in the not-too-distant future where we will be wishing for Bush to come back.

    If we aren’t already.

  • John in Oregon

    This particular poster child in support of Obama care is ironic beyond belief as it actually shows the opposite. Lets listen to what Debby told Obama.

    Debby Smith told the president of suffering from renal cell carcinoma in 1998. Because she was caring for her father she chose to have the tumor treated with radiation. Now I have a new tumor,” said Smith, explaining that she cannot get treatment, she is no longer able to work and has no health coverage now.

    The Washington Post has additional information telling us “she relies on a hospital charity fund for twice-yearly cat scans; a pharmaceutical company’s patient assistance program for help with her cancer drugs and her fiance, (sic) who pays $515 a month for her remaining medication and regular doctor visits.”

    Some of the legacy media reporters commented that Debby should be eligible for Medicaid. They missed the irony. Debby is currently receiving medical care that is superior to Medicaid.

    In the UK, Canada, on the Oregon Health Plan and Medicaid Debby would not get the cat scans or the kidney cancer medications. In fact in the UK Debby’s NHS coverage would be terminated because she “toped up”. Toping up is the uniquely British way of saying she is getting health care that is superior to that provided by the NHS.

    Don’t believe it?

    The just ask Randy Stroup and Barbara Wagner. The Oregon Health Plan notified them by letter that they were denied medical care for their cancer. The letters also notified them that the Oregon Health Plan will cover assisted suicide.

  • dartagnan

    Is there anything new about a president staging press events? Anybody remember the famous “Mission Accomplished” carrier landing?

    “Can we name a staged press conference Bush had that approached anything BO Co. has done?” asks Rupert. The carrier landing was FAR WORSE than anything Obama has done. It cost more, it was phonier, and it involved misuse of US military personnel and a US naval vessel for a cheap political publicity stunt.

    But I guess, as always, the IOKIYAR rule applies.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >”Can we name a staged press conference Bush had that approached anything BO Co. has done?” asks Rupert. The carrier landing was FAR WORSE than anything Obama has done. It cost more

      Yep, I mentioned the mission accomplished thing, but that was not portrayed as a press conference, it was a clearly staged photo op, so, not really what we are talking about here. I also doubt it cost much more than BO’s legendary flying stunts. It certainly had a more useful purpose.

      But I guess, as always, the IOKIYAR rule applies.

      Well, first of all, I don’t know what the acronym you use stands for. I have a feeling, given the context, its some implication of hypocrisy or inconsistency on my part. What nonsense, the idea that I or a lot of other conservatives haven’t criticized Bush straight up is simply ludicrous.

      What you will never get from a liberal is a straight up criticism of a Democrat. It will either never come, or will always be qualified.

      • valley person

        “I also doubt it cost much more than BO’s legendary flying stunts.”

        If you are referring to the recent New York air shoot, BO did not order it and fired the guy who did. What more do you want? Who did Bush ever fire for anything? Brownie?

        “What you will never get from a liberal is a straight up criticism of a Democrat.”

        Read Greg Greenwald (detainee policies,) Maureen Dowd (lots of things,) Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, & Robert Kutner (Obamanomics), all liberals and all currently critical of Obama.

        Wrong Way Rupert strikes again.

  • John in Oregon

    Hey Roadrunner, Dartagnan, and Valley P. Nice application of the Moonbat Rules. In this case number 6 which goes *Rule 6.0 … Bush did it. Unless it is good.*

    But Guys you all three got it wrong. This wasn’t a speech welcoming a combat group home. It wasn’t even a press conference, although Obama did those as well.

    It was a “town hall meeting” in which the “general public” would discuss health care with Obama.

    Now I suspect that John Q Public had long since guessed the only audience invited would have voted for Obama. Tho I don’t think anyone quite expected the questions would be scripted and the audience performance staged.

    That even caught the attention of in the tank for Obama Legacy Media denizen Helen Thomas. Note to Obama. Thomas doesn’t mind being duped unless you rub her nose in it.

    I don’t know why anyone would be surprised that Obama would plant a scripted questioner. After all Obama has done that repeatedly at press conferences with planted questions and TelePrompTer ready answers.

    And Road Runner trots out “Jeff Gannon”. That Gannon duped the Bush press office and conned his way into a press pass is Bush’s Bad.

    My question is this.

    With all those sharp as a tack Washington Press Corps types around, why is it none of them tumbled that Gannon was a ringer?

    Not one of the Press Corps tumbled until Gannon had the temerity to ask a question that didn’t include the required media savage Bush with a harangue as a prolog to any question.

    Of course that would out any fake reporter. The Washington Press Corps would NEVER ask a soft ball question. Hummm can I think of an example? Why yes I can.

    The Washington Press Corps would never ask a soft ball question like… “Mr President, are you going to take Michelle on a date?”

    • valley person

      “But Guys you all three got it wrong.”

      Since I made no comment at all on Bush’s aircraft carrier stunt, I don’t know why you say I got something about it wrong.

    • Roadrunner

      Like Valley Person, I also made no mention of the Mission Accomplished photo op.

      I did mention the fact that there was a regular attendee of Bush White House press briefings, a former male prostitute, in fact, with no actual press credentials, who seemed to get called on an awful lot when the going got sticky.

      • Anonymous

        Oh … for a minute there I thought you were talking about Steven Gobie, Democrat Rep. Barney Frank’s enterprising boyfriend who was caught running a gay sex-for-hire business from the apartment they shared in D.C.

  • John in Oregon

    > *”But Guys you all three got it wrong.”

    Since I made no comment at all on Bush’s aircraft carrier stunt, I don’t know why you say I got something about it wrong.*

    That’s a totally fair question as I didn’t make an explicit criticism on that point.

    When Obama made a policy statement from the Archives in front of a facsimile of the US founding documents that was audacious but not abnormal. (The actual original documents needed protection from the damaging TV lights.)

    The truth is politicians seek out favorable venues. Since 1960 that’s TV. Carter at the fireside, Bush on the carrier, Obama at the archive. From 1930 the venue was radio, FDR at the fireside.

    For Lincoln it was the same balcony, of the same hotel. one day hence to deliver a rebuttal to the speech given by Douglas that night.

    All presidents call on perceived friendly media at press conferences. Noting new about that.

    What is new is prearranged questions at press conferences and the orchestrated performances of “ordinary people” at town halls.

    For some time watching Obama I have felt something was off. Don’t get me wrong, for production values and performance Obama puts all but the very best TV and Motion Picture actors to shame. No one should ever take that away from him.

    It was the Archive speech where my thinking clicked into place. For that explanation I need to provide some background.

    Growing up I had a mentor. He had fought in WW2 as a telegrapher. (A time when I was yet my Fathers dream.) Everett continued with telegraphy after the war. I learned the Morris Code as a boy scout and Everett’s skills held me in awe.

    One day in particular Everett and I were talking and as he often did he was receiving a message. Typing it out as it went along. Then there was a break and another message, which I thought was to someone else. As the message ended Everett dropped paper in the typewriter and typed out a 10 or 12 line message.

    This floored me and I asked him how could he possibly remember the message. He said I don’t, and he had to pick up paper and read the message to see what it said. That was the day I understood that for a master telegrapher the message travels from the ears to the fingers and not through the mind.

    At the archive Obama performed in front of a live TV camera without an audience. I saw his head turn right, then left. Right, left, right, left, look down, right. The speech was traveling from the TelePrompTer to the eyes, then to the mouth bypassing the mind. His mind is free to manage intonation, pacing, tenor and presentation.

    That is an absolutely remarkable skill.

    For me it raises the question, will what you see have any resemblance to what you get.

    • valley person

      Well, that is a lot of surmising you have there. Can’t argue with your perception.

      What we will get from Obama is whatever policies he manages to get into place. Plus whatever good or bad feelings he leaves behind him. Its the same with all presidents. If he does stuff we want to see in spite of all the obstacles, then great. If not then your team gets to see what you can undo when it is your turn.

      What Obama is not is “the end of the world as we know it.”

  • Roadrunner

    Interesting, none of the conservative commenters here have addressed the issue of the male prostitute Jeff Gannon/James Guckert, who was the Bush White House go to guy when a softball question was needed.

    By the way, IOKIYAR stands for “It’s okay if you’re a Republican.”

    • John in Oregon

      > *Interesting, none of the conservative commenters here have addressed the issue of the male prostitute Jeff Gannon/James Guckert, who was the Bush White House go to guy when a softball question was needed.*

      Sorry RR, read #6 above beginning with “And Road Runner trots out “Jeff Gannon”. That Gannon duped the Bush press office….”

      RR > *By the way, IOKIYAR stands for “It’s okay if you’re a Republican.”*

      Yes I know. It’s a generalized form insult to a Republican. All the rage of the noonbat blues. And ohhh so compliant with the moonbat rule book.

      *Moonbat Rule 2.0* – All Republicans are guilty of something and it is usually mass murder.

    • Conscience of a Moonbat

      IOKIYAR really stands for “It’s okay if you’re a Road ‘bat.”

  • John in Oregon

    > *What Obama is not is “the end of the world as we know it.”*

    I suppose that would depend on what might be contained in your world as you know it. My world happens to contain sovereignty, liberty and free enterprise.

    The question is how might one measure that end?

    One indicator comes from the UK. “I bring you good news from the U.S., “Gore said speaking to the World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by UK Times. Former Vice President Al Gore declared that the Obama cap and tax bill will bring about “global governance.” By this most take Gore to mean the US will sacrifice its sovereignty for some sort of global governance.

    Another measure comes from Congressman Henry Waxman. When asked if he had read the Obama cap and tax bill he responded it was unnecessary to read the bill as it was written by the [IPCC] scientists.

    Sometimes light comes from the oddest angles. The New York Times Magazine wrote an article in which Madam Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg referred to a Medicaid Abortion case with the following ”Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe [v. Wade] was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

    That focused attention upon John Holdren, Obamas science advisor. In his book “Ecoscience” Holdren advocates for Government Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens. Of course Holdern felt those measures a necessary response to an apocalyptic crisis facing mankind, overpopulation.

    The progressive lurches from one apocalyptic disaster to another. Teddy Roosevelt’s resource depletion, Wilson’s Eugenics, too many feeble minded. The loss of land, overproduction, banking collapse, improper land use, industrial bankruptcy. So vary many disasters and the only solution to each is more Government power.

    Can I say that Obama will end sovereignty, liberty and free enterprise? Of course I cannot. Just as you can not say that he will not.

    • valley person

      “My world happens to contain sovereignty, liberty and free enterprise. ”

      So does mine, and we are both in luck. At the end of 4 or 8 years of Obama, chances are good we will still have all 3.

      “By this *most* take Gore to mean the US will sacrifice its sovereignty for some sort of global governance.”

      Most who? I didn’t take it that way. We have many international treaties and have had a UN for 6 decades. Every treaty involves giving up something to get something, but none have traded away our sovereignty. A global agreement on global climate change is pretty much the only way to tackle the problem.

      “Another measure comes from Congressman Henry Waxman…”

      A measure of what? Whether he read it cover to cover or not, what does that have to do with your concern? How many who voted against it did not read it as well?

      “The progressive lurches from one apocalyptic disaster to another.” The progressive also ended slavery, passed women’s suffrage, ended jim crow, passed the clean water and air acts, established our national park and forest systems, established social security, the FDIC, the SEC (in other words saved capitalism from itself,) led our nation through WW2, created the Peace Corps, and Medicare. The progressive argued against two unecessary wars. The progressive stopped the US from torturing mere suspects. Give us some credit now and then.

      “Can I say that Obama will end sovereignty, liberty and free enterprise? Of course I cannot. Just as you can not say that he will not. ”

      True. I can’t prove a negative. So if you want to lie awake at night and worry yourself over this, be my guest. I spent part of 8 years worrying that Reagan would initiate a nuclear war. I was wrong about that thank goodness. Hopefully you will be just as wrong 8 years from now.

  • John in Oregon

    > *Most who? I didn’t take it that way. We have many international treaties and have had a UN for 6 decades. Every treaty involves giving up something to get something, but none have traded away our sovereignty. A global agreement on global climate change is pretty much the only way to tackle the problem.*

    The report was from the conference. I will grant that some at the conference took a stronger position than did Gore.

    Neither Gore nor I said anything about treaties. You brought up the progressive tactic that treaties can be used to override even the Bill of Rights in the constitution.

    Re Waxman, > *A measure of what? Whether he read it cover to cover or not, what does that have to do with your concern? How many who voted against it did not read it as well?*

    The point was Waxman said it was unnecessary to read the legislation because he trusted the IPCC to write federal legislation.

    > *The progressive also ended slavery*

    Abraham Lincoln was not a progressive.

    > *passed women’s suffrage*

    Suffrage was adopted via ballot initiative of the people not by progressive politicians.

    > *ended jim crow*

    The Eisenhower equal rights act, and the Eisenhower voting rights act ended Jim Crow. Eisenhower was not a progressive.

    > *passed the clean water and air acts*

    Both came after the cleanup began, just as Simon showed with London smoke. Passed under progressive LBJ they transferred new power to the Federal Government.

    > *established social security, the FDIC, the SEC (in other words saved capitalism from itself,)*

    Your argument only holds water if the depression was caused by a “failure of capitalism”.

    Research by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman and other historians show the depression was caused by the Federal Reserve and extended by Government.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, a student of the depression has stated this is correct.

    Under progressive FDR none of those programs shortened the depression. They did transfer new power to the Federal Government.

    > *led our nation through WW2*

    Patton, Eisenhower. MacAuthur, Nimitz, and Halsey were not progressive. Henry Ford Sr. who was called back to clean up the mess FDR created of the Ford Motor Company was not a progressive.

    > *True. I can’t prove a negative. So if you want to lie awake at night and worry yourself over this, be my guest.*

    Awake at night? So your advice is don’t worry, be happy, go back to sleep.

    Awake at night isnt the phrase use by Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, or Adams. The word they used was vigilance.

    • valley person

      “he trusted the IPCC…”

      That is not what he said and you know it.

      “Abraham Lincoln was not a progressive.”

      The hell he wasn’t.

      “Suffrage was adopted via ballot initiative of the people not by progressive politicians.”

      The 19th amendment to the US constitution was not a ballot initiative. Denying women the right to vote, still the case in some of the world is anti-progressive, otherwise known as conservative.

      “The Eisenhower equal rights act….”

      Com on now John. You are smarter than that. The Civil Rights movement forced change upon a recalcitrant government that included Republicans and Democrats. The CR movement was made up of progressives, some of whom died in the cause, and they deserve the credit for their sacrifices, not Eisenhower.

      “Both came after the cleanup began…”

      I see. Environmental legislation as unnecessary baggage eh? And what about all that taxpayer funding that went to upgrading sewage treatment plants? Money that would have magically materialized anyway? And the auto industry would have installed catalytic converters on their own?

      “Your argument only holds water if the depression was caused by a “failure of capitalism”.

      Yep. It was. As was our current mess.

      “Under progressive FDR none of those programs shortened the depression”

      True, but they lightened the load on actual humans and led to 50 years of uninterrupted growth.

      “Patton, Eisenhower. MacAuthur, Nimitz, and Halsey were not progressive.”

      True, but we had a fellow named Roosevelt who was their commander in chief. He gets no credit?

      “The word they used was vigilance. ”

      Hard to remain vigilant if you get no rest.

  • John in Oregon

    Re Waxman trusting the IPCC > *That is not what he said and you know it.*

    It is crystal clear exactly which scientists he was referring to.

    Re Abraham Lincoln was not a progressive. > *The hell he wasn’t.*

    Either you do not understand what a progressive is, relativistic values. Or you do not understand Abraham Lincoln.

    The US Supreme Court based the Dread Scott decision on empathetic progressive relativist values. I would suggest you read Lincoln’s response to Douglas’ defense of the Dread Scott decision. Lincoln based his comments on the founding principals of the declaration of independence and the constitution. He was no progressive.

    To paraphrase Hillary, I believe in individual rights as long as we work together for the community. That’s typical progressive thinking. Nothing like Lincoln.

    Re Suffrage was adopted via ballot initiative > *The 19th amendment to the US constitution was not a ballot initiative. Denying women the right to vote, still the case in some of the world is anti-progressive, otherwise known as conservative.*

    Prior to the 19th amendment many states had granted suffrage by initiative or legislative action. The states drove the 19th amendment at the federal level. Nothing about suffrage conflicts with the founding principals.

    Re the 1957 Eisenhower equal rights act > *Com (sic) on now John. You are smarter than that. The Civil Rights movement forced change upon a recalcitrant government that included Republicans and Democrats. The CR movement was made up of progressives, some of whom died in the cause, and they deserve the credit for their sacrifices, not Eisenhower.*

    The Eisenhower equal rights act was supported by the Republicans. The Democratic party opposition was organized by progressive LBJ. Remember Eisenhower took office just after Truman desegregated the military. Eisenhower’s term included Brown V Board and Little Rock in which Eisenhower federalized the Guard to enforce Brown V Board.

    By the way I take some umbrage at the lumping of those who struggled for advancement of civil rights as progressives. People such as Carl Brashear, Miriam Anderson, Ken Hamblin, and Martin Luther King. Its about content of character, remember?

    Re Clean Air Act > *I see. Environmental legislation as unnecessary baggage eh?*

    Correct. The markets, states and municipalities were dealing with the problem quite nicely. California statistics are really quite striking.

    The poster child is Hazel Henderson’s attempt to defend the London 1956 Clean Air Act. Henderson presented a graph showing a decline in pollution levels in London since the late 1950s. The slope of the line was clearly downward, illustrating, she said, the effect of London’s Clean Air Act.

    In rebuttal Simon presented a graph of his own showing the data from the start of record-keeping. The chart of smoke levels in London stretched back into the 1800s, and the line from the 1920s on showed a constant and uniform downward slope. “If you look at all the data,” he said, “you can’t tell that there was a clean-air act at any point.”

    Re Clean Air Act > *And what about all that taxpayer funding that went to upgrading sewage treatment plants? Money that would have magically materialized anyway? And the auto industry would have installed catalytic converters on their own?*

    For the progressive it always comes down to money.

    Re the depression caused by “failure of capitalism”. > *Yep. It was. As was our current mess.*

    That may be your opinion. However many disagree that the depression was caused by any failure of capitalism. Among them are Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Friedrich August von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Monique Ebell, Albrecht Ritschl, Lawrence W. Reed, Harold L. Cole, Lee E. Ohanian, and Murray Rothbard. Not because they are experts but because they used the real data.

    > *Hard to remain vigilant if you get no rest.*

    True Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, or Adams and others got little rest. After all they did pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the task of liberty.

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