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One-sided (Republican, of course) "debate" on Big Story

Reported by Chrish - March 22, 2006

Today 3/22/06 on The Big Story The 2006 Happy Iraq Tour had much the same coverage as has been reported by Judy and Donna, with clips of Bush crowning himself "the educator in chief" and Campaign Carl Cameron summarizing: Bush is optimistic about long-term yet realistic about short-term, and he understands there are concerns here about the war but he wouldn't keep troops there if he wasn't confident and didn't have a plan for "victory".

Cameron actually said "This public communications exercise by (Bush), White House aides believe, has had an effect." This frank admission that it is a PR ploy to boost Bush's plummeting approval makes his strung-together talking points seem all the more phony and insincere. Judy's and Donna's posts have most of the pertinent quotes and sound bites.

After Cameron's segment, Gibson was joined by Representative Peter King (R-NY), House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, to discuss the PR tour and the situation in Iraq. Gibson repeated that Bush's speeches have been effective, yet in the next breath said that he's reading a lot of commentary in the press that the public is tuning him out.

King, unopposed by anyone, spoke for three and a half minutes above a chyron that read the entire time "Debating effectiveness of president's Iraq speeches." His computer's screensaver, seen in the background, read FOX in large letters. You have to wonder if that was special for the occassion, a little subtle reinforcement, or is he such a fan of the outfit that that's his permanent screensaver. Hmm.

Almost right off the bat, King blamed the media for "this image" people have of Iraq, on the precipice of civil war, and while Bush can't do it overnight King thinks in a few days we'll see the American people start to come toward Bush, "certainly it will stop his fall." For an administration that claims to care not for polls they sure are working aggressively to turn them around.

King kept on about how tough a situation it is for Bush to get the message out about the progress in Iraq when he's up against "an entrenched media which to such a large extent doesn't want to accept any type of success and constantly dwells upon the negative."

Gibson, who I suppose was the "other side" in the debate asked "Did you feel he was under siege yesterday before the White House press corps?" Of course King did, and of course he thought Bush handled it well. King believes it's good for Americans to see the "sub-conscious or unconscious" bias some in the press corps have against Bush, and when they see how well he handles it and how passionately he believes it, well, it helps him.

Gibson asked King if his opposition to the Dubai Ports World deal didn't hurt Bush's approval, and King said that it may have but it adds credibility to his support now because he proved that he's not afraid to go against Bush if he feels he should. Besides, he says, that's all behind us now.

He said that although mistakes have been made in Iraq, nothing goes as well as we want it to - look at WWII, look at the Korean War, even look at the first Gulf War - all told, Bush is doing the right thing. Comment: But please, please, don't look at Viet Nam!

This was not a debate of any sort, it was a Republican cheerleading segment in defense of the desperate man who got us into a pointless war and doesn't have a clue how to get us out.

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