Whitehouse Reality TV Scripted and Exclusive

Dear readers, if you believe that reality TV is not scripted then, think again! Just look at the Whitehouse, it is scripted even in its most unscripted moments—after all it takes a lot of work to appear spontaneous. Of course, there is the highly publicized case of Barber coaching the group of U.S. Soldiers in Iraq before their conference with President Bush. Why, even the “spontaneous” recognition of one of the solders was scripted—as if he would have remembered her face from their first meeting in New York on his own. But the scripting does not stop there. White House reality TV scripts all the “town meetings” – just look at the meetings held when Bush was crossing the great divide to push his social security agenda. Recently, Ms. Rice stated that President Bush was the most inclusive president ever! [“Ever” with a valley girl spin would sound nice here]. Yet, I question this administrations assertion that it is “inclusive.”

Although Bush stated on August 21, 2000 (in Des Moines, Iowa) that “this campaign not only hears the voices of the entrepreneurs and the farmers and the entrepreneurs, we hear the voices of those struggling to get a head.” Hum? Yes, he seems to be inclusive, even includes the entrepreneurs twice, but what happens when we go past the rhetoric and look at the reality? Not only did his campaign keep out dissent voices at his public appearances, the administration continue to do so today.

After Ed Schultz (Big Ed on Air America) spent a good part of his week complaining about the “unscripted” scripted performance with the U.S. soldiers in Iraq, he was dropped from the Armed Forces Network Radio lineup (AFN, the station that broadcast to the U.S. troops serving outside of the United States). Why is this a problem? Because, the only other political talk show voice that is heard on AFN is Rush Limbaugh. At one point, the Pentagon had agreed, after a great deal of protest, that airing one voice, one side of the political spectrum, was not being “inclusive” and so they tapped Big Ed, the tamest of the left political talk hosts, to represent the left. –Sorry Big Ed, I love ya man and listen to ya, but compared to Mike Malloy or Randy Rhodes, you are a bit tame, yet take heart because Jerry Springer, mister apology himself, is way tamer than you are and I don’t bother to listen to him.

Yesterday, however, the Pentagon apparently called to cancel the Ed Schultz show before its debut. So now, inclusive means that our troops will continue to hear one side of the spectrum, one side of the pre-scripted rhetoric, while the other side becomes “inclusive” out the back door, stage door left, goodnight and goodbye.

Finally, to my surprise, my “Bushisms” calendar has an appropriate entry for today’s date, Tuesday October 18, 2005. I shall end on this note, suggesting that when he says “they” were “reading the wrong magazine, or watching the wrong Springer show” he is really suggesting that wrong is promoting material unscripted by his administration. Inclusive my ass!

“They didn’t think we were a nation that could conceivably sacrifice for something greater than our self; that we were soft, that we were so self-absorbed and so materialistic that we wouldn’t defend anything we believed in. My, were they wrong. They just were reading the wrong magazine, or watching the wrong Springer show.” (Washington, D.C. March 12, 2002)

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