BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Conserve, Citizens!

Our Kid has spoken:

Bush Says He Would Tap Petroleum Reserve if Necessary

"He did what?!"
President Bush, saying "gas prices are on our mind," today promised that the government is again prepared to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to alleviate any crude oil shortages caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"It's important for our people to know that we understand the situation and that we're willing to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to mitigate any shortfalls in crude oil that could affect our consumers," Bush said.


Bush called on Americans to "pitch in" and conserve gas by reducing non-essential travel, teaming up in carpools and using mass transit.
"He called on who to what now?!"

"He called on Americans to conserve gas, sir."

"Jesus Christ! Get that monkey on the phone!"

"Yes, Mr. Cheney."

"Ow! My fucking leg!"

Which brings us to an important moment from yesterday's White House press briefing:
Q: Scott, beyond the President's travel tomorrow, what is the President going to do TO CONSERVE HIS OWN GAS use and energy use here by White House staff?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the directive will go out to the entire federal government, and it will be going out later today. And I highlighted some ways that people can take steps to conserve energy. So that's what we'll be looking to do here at the White House, as well.

Q: Will you consider fewer cars in the motorcade? We've asked you previously how much gas the motorcade uses and you guys won't tell us. So I'm curious, can you tell us how much gas the motorcade --

MR. McCLELLAN: We will take steps here at the White House, as well. And I'll keep you posted, once the directive goes out.


MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q: How much gas the motorcade uses?

MR. McCLELLAN: Let me take your question. I'll look into it.

Tough questions from the White House Press Corp.
Q: Is the President paying any attention to this protest outside, that's happened over the last few days?
That's a really nice way of asking, "Are you guys aware that there were over 300,000 people marching in the streets on Saturday...against the war in Iraq?"
MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't spoken to him about it. He was tending to business last -- oh, you're talking about over the last few days?

Q: Yes.

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, he's very much aware of the people here who have come to Washington, D.C., SOME TO EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR THE STEPS WE'RE TAKING, AND A NUMBER OF OTHERS THAT EXPRESSED A DIFFERENT VIEW.

300 Vs. 300,000.


From now on, "a number of others" equals 300,000.
It's the right of the American people to peacefully express their views, and that's what you're seeing here in Washington, D.C.
Gee, thanks for reminding us, Scott.
Q: Is he worried that Americans have lost confidence in his ability to conduct the war?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, here in Washington, D.C., this weekend -- I mean, the President talked about some of this the other day in remarks at the Pentagon.

He recognizes that there are differences of opinion on Iraq and our role in the broader Middle East. Some people want us to withdraw from Iraq and withdraw from the Middle East. They are well-intentioned. But the President strongly believes that withdrawing from Iraq and the Middle East would make us less safe and make the world more dangerous.
Blah blah blah.
The President recognized on SEPTEMBER 11TH that we were engaged in a global war on terrorism, and that meant that we needed to go on the offense and take the fight to the enemy -- and that's exactly what he's done.

Final moment, and it's key:
Q: Our colleagues are saying that CINDY SHEEHAN was arrested. Does the President approve of her arrest --

MR. McCLELLAN: I hadn't heard that until just now.

Q: Scott, a follow-up on David's question. Colleagues at the Pentagon say that they have not talked to anybody at a senior level in the military who thinks that this idea of an automatic trigger is a good idea.
It happened that fast. The "name" was brought up, ignored, and thrown under the couch.

Not one follow-up question from the WH journos re: Cindy Sheehan.

Spineless bastards all.


Final story from the LA Times:

Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy

Cliff notes version: The press freaked out and pushed the Crazytown stories...which hurt the relief effort.
Fox News, a day before the major evacuation of the Superdome began, issued an "alert" as talk show host Alan Colmes reiterated reports of "robberies, rapes, carjackings, riots and murder. Violent gangs are roaming the streets at night, hidden by the cover of darkness."

The Los Angeles Times adopted a breathless tone the next day in its lead news story, reporting that National Guard troops "took positions on rooftops, scanning for snipers and armed mobs as seething crowds of refugees milled below, desperate to flee. Gunfire crackled in the distance."

The New York Times repeated some of the reports of violence and unrest, but the newspaper usually was more careful to note that the information could not be verified.

The tabloid Ottawa Sun reported unverified accounts of "a man seeking help gunned down by a National Guard soldier" and "a young man run down and then shot by a New Orleans police officer."

London's Evening Standard invoked the future-world fantasy film "Mad Max" to describe the scene and threw in a "Lord of the Flies" allusion for good measure.

Televised images and photographs affirmed the widespread devastation in one of America's most celebrated cities.

"I don't think you can overstate how big of a disaster New Orleans is," said Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, a Florida school for professional journalists. "But you can imprecisely state the nature of the disaster. … Then you draw attention away from the real story, the magnitude of the destruction, and you kind of undermine the media's credibility."
Bottom line? Katrina coverage was "produced" like a live episode of "Cops."

And "Cops" is popular because...?

Think about it.

More later...

"Rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong"


  • From the Washington Post coverage of the President's remarks on conserving (motherfucker) -- Sorry, I always put the MF word in the same sentence with W's name (motherfucker):

    Mr. Bush's comments, while similar to remarks he made shortly after the disruption from Hurricane Katrina pushed gasoline prices sharply higher, were particularly notable because the administration has long emphasized new production over conservation. It has also opted not to impose higher mileage standards on automakers.

    In 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney said, "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it cannot be the basis of a sound energy policy." Also that year, Ari Fleischer, then Mr. Bush's press secretary, responded to a question about reducing American energy consumption by saying "that's a big no."

    "The president believes that it's an American way of life," Mr. Fleischer said.

    By Anonymous Nancy in DC, at 3:35 PM  

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