In an attempt to rally support for the war in Iraq and to highlight Saturday’s referendum, President Bush scheduled a Q&A session with selected troops to be aired Thursday. When asked about the nature of the press event White House Press Secretary’s initial response was that the event was to be an open discussion between the president and the troops.
An error in the satellite feed allowed footage to be broadcast of the deputy assistant defense secretary prepping the troops for the interview. After the incident the White House was quick to downplay the idea that the troops’ answers had been scripted.
A Q&A forum has been used before by this administration to seek support for the war and to show the support and optimism of the troops. However, the incident with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in which he was grilled by troops for not providing adequate body armor, is a good example of how such PA events can go wrong. Perhaps the media event yesterday was scripted to save the President from any such embarrassment.
Regardless, this is not the first time this administration, or previous administrations, have sought to script media events. But does such behavior serve the people’s best interests? Still reeling from an election where talking points outweighed platforms, does it behoove an administration to dumb down the masses? With an approval rating at an all time low, why is honesty not the best policy?
Similarly tagged OmniNerd content: