The Press Conference as Outright Propaganda
You are all aware by now that last night’s somniferous performance by the President at his press conference was 1) by design to make him look reasoned and calm, and 2) entirely scripted by Ari Fleischer so that the President knew whom to call on, in what order to call on them, and whom to ignore.
And the Beltway whores went along with it, while Helen Thomas was moved out of the front row and buried in the third row and not allowed to ask a question.
MR. FLEISCHER: We've got to keep moving now. Lester.
Q Last night, after the fifth time has looked down at an apparent list of reporters, he smiled and he said, this is scripted.
MR. FLEISCHER: Are you going to complain he didn't call on you?
Q No, no, no. No, no. Which surely suggests that he did not write that script which gave two questions to one network, two questions to one wire service, and one to other vague and wealthy media -- but left all the rest, including Helen Thomas, ruled out in advance of any chance to ask, and left to serve only as window dressing.
And my question is, since you are always fair, Ari, in recognizing all of us, who was it that wrote that script that the President confessed to? Was it Karl Rove or Karen or who?
MR. FLEISCHER: It was me who gave the President a suggestion on the reporters to call. And the President called on all reporters, the President did not call on any columnists.
Q Wait a minute --
MR. FLEISCHER: No, Lester, we're going to go to the -- Lester, we're moving on.
Which means that this White House has finally completed the task of turning the presidential press conference into outright propaganda, with nary a word from the Beltway media which is now formally an extension of the White House media operation.