Saturday, September 03, 2005

"I'm shocked.................."

President Bush's
Photo Events Staged

During his entire trip to visit the disaster area, each and every photo opportunity was staged for the maximum public relations impact. Reporters on the scene describe the events like a traveling stage show circus.

First a set up crew would arrive to clean up the area and set up the back drop and props for the visit. Bush and his motorcade would sweep into the area, glad hand with a group of pre-screened "residents" and then sweep out of the area.

As soon as the President departed, crews would break down the set and move on, leaving the locals to fend for themselves again.

Per War and Piece:

"ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time."

We don't have to believe German television if we don't want, but what about United States Senator Mary Landrieu? She contends that Bush's visit to the 17th Street levee (photo above) was a staged photo op as well.

“But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment."

I understand the need for security and the need to give the President something to do so that he looks presidential when he is out among the people, but these staged events demonstrate a selfishness and callous attitude toward the needs of the people in the disaster area.

For example, while Bush visited the non-work at the 17th Street levee all helicopter flights in New Orleans were halted. Rescue operations, food drops, the whole range of efforts were grounded while Bush strode purposefully around the props and extras arranged for television. Here are the details from AmericaBlog.

Staged events to make Bush appear compassionate and in-charge. He is returning for another round of photo ops on Monday. The media needs to be ready to challenge this bullshit and call him on it.