How is W kept insulated from his detractors?
October 12, 2004 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Could anyone provide links or cite specific examples of ways in which President Bush is kept insulated from his detractors?

Two examples of the kind of thing I'm looking for would be:

a) Free-speech zones in protests (unfortunately both sides do this so it doesn't count for my purposes today)

b) Statistics regarding the rarity of press conferences held by this administration

Please note that I'm specifically not looking to start a Bush-bashing thread - I need examples of the President being insulated from facts, opinions, and people who run counter to the Republican platform.
posted by Ryvar to Law & Government (9 answers total)
 
He doesn't read the newspaper. From Helen Thomas' (Grand Dame of the Washington Press Corps) article:
Bush was asked how he gets his news. Answer: He relies on briefings by chief of staff Andrew Card and national security affairs adviser Condoleezza Rice.

He walks into the Oval Office in the morning, Bush said, and asks Card: "What's in the newspapers worth worrying about? I glance at the headlines just to kind of (get) a flavor of what's moving," Bush said. "I rarely read the stories," he said.

Instead, the president continued, he gets "briefed by people who have probably read the news themselves." Rice, on the other hand, is getting the news "directly from the participants on the world stage."

Bush said this had long been his practice.
posted by karmaville at 3:11 PM on October 12, 2004


Thanks, karmaville, this is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.
posted by Ryvar at 3:25 PM on October 12, 2004


Washington Post, Question Time, September 20, 2004:
Mr. Bush has held 82 press conferences during his term, including joint sessions with foreign leaders in which half the questions are from foreign reporters and answers from the foreign leaders eat up much of the time. His father, by contrast, had a total of 142 press conferences, 83 of them solo.
Washington Post, Bush's Isolation From Reporters Could Be a Hindrance, October 8, 2004:
Bush has held 15 solo news conferences since taking office. At the same point in their presidencies, according to research by Martha Joynt Kumar of Towson University in Maryland, Bill Clinton had held 42; George H.W. Bush, 83; Ronald Reagan, 26; Jimmy Carter, 59; Gerald R. Ford, 39; Richard M. Nixon, 29; Lyndon B. Johnson, 88; John F. Kennedy, 65; and Dwight D. Eisenhower, 94.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:35 PM on October 12, 2004


Free-speech zones in protests (unfortunately both sides do this so it doesn't count for my purposes today)

Do you have any support for saying the Democracts do this, other than the Democratic National Convention?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:45 PM on October 12, 2004


This article from the Columbia Journalism Review talks about the handling of the press during wartime. It's from a few years back, but chronicles fairly large-scale attempts to control what the media could and could not say, see, and do regarding what the administration was up to in foreign countries
The most egregious single offense against the press's capacity to report the war happened near Kandahar on December 5. When a stray B-52 bomb killed three soldiers and wounded nineteen others, commanders in the field confined the press pool reporters and photographers to a warehouse, thus preventing them from approaching the victims, the rescuers, and the medics.
The New Yorker has a more recent article on a similar issue
“I recently did a story on a senior figure in the Bush White House and was told in advance, ‘It better be good,’” [Peter] Jennings recalls. “Which I thought was rather naked. It wasn’t a threat, but it didn’t sound like a joke. There is a feeling among some members of the press corps that you are either favored by the Administration or not, and that will have something to do with your access.” Jennings added that he has interviewed every President since Richard Nixon.
posted by jessamyn at 3:52 PM on October 12, 2004


Laura Bush says that Bush does read newspapers:

Q Mrs. Bush. Describe your day for me. A typical day, what time do you and your husband usually get up?

MRS. BUSH: We get up really early. We get up about 5:30 a.m. He goes in and gets the coffee and we drink coffee and read the newspapers. That's been our ritual our whole married life.

[snip]

Q Now, didn't I read your husband says he doesn't read the newspapers? Because I've done a lot of jokes about that.

MRS. BUSH: He only reads -- he does read the newspaper, of course. Just not the reporters that follow him.

Q Oh, okay. (Laughter.) Now, why is that?

MRS. BUSH: Because he says he doesn't want to be mad at them the next day. Also, because he was there at the event, so he doesn't need to really read their coverage of it.

posted by profwhat at 3:53 PM on October 12, 2004




Maybe he just reads the funny pages? Does the Junior Jumble?
posted by mr_roboto at 4:51 PM on October 12, 2004


Free-speech zones in protests (unfortunately both sides do this so it doesn't count for my purposes today)

Do you have any support for saying the Democracts do this, other than the Democratic National Convention?

It seems to me that the DNC is sufficient support for this statement.
posted by kindall at 6:03 PM on October 12, 2004


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