July 11, 2007

Bush, Cleveland And Norman Rockwell


I don’t get it.  I really don’t.

With the roof caving in on George Bush’s Iraq policy and Senate Republicans defecting in droves, the man goes to Cleveland and delivers, for the umpteenth-and-a-half time, the same paranoid, vague and self-deluded rationale for the war and its perpetuation (“we just got there”) we’ve been hearing for years.  And what does the newswire offer?  Well, mostly the above.

The failure to record the facial and gestural reactions during the Iraq portion of Bush’s speech was not just a lost opportunity, but a perfect example of the disconnection between the media and the public.  If you watch the speech, you’ll see what a friendly vibe Bush had going with members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (a well-organized hybrid chamber of commerce/ economic development organization).  That is, until he got to Iraq.

How often do we get a chance to see Americans in direct (if non-verbal) interaction with the President?  Here was one chance.  I mean, Americans aren’t stupid.  We just get treated that way when a lackadaisical visual media doesn’t do more than offer what it’s fed.

The following are screen shots The BAG collected from the White House video (thanks much!) of the Iraq portion of Bush’s speech.  The first two, in particular, serve as counterpoint to the “have some cheesecake with your Norman Rockwell” above.





(click for full sizes)

White House transcript and video here.

(image: Amy Sancetta/AP. July 10, 2007. via YahooNews. caption: Members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership laugh along with President Bush as he addressed the group in Cleveland.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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