Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Old news dept.

On tonight's CBC newscast, Peter Mansbridge was among those breathlessly telling us that George W. Bush was warned of the high probability of a levee breach and major flooding on August 28, 2005. I guess it's news today simply because they've got their hands on the video now, but it's strange to see it get play as an "oh-my-God-can-you-believe-it" story when this was already well established like, six months ago.

The CBC even showed footage from Bush's famous Good Morning America interview with Diane Sawyer from the following September 1st, where he quite thoroughly bullshitted the American people with the line: "I don't think anybody expected the levee to be breached." (scroll to the update at bottom of link)

Amazing how similar that sounds to Condi Rice's line to the 9/11 Commission about planes hitting buildings, isn't it? I imagine somewhere in Karl Rove's office there is an official Excuse Template. It's probably tacked up on the walls of many White House staffers' cubicles, with explicit instructions for its use such as:
It is not White House policy to admit any wrongdoing at any time! This could taint the office of the President, after all. But if you are irretrievably cornered in an interview situation, DO NOT PANIC OR FLINCH! Simply employ a sympathetic, slightly pained expression (Dick, you're exempt - we know your limitations in this area) and use this exact phrase: "I don't think anybody expected... [INSERT BAD THING THAT HAPPENED AS A DIRECT RESULT OF WHITE HOUSE POLICY]"

Now let's put aside for a moment that all kinds of news reports were repeating the warnings of the U.S. National Hurricane Center of this imminent possibility on the very day Bush received his briefing. There is nothing new to the story besides the video record, people! If that's the normal turnaround time for a story to "find its legs" in the current media swamp, then I guess everybody will know about this come July...

- 30 -

No comments: