Bush Administration Can't Export Propaganda Machine to Europe

Bumped--I'll be on MSNBC at 5pm eastern to talk about this--Chirs

Afraid to attend an unscripted event, the Bush administration dropped its scheduled town-hall meeting with "normal Germans":

The much-touted American-style "town hall" meeting the White House has been planning with "normal Germans" of everyday walks of life will be missing during his visit to the Rhine River hamlet of Mainz this afternoon. A few weeks ago, the Bush administration had declared that the chat -- which could have brought together tradesmen, butchers, bank employees, students and all other types to discuss trans-Atlantic relations -- would be the cornerstone of President George W. Bush's brief trip to Germany.

State Department diplomats said the meeting would help the president get in touch with the people who he most needs to convince of his policies. Bush's invasion of Iraq and his diplomatic handling of the nuclear dispute with Iran has drawn widespread concern and criticism among the German public. And during a press conference two weeks ago, Bush said Washington is still terribly misunderstood in Europe. All the more reason, it would seem, for him to be pleased about talking to people here.

But on Wednesday, that town hall meeting will be nowhere on the agenda -- it's been cancelled. Neither the White House nor the German Foreign Ministry has offered any official explanation, but Foreign Ministry sources say the town hall meeting has been nixed for scheduling reasons -- a typical development for a visit like this with many ideas but very little time. That, at least, is the diplomats' line. Behind the scenes, there appears to be another explanation: the White House got cold feet. Bush's strategists felt an uncontrolled encounter with the German public would be too unpredictable.

To avoid that messy scenario, the White House requested that rules similar to those applied during Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit two weeks ago also be used in Mainz. Before meeting with students at Paris's Institute of Political Sciences, which preens the country's elite youth for future roles in government, Rice's staff insisted on screening and approving any questions to be asked by students. One question rejected was that of Benjamin Barnier, the 24-year-old son of France's foreign minister, who wanted to ask: "George Bush is not particularly well perceived in the world, particularly in the Middle East. Can you do something to change that?" Instead, the only question of Barnier's that got approval was the question of whether Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority might create a theocratic government based on the Iranian model?

I'll be on MSNBC tonight starting at 5 p.m. eastern to talk about Bush's European trip. Another blogger, from Powerline, will also be on the show. Tune in for the good times.

Tags: Media (all tags)



oh yea
get 'em, chris!

4pm msnbc... is that the abrams report?  i'll have to get home in time to watch.

by annatopia 2005-02-23 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: oh yea
5 pm. Its Ron Reagan
by Chris Bowers 2005-02-23 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: oh yea
crap, i totally missed it =(

came home in time to watch and ended up being stuck working.

by annatopia 2005-02-23 01:14PM | 0 recs
Carter Smear
If you get a chance, on camera or off, please tell the Powerline representative that they should be ashamed to have smeared President Carter as unpatriotic and a traitor.


Still Steaming

by Curt Matlock 2005-02-23 09:49AM | 0 recs
Do you know who Powerline is sending? I can't wait to see this. It will be the first time I've watched MSNBC for months. Thanks for the notice.

Why is our fearless leader afraid of average citizens in Germany AND America? I think Ron Reagan was the first cable talking bonehead to call Bush a liar. How about coming straight out and calling Bush a coward? He's afraid of the American people pure and simple.

How about asking if Bush is a little bonkers? Can anybody explain that bizarre statement that "it is ridiculous to speculate about the U.S. invading Iran, but everything is on the table?"


by Gary Boatwright 2005-02-23 11:08AM | 0 recs
This is too good an opportunity
I'll put up a matching contribution of $500 if Chris comes straight out and calls Bush a liar and a coward. He's lying about the S.S. Trust Fund being bankrupt and he's too big of a coward to have a Town Hall meeting in either Germany or America unless it is totally scripted.

I'll donate up to $500 to MyDD or the good cause of Chris's choice if I can get matching donations. Who's willing to put up hard cold cash to hear King George called a liar and a coward?

by Gary Boatwright 2005-02-23 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: This is too good an opportunity
As Jeff Jarvis reported, the President canceled the town meeting because I guess he wasn't able to fully export his propaganda campaign to Europe...the local organizers couldn't guarantee that everyone would ask Jeff Gannon like questions. So they canceled it.
by blogswarm 2005-02-23 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: This is too good an opportunity
Bush is a flaming bag of poop!
by Gary Boatwright 2005-02-23 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: This is too good an opportunity
by bellarose 2005-02-25 01:01PM | 0 recs
Compare and Contrast.
CSPAN last night had the Rep. Steny Hoyer (Dem MD) SS town hall meeting live. First question from the audience was from, you guessed it, a local Republican operative; finance director for some Maryland affiliation of the Republican Party I think. Not a chance in hell that would happen at one of GW's conservative lock downs. I only wish Rep. Hoyer had noted the contrast between his town hall and those of the president on this issue for the CSPAN viewers when this happened. It was another golden moment to portray Republicans as too weak to defend their positions and Democrats as the ones with real strength.
by dicta 2005-02-23 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Compare and Contrast.
Democrats have to wise up. They miss way too many golden opportunities.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-02-23 11:58AM | 0 recs
I know. Other than this miss, Steny Hoyer did a pretty good job of explaining Bush world versus the real world.

The Rock-the-Vote representative would have done better to show up for national TV coverage looking like he was really employed somewhere but he did make some good points about why SS matters for those under the age of 30.

by dicta 2005-02-23 01:18PM | 0 recs
Congrats to Chris & Jerome!
For your well-deserved Koufax win!
by Kevin Hayden 2005-02-23 11:59AM | 0 recs
Valiant effort Chris, but...
...I just don't see the upside of participating in, and lending credence to, the rigged game this is MSNBC, where a hack like Monica Crowley is provided a multi-hour platform to spin and spew and cut off liberal guests after five words, while allowing conservative guests to speak at length uninterrupted. It's time to make a stand and cut the biased media off from their sham fig-leaf of objectivity.
by Steve in Sacto 2005-02-23 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Valiant effort Chris, but...
What happened to Ron Reagan?
by Gary Boatwright 2005-02-23 01:05PM | 0 recs
If your hypothesis is correct,
wouldn't this be giving them exactly what they want?

After all, if genuine (and coherent) progressives boycott cable news, then the left will be represented only by the idiotic, the opportunistic, the self-serving, and Alan Colmes. How does that help?

by catastrophile 2005-02-23 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: If your hypothesis is correct,
Not if it it's part of a coordinated effort to publicly call "bullshit" on the rigged game.  Playing along just confers an enabling legitimacy they don't deserve.
by Steve in Sacto 2005-02-23 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Valiant effort Chris, but...
Oh, no no. Don't say it.  

This is exactly why the evil ones have become so powerful.  We don't like to "lower ourselves."

I say it's past time we got down into the mud.  If smart people who knew better blew Rush and Co. out of the water years ago this country and our media might not be in the mess we're in now.  

by bellarose 2005-02-25 01:06PM | 0 recs
Chris's effort was good, but mostly wasted.
When are progressives going to learn tht you have to  hit hard, and keep hitting hard, and dont' ever, EVER let them interupt you?

That BS with Monica Crowley always interupting Chris should have been vociferously protested.  He should have not said a word until she quit blabbing and said something like: "When do I get a chance to talk without you interupting me?"  or "Ron respected the shmuck from Powerline and gave him three minutes to talk, are you going to allow me the same, or are you going to be an ass?"  That would have done more to show the innate bias of the modern mainstream media than any other point he could have made.

I liked Chris's points, especially on the town 'meetings', but he let himself get steamrolled by interuptions and a rude host, and taken off topic.  When will progressives ever learn?

Lastly, irregardless of what happened, I commend Chris for getting on the show and attempting to give a real world view of the dog-and-pony-show GW Shrub is giving in Europe.  Thank you Chris.


by Progressive Dave in KS 2005-02-23 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Chris's effort was good, but mostly wasted.
He should have gone Zell on her and challenged her to a duel.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-02-23 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Chris's effort was good, but mostly wasted.
=D  I don't know that we need to go 'Zell' on her, but we do need to have a stock of lines to show the public just how biased, how unpolite these jerks are.  I have no doubt the blog could come up with some real zingers, to really backhand them down some.  Something like "If I knew you were going to do all the talking, I'd would have stayed home and turned you off."


by Progressive Dave in KS 2005-02-23 01:22PM | 0 recs
I Wish We Lived in the Day
...when a man could beat a woman with a stick no bigger than her thumb, 'cuz Monica you deserve a whupping.

Now, I don't think Chris would quite have the same gusto as Zell on that one...but few can outdo the Georgia Peach.

I loved when Chris triangulated her between our dealings with Iran and the idea that somehow the French government was more involved. In case anyone is interested, the main reason conservative blame France for Oil for Food is that a French bank BNP Paribas, was selected to hold the accounts for Iraq. The companies actually buying the oil were from all over the world, including the US.

by risenmessiah 2005-02-23 02:14PM | 0 recs


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