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Laughing at the Lies

From Mark Dionne comes this Buzzflash “news analysis”:

Ari Gets Laughed Out of the White House Briefing Room

BuzzFlash Note: Although we didn’t see this occur, we have received three separate reader accounts indicating that the White House press corps finally laughed at the absurdity of Ari Fleischer’s lies, at least once. The following is the account from one of our BuzzFlash e-mail reporters about the White House news briefing on Tuesday, February 25:

ON CSPAN — WH press conference with Ari ended just now. It’s grim. Not much new but a reiteration of the “Saddam must disarm” and some hints that Saddam and other top Iraqi leaders might be assassinated if GW gives the executive decree.

Then one tidbit floated up. A reporter asked about a French report that says Bush is offering a bundle of concessions (and I think she actually said ‘buying votes’) to Mexico and Colombia, granting worker amnesty and so on. Ari tap-danced. Then she (the reporter) started to press the issue by saying “they (the French) are quoting two US State Dept. Diplomats that Bush intends to give work permits to Colombia and Mexico.”

…. Ari just drew himself up with imperious indignation and said something like “you’re implying that the President is buying the votes of other nations and that’s just not a consideration” or words to that effect. And guess what happened? The whole press corps, normally sheep, broke out in laughter… sweet, derisive laughter. They kept on laughing as Ari turned on his heels and strode out. Sheesh.

Go down to White House Press Briefing (02/25/2003) and click on the video. After it buffers, play from about 28 minutes forward for context, 30 minutes forward to watch Press laugh at Ari’s BIG FAT GOP LIE.

6 Responses to “Laughing at the Lies”

  1. That’s really funny.

  2. So what is the chance that the willingness of the Press corps to press Fleischer and to laugh at the obvious lies is directly a result of the success of the Virtual March on Washington?

  3. As a followup, watching the actual video makes seems different than the characterization from Buzzflash. Ari wasn’t really laughed out of the room, but it was clear that there was no reason to keep saying “no we’re not buying votes, the votes of nations aren’t for sale”.

    Of course the Whitehouse can’t admit to anyone that they are buying support for war, even if everyone knows it. That is the nudge-nudge, wink-wink of diplomacy.

    Which isn’t to say that the virtual march shutting down Capitol Hill isn’t having an immediate emboldening effect on the press and politicians.

  4. Anyone besides me remeber the board game I used to play (all-nighters) in college in Toronto in the early ’70’s called “Risk – the game of world domination”.

    More colloquially we sometimes called it “Fuck Your Neighbour”, when we would turn svagely on a former ally.

    Great fun – but not appropriate for real-time, live and in 3D, IMO.

  5. It helped me immensely.

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