Thursday, October 13, 2005

President Blinky McBushCo

Facade friend Ward Sutton pointed me to this article from yesterday's Washington Post that focused on President Bush's inability to not blink repeatedly or stand still very well during some tough questioning by Matt Lauer (wow - maybe the media is getting a spine):

But this much could be seen watching the tape of NBC's broadcast during Bush's 14-minute pre-sunrise interview, in which he stood unprotected by the usual lectern. The president was a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts. Bush has always been an active man, but standing with Lauer and the serene, steady first lady, he had the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere.

The fidgeting clearly corresponded to the questioning. When Lauer asked if Bush, after a slow response to Katrina, was "trying to get a second chance to make a good first impression," Bush blinked 24 times in his answer. When asked why Gulf Coast residents would have to pay back funds but Iraqis would not, Bush blinked 23 times and hitched his trousers up by the belt.

When the questioning turned to Miers, Bush blinked 37 times in a single answer -- along with a lick of the lips, three weight shifts and some serious foot jiggling. Laura Bush, by contrast, delivered only three blinks and stood still through her entire answer about encouraging volunteerism.

Perhaps the set itself made Bush uncomfortable. He and his wife stood in casual attire, wearing tool belts, in front of a wall frame and some Habitat for Humanity volunteers in hard hats. ABC News noted cheekily of its rival network's exclusive: "He did allow himself to be shown hammering purposefully, with a jejune combination of cowboy swagger and yuppie self-consciousness."

Speaking of the Today show, I headed over to their home on MSNBC to see if you watch the video of the interview, but you have to install some special MSN software that is not compatible with a Mac. It's been a long, long while since I've seen one of the morning news programs, and I see that they've ramped up their journalistic cred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Here are what the Today Show lists as its top stories for today:

Pam Anderson cooks to foolproof perfection
Son shares story of priest and nun parents
Try this menu that's sure to comfort
E-mail: Has Mom or Dad been a victim of a scam?
When a Stepford wife becomes Agatha Christie
My widowed father dates too many women!
Cast a spell with fall's lucky charm accessories


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