No more 'real' questions (even from 'fake' audiences) for awhile I bet...
I want to send out a big smooch to the K-State student who asked Tush a question at yesterday's Make a Mockery of Democracy/Defense of the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" Session staged by the Whitehouse at Kansas State University. The Whitehouse promoted the 'public' session in advance by stating that Tush would be fielding unscripted audience questions for a change. Imagine that. Their plan to display the implied power and competence of their dear leader backfired a bit.
Here's the Yahoo news story:
Bush Hesitates to Give Take on 'Brokeback'
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Asked his opinion of the movie "Brokeback Mountain," President Bush hemmed and hawed.
"You would love it. You should check it out," a man in the audience told Bush Monday during a question and answer session at Kansas State University.
After some hesitation — and laughter in the audience — Bush said, "I'd be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie." The audience laughed some more, and Bush, who owns a ranch in Texas, allowed that, "I've heard about it."
I happened to hear Don Gonyea's report on NPR last night:
Don Gonyea, NPR All Things Considered on 1/23/2006 from Manhattan KS:
DG: "As often happens when the president takes questions from the public, there are things that come out of the blue. Today, an audience member noted that Kansas has a lot of ranchers and that the president is a rancher himself. He wondered if Mr. Bush has seen the hit film Brokeback Mountain which features the story of two male ranch hands who meet and fall in love in a story set in the 1960s."
Student: "Ah, you’re a rancher; a lot of us here in Kansas are ranchers. Ah, I was just wanting to get your opinion on Brokeback Mountain, if you’d seen it yet." [Audience roars] "You would love it. You should check it out."
Bush: "I haven’t seen it."
DG: "It seemed an uncomfortable moment for the president who moved on to the next question then begged off explaining that he had to get back to the Whitehouse for dinner with outgoing Fed Chariman Alan Greenspan."
Though the audience was another handpicked, screened assembly of students and Kansas loyals, at least one left- or center-leaning man made his way into the auditorium. Thank you thank you thank you. I know I'm not the only American who is peeved about this whole screened audience, scripted questions approach the Whitehouse uses to manipulate public perceptions of their criminal and inept governance. Town halls are public places. If you're going to insist that it's a 'Town Hall' meeting, public access and participation ought to remain open. Otherwise it's just another lie.
UPDATE: Dan Froomkin has a review of Tush, Live at K-State.
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