Wednesday, February 23, 2005


The POTUS, or as I shall start calling him - The Coward in Chief - quietly removed a "town hall" meeting in Germany from his schedule because the Germans wouldn't let him handpick the crowd and the questions. As Americans, we're used to this. Bush cannot do anything that isn't scripted down to the last detail. But the Germans were a little taken aback.

...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.

The Germans, though, insisted that a free forum should be exactly that. Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany's Ambassador to the United States, explained to the New York Times last week: "We told them, don't get upset with us if they ask angry questions."

In the end, the town hall meeting was never officially dropped from the agenda of the trip -- instead it was dealt with in polished diplomatic style -- both sides just stopped talking about it.
There should be a rule in journalism that the term "town hall" stop being used unless it is what it actually is supposed to be - a free exchange of ideas from within a community. Someone has to stop allowing this, albeit minor, devaluing of our language. Words have to mean something. And as trite and stupid of a term as "town hall" is, it is a term with a meaning. It certainly doesn't mean a mini-movie as part of a larger propaganda campaign. MSM - I'm begging you. Start calling them what they are - "pre-scripted Q&A" works for me - and Bush will perhaps, at the very least, stop scheduling these farces.

This Bush 2005 World Tour reminds me of something... I can't quite put my finger...
Eyes, hair, mouth, figure
Dress, voice, style, image

I'm their product, it's vital you sell me
So Machiavell me, make an Argentine Rose
I need to be thrilling, I want to be Rainbow High
They need their escape, and so do I
Let's hear it for the rainbow tour, it's been an incredible success...

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