FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Was There a Pucker in That Jacket or Was the President Just Glad to be There?

 

The best argument that President George Bush was probably wired for help during the three presidential debates is the White House’s response to the charge.

The first response, of course, was no response at all. As the first reporter to query the White House about the clearly evident bulge on his back during the first debate in Miami, I was simply ignored. Repeated calls from Salon to both the White House press office and to the Bush campaign PR office went unreturned. Actually, what would happen is I would call the PR office, say I was from Salon, be told with whom I needed to speak, and then, when asked what I was calling about, I would be told, following a short delay, that the press officer in question at each place was “out on an errand”.

The N.Y. Times, when it followed up Salon’s first story with its own call to the Bush campaign, was initially told that the photo circulating widely on the Web was “doctored.”

Only later, when it was pointed out that the bulge was visible on the original video feeds, did the Bush campaign fall back on the second explanation: the bulge was a wrinkle, or actually a “pucker”.

This excuse is clearly ludicrous, was Salon made clear in its second article, which showed an unmistakable bulge in the same area of the president’s jacket during the second debate in St. Louis, and in a photo of Bush on his ranch, in which he had a bulge under his T-shirt that was remarkably like the one under his jacket during the first-and third-debates.

When the Bush campaign finally did respond, in the person of Reed Dickens, it was to flatly deny that Bush was wearing anything, including a wire-again a patently absurd and untrue claim that only begs the question: why can’t the president admit that there is something on his back?

It will probably not be known for certain what the bulge was until months (maybe years) after the debates are history, when somebody as always happens spills the beans in a memoire or a leak, but the important thing is not so much what it was as what the Bush campaign’s response was, and what the mainstream media’s response has thus far been.

Clearly if the president was getting secret help with his answers during the debates-whether with facts, wording, or simply with cues to help him select from a list of pre-memorized answers to questions that were being asked of him (which I suspect is the most likely scenario, given the set-piece nature of many of his repetitive answers)-it was a form of cheating. In this case, it would be the viewing and voting public that was being cheated on, since the object of the debates was for people to watch and compare how the two candidates measured up against each other standing on their own two feet under pressure.

Clearly too, this is an important issue, and one which the television networks, in particular, are in an ideal position to answer. CNN, MSNBC and the four broadcast networks all have massive archives of videotape of Bush appearances over the years, and a staff of researchers capable of scanning through those tapes looking for more evidence of earpieces and transceivers and induction wires. So far none of them have shown any interest in doing so, leaving it to the evening talk shows and Comedy Central to be television ‘s sole response to this issue.

In the end, it may be that this will turn out to be the most damaging aspect of this story for the Bush campaign and its campaign of silence: public ridicule.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
February 25, 2020
Michael Hudson
The Democrats’ Quandary: In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give
Paul Street
The “Liberal” Media’s Propaganda War on Bernie Sanders
Sheldon Richman
The Non-Intervention Principle
Nicholas Levis
The Real Meaning of Red Scare 3.0
John Feffer
Cleaning Up Trump’s Global Mess
David Swanson
How Are We Going to Pay for Saving Trillions of Dollars?
Ralph Nader
Three Major News Stories That Need To Be Exposed
John Eskow
What Will You Do If the Democrats Steal It from Sanders?
Dean Baker
What If Buttigieg Said That He Doesn’t Accept the “Fashionable” View That Climate Change is a Problem?
Jack Rasmus
The Nevada Caucus and the Desperation of Democrat Elites
Howard Lisnoff
The Powerful Are Going After Jane Fonda Again
Binoy Kampmark
Viral Losses: Australian Universities, Coronavirus and Greed
John W. Whitehead
Gun-Toting Cops Endanger Students and Turn Schools into Prisons
Marshall Sahlins
David Brooks, Public Intellectual
February 24, 2020
Stephen Corry
New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
M. K. Bhadrakumar
How India’s Modi is Playing on Trump’s Ego to His Advantage
Jennifer Matsui
Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie
Robert Fisk
There’s Little Chance for Change in Lebanon, Except for More Suffering
Rob Wallace
Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture
Bill Spence
Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians
Eleanor Eagan
As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands
Binoy Kampmark
The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden
George Wuerthner
Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot
Rick Meis
Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management
David Swanson
Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged
Peter Cohen
What Tomorrow May Bring: Politics of the People
Peter Harrison
Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
Weekend Edition
February 21, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic
Joshua Frank
Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies
Paul Street
More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist
Jonathan Latham
Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory
Ramzy Baroud
‘The Donald Trump I know’: Abbas’ UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics
Martha Rosenberg
A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked
Ted Rall
Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label
Louis Proyect
Encountering Malcolm X
Kathleen Wallace
The Debate Question That Really Mattered
Jonathan Cook
UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
George Wuerthner
‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole
Colin Todhunter
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  
Stephen Reyna
A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A New Solar Power Deal From California
Richard Moser
One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way
Laiken Jordahl
Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect
Walden Bello
Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail