FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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).

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail