It seems a flip of the switch sent video of President Bush primping for his Oval Office address streaming out to millions of viewers. He’s seen being combed, sprayed, and fussed over as he fidgets in his chair.
There’s nothing unusual about this except that we mere citizens rarely every see such preparations. And, to be brutally accurate, such preparations are necessary. Richard Nixon, far too concerned with his masculine appearance, made the mistake of eschewing the green make up, necessary to make skin look “normal” on black & white TV, prior to his debate with JFK. He paid a terrible price for his lack of vanity (he looked awful next to the trim, tall, and “tan” Kennedy).
Okay, so it’s embarrassing. Did someone do it on purpose? Who knows? The White House reaction:
Henceforth, the official said, the White House–not the networks–will throw the switches that make pool feeds available to broadcast outlets. “There have been too many incidents,” the official said, listing various presidential speeches allegedly marred by pool-feed glitches. “We have to make sure we are comfortable with the situation.”
To which I ask: Do the Republicans not have competent media professionals? Why hasn’t this always been the policy? This sad and comic incident is 100 percent the fault of the White House communications staff.