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(Note to literalists: the Watched column presently contains only a smattering of 'warblogs' because the facilitator of the template-change--Dr. Menlo--is not very familiar with them, and will be adding more as they are sent to him. Also, this blog may contain areas of allusion, satire, subtext, context and possibly even a dash of the surreal: wannabe lit-crits beware.)


[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Friday, March 21, 2003


Not a warblogger, Lloyd Grove is nearly as imperceptive as one. He runs an item today in his "Reliable Sources" column opening thus:
The White House is vowing a strong retaliatory response after the BBC aired live video of President Bush getting his hair coiffed in the Oval Office as he squirmed in his chair and practiced on the teleprompter minutes before Wednesday night's speech announcing the launch of military operations against Saddam Hussein.
Per Grove, the White House is upset about an unauthorized look into Bush's powder room.

Is it obtuseness or worse that prevents Grove from putting two and two together? The day prior the episode made the news wires - not because of of the thrill of a surreptitious peek at a presidential coiff in progress, but because of this:
Minutes before the speech, an internal TV monitor showed the President pumping his fist. "Feels good," he said.
I don't know if it's individual initiative, or the press dutifully falling into line, but this Herald News write-up, which came up on Google News as making mention of Bush's fist-pumping, has been duly redacted.

Here is the Mirror's report on the Feel Good briefing that prefaced Bush's Feel Good War:
Yet what of George Bush Jnr? What of the man who carries the fate of the world on his shoulders?

Well had American TV viewers been able to watch him yesterday, as he prepared to tell them that all hell was breaking loose in their name in Iraq, they would surely have reached this conclusion.

That there is less cynicism in Krusty The Clown. More gravity on the moon. More brains on a Texan plain full of buffalo droppings.

Bush is not a serious statesman but a puerile punk.

BEFORE the broadcast began, at what should have been the most serious moment in his life, the former alcoholic was on an adrenaline-rushing high.

Like a kid at a party waiting to blow out his candles. He joked with the make-up assistant, patted the gel in his hair, waved his his hands around, and furiously scanned the room to make eye contact with a pal.

Then, less than a minute before going on TV to take responsibility for war, he spotted an aide. He picked up the speech that was about to bring down the starting flag on a possible World War III, made a triumphal fist of his other hand, and with a grin that almost split his face yelled out: "I feel good!"

Then turned to the camera, tightened his eyes, sombrely addressed his "fellow Americans" and impassively read the words written by his team of propagandists heralding the first-ever pre-emptive strike in his country's history.

They were, in such an insincere context, largely irrelevant.

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