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October 16, 2003

Must…keep…straight…face. One gets the sense that even mainstream media outlets are, at last, beginning to tire of declaring that chalk is cheese. From this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:
Concerned about the appearance of disarray and feuding within his administration as well as growing resistance to his policies in Iraq, President Bush—living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge—told his top officials to “stop the leaks” to the media, or else.

News of Bush’s order leaked almost immediately.

Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he “didn’t want to see any stories” quoting unnamed administration officials in the media anymore, and that if he did, there would be consequences, said a senior administration official who asked that his name not be used.

(Via that Philadelphia guy Atrios, who headlined his post “Not From the Onion.”) [12:50 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Must...keep...straight...face.:

Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 01:13 PM:

This one doesn't seem to be so much a leak as a stage whisper.

Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 02:16 PM:

What got me was this part:

At one point, the senior official said, Bush himself asked how bad it was.

"This isn't as bad as [George] Shultz vs. [Caspar] Weinberger, is it?" he asked, referring to a legendary Reagan administration rivalry between secretaries of state and defense. One top official reportedly nodded and said it was "way worse."

Bush isn't even fully aware of the infighting that is bloody obvious to everyone else on the planet.

David D. Levine ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 02:20 PM:

Zach Wamp, a Tennessee Republican who had pushed a loan plan, backed away after meeting with Bush. "If his eyes had been lasers, mine would have burned out," Wamp said then.

"Zach Wamp"??

Are you sure this isn't from the Onion?

kip m. ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 02:54 PM:

Seems to me that the humorists of our country have grounds for a complaint: such P2P trading of pithy punchlines and political satire directly between politicians and citizens bypasses traditional means of distribution, such as Doonesbury strips, Capitol Steps skits, and Thomas Friedman columns.

One could, I suppose, argue that it merely means the humorists are following an outmoded business model, and need to adapt to changing times.

David W. ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 04:05 PM:

It's clear from the report that Bush's staff doesn't really respect him, which makes his assertion about his being in charge pretty laughable. Well, it would be laughable if it wasn't for the fact that Bush is the President.

Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 04:37 PM:

Bush appears to be taking the Ken Lay approach to government.

"I didn't know what they were doing!"

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 04:54 PM:

"It's clear from the report that Bush's staff doesn't really respect him."

Now, now, I'm sure his staff is lined up behind him. (They're lining up to tape "kick me" signs on his suit, but still, they *are* behind him, all the way.)

Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2003, 06:14 PM:

I am reminded of Teresa's extensive analysis of Bush's style of management, March 28th of this year.

Your more earnest and straightforward underlings are still going to be trying to fit all that random noise you're generating into some larger overall picture. It'll be tough going. The less honest ones will just be trying to keep you happy while pushing their own agendas -- and they?ll be at an advantage. It's tough to come up with truthful, responsible answers under those conditions, because there are thousands of bits of real-world circumstantiality one has to account for. Agenda-pushers just need to know which direction to push, and they've got that going in.

As usual, Teresa has said it more clearly and more precisely than I ever could. Preciently, too. If you don't remember the article, go read it again. There's a lot more detail and explanation.