Behind the Scenes at NBC’s Pullout “exclusive”…

The New York Times’ Brian Stelter continues his must read dominance of tonight’s pullout story with a second article…

David Verdi, a vice president at NBC News, said that prior to the war’s beginning in 2003, network executives asked themselves, “What do we think our audience expects from us in covering this war?”

“The unanimous answer was, our audience most likely expects to see this war live,” he said. “That was the initial idea for the Bloommobile.”

When the time came to talk about the end of the combat mission there, he added, “We came to the same conclusion — that our audience would expect to experience it live as it’s happening.”

99 Responses to “Behind the Scenes at NBC’s Pullout “exclusive”…”

  1. What does FNC’s audience expect?

  2. ^ Hannity & Frank Luntz rehashing the never-ending made up mosque story.

  3. ^This is embarrassing. Someone should inform Roger Ailes that even Obama-hating lefty-bashers can take a break from the propaganda long enough for a little news. They keep insisting that lots of non-conservatives watch, then prove they don’t believe it. Hey Roger, listen up. I’M NOT A CONSERVATIVE. I WATCH.

  4. I’M WATCHING OLBERMANN. This madness must stop!!

  5. icemannyr Says:

    Larry had a 2min report from Arwa Damon via video phone then right back to the mosque.

  6. And I have no problem with the Mosque-story per se (especially Pelosi with her dictatorish threats), but enough already. Hannity rides it like he did Schiavo, when there’s actual NEWS going on.

  7. …then right back to the mosque.

    I heard The Mosque was behind 9/11. The Mosque has WMD. The Mosque must be attacked, but The Left wants to appease The Mosque. The Mosque cannot be reasoned with.

  8. icemannyr Says:

    Hannity did a 30 second FOX News Alert on Iraq when back from the last break, then started with is Obama bashing with the childish nickname insults.

  9. — childish nickname insults. —

    Ugh. Can we Taze him everytime he says ‘The Anointed One’? Or any other stupid thing that he says every night of the week?

  10. ^ I miss “Crazed Sex Poodle”. I hope Al Gore enjoyed that apology when the lady’s story was proven to be a crock of shyte. Yeah..

  11. What’s an “exlusive”..?

  12. icemannyr Says:

    Greta mentions it as a FOX News Alert for 30 seconds then back to the Sarah Palin Obsession.

  13. icemannyr Says:

    Unlike FNC, CNN is covering Iraq as their first story.

  14. I might have expected better from Greta, but not after seeing the tease on Hannity.

  15. Jon Stewart is gonna destroy Fox tomorrow night. They don’t even need writers.

  16. lonestar77 Says:

    Over the last few hours, how many different perspectives were expressed on MSNBC? Did they bring on anyone to defend the extraordinary work that was done by our military? Did they bring on anyone to defend the war? Anyone to thank the troops for bringing a chance at freedom to millions?

  17. LS, is that a rhetorical question, or did you not watch? I saw plenty of different perspectives. The night’s coverage just started rerunning a minute ago. Check it out.

  18. lonestar77 Says:

    I’m watching baseball. I flipped over from time to time but didn’t see much other snarky attacks on Bush, Rumsfeld, etc. Engel is a solid reporter but I doubt he was giving any perspective from the right. Who were the defenders of the war that were brought on during the coverage? Because, if the only perspective you give is how awful what we did over there was, what’s the point of the coverage? That would just be more accurately described as using the days news to rehash old attacks.

  19. lonestar77 Says:

    Conversely, i did check out CNN a couple times and they actually had a defender of the war to counter the typical lefty mantras.

  20. LS, I’m not going to debate coverage you didn’t see with you.

  21. lonestar77 Says:

    Fair enough but do you really expect anyone in the moderate to conservative range watch coverage of something like this when it’s being hosted by Keith Olbermann? I mean, come on. Would you watch coverage of the million man march hosted by David Duke? My nephew served two tours over there and we are very proud of his service. I have no interest in watching what KO has to say about it.

  22. I don’t expect you to watch anything. I’m just not going to waste my breath trying to convince you that lots of people said lots of positive things about the US military on MSNBC tonight. Plus, I’ve repeatedly documented my displeasure with MSNBC’s anchor policy, so there’s no need to debate that.

    There’s two tricks on blogs I abhor: assuming what happened, and what would happen. I debate real things that really happened with people that saw it. Period.

  23. I will say one thing in defense of Keith. You seem to imply that he dishonors the US military by disagreeing with the Iraq War. I vehemently reject that. Thre are millions of people like KO and myself that don’t appreciate those brave men and women being put in harm’s way for the wrong reasons.

  24. ^Plus tonight highlights the dangers of letting your best anchor become a spokesman of for any set of political views.

    Olbermann is one of the best anchors of breaking news anywhere on TV and now MSNBC can’t use their best man without significant criticism because of his ongoing political commentaries.

  25. That’s a good point, ND. He is good at it, and was tonight. Phil Griffin is an idiot.

  26. tooncigars Says:

    ^lonestar– please thank ur nephew, from my whole family, for his service– Iraq and the Middle East as a whole will have a brighter future now that democracy has been intoduced into that country– now if we can just keep the Iranians in check, we might even have peace over there– luckily most of the Arabs are with us on that need– anyway, if none of it works out in the end… blame Bush– godspeed to your nephew…

  27. I’ll be very interested to see why ABC and CNN and CBS were kept out of the loop on this one (undoubtedly, the administration was all too happy to let Fox fail here). If I were allowed to speculate, I wonder if NBC was working on some kind of bombshell story that it agreed to spike in exchange for a major favor, like this kind of exclusive.

    That is often how business is done in D.C. Still, I would bet the administration made some potentially powerful enemies among the others in the press.

    One last word on this Maddow quote from last night:

    “The reason no one else in all of TV and all the world is able to bring you the image that we’ve been able to broadcast … and no one else can show you footage like this is because NBC has technology to do this like no one else has.”

    That’s just sad, Rachel. Leave those statements for your PR people. You and NBC are not the story, the troops are, and to pat yourself on the back so clumsily makes you look cheap.

  28. I’m not even sure I buy that self-congratulatory bit of spin from Maddow. Only NBC has the technology? Well maybe that’s because they were tipped weeks ahead of time to get that technology in place. I seem to recall all the networks and news channels doing a great technological job covering the war and the entry into Bagdad etc. It wasn’t only NBC that was broadcasting stuff live.

    The whole thing reminds me of the Olympics, where the network that paid the most money got the exclusive, while the rest had to make do with still photos. Only here the payment was not in dollars.

  29. “If I were allowed to speculate, I wonder if NBC was working on some kind of bombshell story that it agreed to spike in exchange for a major favor, like this kind of exclusive.ere were lots of reporters covering the convoy just no other live TV coverage.”

    Why is it always some giant conspiracy theory with you guys. Can’t it not just be that NBC did a better job. That’s what you’d be saying if it were FNC who had done this.
    There were lots of other reporters covering the story just no other live TV. NBC has the only satellite capable of delivering live TV from a moving vehicle. They’ve had it since the start of the war so other networks could have built one as well if they wanted.

    “That’s just sad, Rachel. Leave those statements for your PR people. You and NBC are not the story, the troops are, and to pat yourself on the back so clumsily makes you look cheap.”

    Sour grapes. Explaining how coverage was optained is certainly part of the story and I for one was interested in the reson they were the only ones able to cover the story live.
    “I’m not even sure I buy that self-congratulatory bit of spin from Maddow. Only NBC has the technology? Well maybe that’s because they were tipped weeks ahead of time to get that technology in place. I seem to recall all the networks and news channels doing a great technological job covering the war and the entry into Bagdad etc. It wasn’t only NBC that was broadcasting stuff live.”

    Yet more sour grapes & conspiracy theories. If the situation was reversed; and FOX wee where NBC is; you’d be bragging about how superior FNC was and how they had the inside track at the WH.
    Maybe they were tipped off weeks ago. So what. That never happened with FNC under Bush?

  30. mlong5000 Says:

    All this proves is that NBC and it’s sister networks are the official network for Obama and as long as they kiss the One’s a@@ they’ll get exclusives like this.

  31. ^ That, Fritz, is spot on.

  32. …the One’s

    Jimmy Carter on steroids.

  33. “NBC has the only satellite capable of delivering live TV from a moving vehicle.”

    Huh? I’ve SEEN live satellite tv from moving vehicles a whole lot of times, and it wasn’t on NBC.

  34. Fritz,

    My post had nothing to do with Fox. I am far more interested why CBS, ABC and CNN were snubbed. They all most certainly have the technology to do what NBC did, and yet, only one network was given this access.

    Usually in Washington, there is a quid pro quo. That is not partisan, it’s simply a fact. I agree NBC did a better job, but I wonder what they did, if anything, to convince the White House to leave the other networks out of the loop.

    That seems to me to be a reasonable question.

  35. Why is it always some giant conspiracy theory with you guys. Can’t it not just be that NBC did a better job

    There’s a long history of Administrations – Republican and Democrat – rewarding news organizations or reporters for favorable coverage. That’s not conspiracy-mongering, that’s history.

    I certainly think on a cable news site that it’s legitimate for someone to ask whether that record of favoritism repeated itself here.

  36. Steve, sure it’s fair, but the whining about it is lame. Richard Engel did a bang-up job over there for 7 years, and the Pentagon recognized him for it. It’s not that hard to sort out.

  37. Joe,

    You think the people at the Pentagon like Engel? On more than one occasion, he reported that Iraq was embroiled in a civil war, and the the U.S. could not win.

    I think you’re being naive in your assumption that they just decided to reward Engel and risk offending the egos at CNN, CBS and ABC.

  38. “Huh? I’ve SEEN live satellite tv from moving vehicles a whole lot of times, and it wasn’t on NBC.”
    I’m just repeating what I heard on TV last night. If the other networks have a truck like the Bloom Mobil (one with the satellite dish mounted on a gyroscope) capable of doing Live TV from a moving vehicle then I’d be happy to have you prove me wrong. With your connections at FNC I’m sure they will be happy to tell you about it, if they have one. Otherwise…

  39. “he reported that Iraq was embroiled in a civil war, and the the U.S. could not win.”
    At that time everyone;except maybe FNC; was reporting “that Iraq was embroiled in a civil war, and the US could not win.’
    It was the CW of the time. Engel is one of the best war reporters in the US. I put him right up there with Ware & Burns.

  40. My connections at FNC? What would those be?

    CNN was doing live satellite video from a moving vehicle five years ago during their storm coverage. This was a big deal back when the war started. Now, everybody’s doing it. If NBC really did claim that nobody can do it but them, they’re not telling the truth.

  41. “If NBC really did claim that nobody can do it but them, they’re not telling the truth.”
    If that’s true you’ll have no trouble proving it.

  42. Fritz, every network has vehicles capable of live satellite broadcasting. The Bloom Mobile is only special, as far as I can tell, because its armored.

    Anyway, if the Pentagon had given CBS or ABC a week of advance notice that the troops were rolling out last night, they would have undoubtedly mobilized the resources to broadcast live images of the event.

  43. If NBC really did claim that nobody can do it but them, they’re not telling the truth.

    Technically, it was Rachel, not NBC as a whole, who made the statement. She’s been on a set for awhile now, but is still very new to big location stories. I would venture to say she got a little carried away.

  44. Engel reported that the U.S. could not win, and then the subsequent events have proven him wrong. Has he issued a retraction?

  45. I would agree, Joe. Probably just carried away because she knew her network had a big scoop.

  46. …subsequent events have proven him wrong.

    Win? Win what? Did we stop the mushroom cloud over New York City? Catch the terrorists that hit the Towers and Pentagon? Sorry, I keep losing track of what the war was about. Oh right; we spent 7 years eliminating a tinpot dictator because the American people were totally behind a massive war in the Persian Gulf to help the Iraqis. Yeah, big win there. It would’ve been nice if we had known up front what our people were being asked to sacrifice in this short operation that would be self-funded to make Iraq a better place for its people.

  47. “Engel reported that the U.S. could not win, and then the subsequent events have proven him wrong.”

    The jury’s still out. We’ll see how it looks in a few years.

    ” Fritz, every network has vehicles capable of live satellite broadcasting. The Bloom Mobile is only special, as far as I can tell, because its armored.”

    The Bloomobile is special because its satellite dish is mounted on a gyroscope which allows it to send broadcast quality video while driving at high speed over rough terrain. There are lots of mobile satellite trucks but none, that I know of, that have this capability.
    BTW, I don’t think its armoured; the device is mounted on a large custom built pick-up truck.

  48. You may have opposed the Iraq war, and you have that right. I applaud you for standing by your principles.

    But while the war on terror is an ongoing battle that will live beyond Obama, we most certainly did win the Iraq war. Congratulations Presidents Obama and Bush, congratulations General Petraeus, and most importantly, congratulations to the troops.

  49. Fritz, you were right, the Bloommobile is not armored. I read that Engel was in an armored vehicle and thought that he was in the Bloommobile.

    From NYT story: On Wednesday night, Mr. Engel was positioned in one of the military’s armor vehicles, directly in front of the Bloommobile. The signal from his vehicle was sent via microwave to the Bloommobile, which transmitted it back to the United States.

  50. tooncigars Says:

    i say congratulations to President Bush for having the foresight to remove a ruthless, genocidal dictator and his progeny poised at the heart of the Middle East oil supply– this is the guy who paid 40 grand to any Palestinian family that blew up Israelis, this is the guy who was proven to have had WMD’s and certainly used them against his own people in the form of gas attacks, this is the guy who’s son (and next in line for power) routinely raped the women of his nation with impunity, this is the guy who flipped off the will of almost the entire United Nations when it came to inspections, this was a guy who had invaded and taken Kuwait before this who we had to spend blood and treasure to repel at the time– this is the guy who President Bush, much to his credit, recognized as a real threat after 9/11 and while he may not have been or supported jihadists was more than capable and had proven to be a threat to the United States interests and our allies in this region– i don’t get all the hand wringing about Iraq and how the Afghan is the “good war” from the libs– Iraq is where we needed to be at the time and Mr. Bush will eventually be proven right in his instincts and courage to do the right thing– our heartfelt thanks go out to all the troops and support personnel who fought, died or were wounded to release the Iraqis and the whole Middle East from that tyrant– let’s see if President Obama has half his courage when the time comes to slap down Iran–

  51. Actually most of those satellite shots on moving vehicles come via videophone. The Bloommobile was, and might still be unique, because it’s able to send a HQ SD feed to a satellite while moving at 40-50mph.

    There’s a great story from Reese Schonfield’s book about the founding of CNN, where CNN reporters in Central Park couldn’t get a satellite link back to Atlanta to report the death of John Lennon because the crowds kept rocking the van.

  52. Toon, I don’t deny your assessment of the situation in Iraq at the time, but we were BSed into expending way too much American blood and treasure for this outcome with threats of “mushroom clouds”, and assurances that this mess would be cheap and easy. If the neo-cons had honestly presented yourscenario to the public – with the concomitant body count and price tag that could reasonably be expected – I seriously doubt we would have supported it.

    But of course they knew that, so they lied. At best, George W. Bush will someday be proven “right” that he could accomplish what he set out to do. Which is win the war he believed needed to be fought. For the reasons he thought were pertinent. Which he didn’t tell us. I can’t support that.

  53. If ANY president honestly told the American People what was in store prior to going to war, we would never go to war. It’s bloody and horrible and long, and often necessary.

  54. tooncigars Says:

    i can understand why u may be angry joe since we were told that we were going in to get his WMD’s which i don’t have to remind u that EVERY intellegence agency in the world knew he had– we and they were all proved wrong– so what were we supposed to do then?– sorry Saddam we’ll just leave now?– we would have had to take out that tinpot dictator anyway u look at it if we went in after his WMD’s so wtf were we supposed to do?– maybe u forget but most Americans were ready to kick the a** of any arab that was against the United States at the time– i think we went in for the WMD’s and stayed to finally finish that clown and set that country right– in for a penny, in for a pound– if his old man had done the right thing and gone on to Baghdad when he had the coalition together, we’d have gotten it over at the time– he was a festering sore that needed to be dealt with and President Bush had the courage to do what needed to be done at the time– it wasn’t quick like we thought and it wasn’t pretty but it was necessary– as i look around in the ME now i see only one true threat that has any modicum of strength to hurt Western Civ. left– i think u can guess who that is, and i don’t mean Yemen–

  55. FDR in 1941:

    “And because we have been ruthlessly attacked by the Empire of Japan, we will go to war in The Pacific, in Africa, and in Europe, and it may take 5 years, and we might lose 290,000 U.S. soldiers, but I know I have your support.”

  56. Nice work, JWE. Give me a President who tells me we’re gonna defeat every last bastard with a shoulder-rocket, and it’s gonna take everything we’ve got…I’ll listen. I still may not believe in it, but if it’s laid out before me, and the country says yes, I can at least respect it.

    Toon, the intelligence on WMD was well known to be of the “maybe someday” variety, which could have been dealt with any number of ways that involved more international support, with an American public honestly informed. There was no imminent threat of a nuclear holocaust at the Empire State Building, and they knew it. But as Dick Cheney would say, “So?”

  57. tooncigars Says:

    sorry joe, but i can’t in good conscience let u get away with trying to re-write history– Saddam HAD WMD’s as he proved when he used them on his own people in the North– also the UN inspectors found evidence of WMD’s and their traces all over Iraq– the only reason he wouldn’t admit that he got rid of them was because he wanted the Iranians to believe he still had them– if u’ll remember those two countries fought a war that killed thousands and thousands of people on both sides– Weapons of Mass Destruction are not defined as only Nukes as i’m sure u realize–
    jwe nails it when he says that no prez can tell us how it will be in a war– first of all because he doesn’t know for sure– who does?– Roosevelt was itching to get into the war but 80% of the American people were against it even as late as Feb. 1941– it took the Nips sneak attacking us to change our minds and it took the 9/11 attacks to begin to clean up the cesspool that had become the Middle East–

  58. ^ Read “Fiasco”. Call me.

  59. Um, the nips? Yikes

    I come down on both sides.

    There were no WMDs, and while I don’t think the administration knew that, I concede it’s possible. Regardless, I think it was the right thing to do for America’s long-term interests to go in there, remove Saddam, and attempt to install a stable government.

  60. tooncigars Says:

    ^not as insulting as u’d suspect jwe– as i’m sure u know, “Nips” is short for Nippon or Japan in English– they call themselves “Nipponese” from the Kingdom of Nippon– easy to see where the slang comes from– it’s probably more insulting to call a German a “kraut” ’cause it makes fun of the food he eats–
    i’ll ck. it out joe and let u know– thanks

  61. tooncigars Says:

    ^hey joe– here’s an excerpt from the first review of “Fiasco” on amazon.com by a cat named amicus veritas– he liked the book, the bent disturbs me:
    “I bring these points up not only because they seem logically inconsistent but because Ricks “do-no-right” attitude towards the administration seems forced at times, almost like he needs to pile on to placate the many readers who doubtlessly will pick up this book hoping to have more ammo to slam Republicans in Internet chat rooms. Did Rumsfeld really do *nothing* right in the past six and a half years? (Don’t feel the need to answer that.) My point here is that an attempt to appear even slightly balanced in presenting the viewpoints of the administration would have been nice, as would a different title, which seems primarily designed to capitalize on the polarization surrounding the war.”– this is not encouraging– most battle plans fall apart within a few hours or days of their implementation and i’m not talking about how good/bad was the civilian planning and authority– i’m talking about we went in, did what we thought was right and threw out a rancid creep who needed to be thrown out for the good of the world and his people– i don’t believe we were lied too because we ran around like “chickens with our heads cut off” searching for those WMD’s and they involved A LOT of units– Rummy wasn’t so right, but so what?– we fixed it and eventually got it right– read some Michael Yon and learn to appreciate what the troops did in our names for the Iraqi people and for us–

  62. …learn to appreciate what the troops did in our names for the Iraqi people and for us–</I.

    Don't give me that shit. You've been around here long enough to know that I appreciate the troops enough to raise hell when they're shipped off for a stupid neocon fantasy. "War opponents don't appreciate the service of the men and women in the military" is right-wing propaganda crap.

    I'd like to amend one thing about Bush. I'm not entirely convinced he personally knew how much of what he spouted was bollocks. He's not very bright, and has a strong Messianic "I know what must be done" streak that I believe led him to delusion. The morons that told him what to believe are another thing..

  63. Eh, moderation. Short version; ignore the first one, please, Spud.

    …learn to appreciate what the troops did in our names for the Iraqi people and for us.

    Don’t give me that crap. You’ve been around here long enough to know that I appreciate the troops enough to raise hell when they’re shipped off for a stupid neo-con fantasy. “War opponents don’t appreciate the service of the men and women of the military” is right-wing propaganda bull.

  64. tooncigars Says:

    sorry u feel that way joe– to try to essence down my whole post with by pretending that I think u can’t understand how to appreciate our troops won’t fly here– u lay out a line like “read ‘Fiasco’. Call me.” is lame– i answered ur flippant comment with a thoughtful answer– why can’t u?– as usual, when the libs come down to the end, they run out of gas and resort to high dudgeon or ridiculing semantics–

  65. ^ I already responded to your more thoughtful comments, and have no interest in debating a review of a book. You put a nasty tag against me at the end, and I defended myself.

  66. “I bring these points up not only because they seem logically inconsistent but because Ricks “do-no-right” attitude towards the administration seems forced at times, almost like he needs to pile on to placate the many readers who doubtlessly will pick up this book hoping to have more ammo to slam Republicans in Internet chat rooms. Did Rumsfeld really do *nothing* right in the past six and a half years? (Don’t feel the need to answer that.) My point here is that an attempt to appear even slightly balanced in presenting the viewpoints of the administration would have been nice, as would a different title, which seems primarily designed to capitalize on the polarization surrounding the war.”– this is not encouraging– most battle plans fall apart within a few hours or days of their implementation and i’m not talking about how good/bad was the civilian planning and authority– i’m talking about we went in, did what we thought was right and threw out a rancid creep who needed to be thrown out for the good of the world and his people– i don’t believe we were lied too because we ran around like “chickens with our heads cut off” searching for those WMD’s and they involved A LOT of units– Rummy wasn’t so right, but so what?– we fixed it and eventually got it right– read some Michael Yon and learn to appreciate what the troops did in our names for the Iraqi people and for us–

    ^^^toon: You need to use sentences & paragraphs. Otherwise your comment looks like gibberish. I’m being serious here, I can’t make head nor tail of what point you are trying to make.

  67. I will amend my comments about Bush. This was in my first moderated comment.

    I’m not entirely convinced he personally knew how much of what he spouted was crap. He’s not very bright, and has a strong Messianic “I know what must be done” streak that I believe led him to delusion. The morons that told him what to believe are another thing..

  68. toon: You need to use sentences & paragraphs.

    Good luck with that..

  69. tooncigars Says:

    i don’t mind if u can’t keep up fritzy– i promise u that no one will hold it against u– joe “gets” it and he’s the one i wrote it to–

    ok joe, i’ll disengage–

  70. tooncigars Says:

    ^”Messianic” streak?– George Bush?!– and this while “The Black Jesus” is in the House?!– dude, u are reaching big time–

  71. Toon: it’s documented, including by Bush himself. I have a history in this area, and know of what I speak. W believed God chose him to be President, and made most decisions on “a hunch”; a sense that he was “being led”, and “knew what was right” even if it wouldn’t come to be accepted until after his death. That, my good man, is a Messiah complex.

    I’ll ignore the Obama comparison. We’re not talking about him right now.

  72. Oh what the hell, I’ll take a crack at it.

    The “Chosen One” weirdness that’s constantly applied to the President has nothing to do with “Messiah complex”. Obama is the very antithesis of George Bush. He doesn’t appear to be very religious at all. Someone on MSNBC today said he rarely went to church after his kids were born, and he has none of the phrasing endemic to a religious person. And his decision making is “of the head” to a fault. He uses his intelligence to muddle over every detail, often missing the big picture that a litle more “heart” might provide.

    Obama may be perceived as The Chosen One by those who support him, and derisively by his detractors, but it has nothing to do with the inner man.

  73. tooncigars Says:

    ^do u know who began the name “Black Jesus”?– his frikkin’ staff!– why is he strutting to his doom by being a pariah to the rest of his Party?– outside of Harry Reid who just threw him under the bus, who wants Obama’s support in the Democratic Party?– he makes decisions that will make him a “lame duck” and then he’ll have as much vacation time as he wants– November 2nd–

  74. ^ Yes, and “Black Jesus” is a reference to the crowd’s reaction to him, which I addressed. Obama does not himself have a “chosen one” mentality; he’s just a politician with a set of beliefs about what’s best for the country. He didn’t ask to be a “rock star”, and seems uncomfortable living up to it.

  75. According to Johnny Dollar, last night’s numbers were: Bill-Hannity-Beck. MSNBC’s technology didn’t do them any good as far as ratings.

  76. Honestly I think the “Chosen One” thing grew out of the style of the Obama campaign rhetoric. It was a little over-the-top like that. All the “Yes We Can” and very centered on Obama as a transformational figure.

    Now, I voted for him and I support him. I just took it as campaign rhetoric and thought it was kind of corny, and Obama seems like sort of a nerd in fact. My problem with the right wingers calling him this stuff is that it’s played out and unfunny. And I’m not a devoted Obama fan or sensitive about what people call him. It’s just lame hearing someone beat a joke into the ground that wasn’t a funny joke in the first place.

  77. joeremi, so George W. Bush is not very bright? Can someone who is “not very bright” pilot an F-102 Delta Dagger?

  78. — beat a joke into the ground that wasn’t funny in the first place —

    AKA ”Pulling a Hannity”.

  79. “The Chosen One” grew out of Obama himself:

    “…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal …” – Obama on 6/4/08 after he won the Democratic primary.

  80. “…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal …”

    How long are you guys going to distort that stuff? Every politician talks about “we” when exhorting an audience in victory. He was referring to every voter who believed that electing a Democrat meant something may be done about climate change besides having people in power deny it.

  81. Can someone who is “not very bright” pilot an F-102 Delta Dagger?

    Oh I agree he’s not stupid. He can wrap his brain around a mechanical task if he wants to, but it’s a lazy brain. He’s not curious about much. Read any account of a discussion with him about Israeli-Palistinean negotiations and you won’t be reading long. Same with Cabinet meetings. He didn’t ask questions. He’s all “hunch” and “what the hell, let’s get ’em”. He was not a deep enough thinker to be sending people off to fight and die, and that, in my humble opinion, is criminal.

  82. W believed God chose him to be President, and made most decisions on “a hunch”; a sense that he was “being led”, and “knew what was right” even if it wouldn’t come to be accepted until after his death. That, my good man, is a Messiah complex.

    Joe, you really sound unhinged whenever you talk about Bush.

    BDS indeed.

  83. To expand on this: Joe thinks that Bush was, in effect, a religious zealot acting, he thought, on God’s orders.

    And the men and women in his cabinet and sub-cabinet, all of the people serving the President, sat there and carried out the religiously-based orders of this fanatic. No one complained. No one said no. No one leaked this to the press.

    They all went along.

    This is about as believable as those who claim that President Obama is a secret Marxist and that all of the men and women serving him also quietly go along with his plans. They don’t oppose him. They don’t say no. They don’t resign. No, they freely go along with his “Marxist” plans.

    Do people actually believe this nonsense?

  84. tooncigars Says:

    — no one can deny that the guy thinks he’s awesome– the bringdown can be tough on someone like this, especially after he got more people than Kennedy in Berlin, yes?– won Nobel Peace Prize before he did a lick of work– was able to more than triple the debt in less than 2 years– passed a healthinsurance scam to get more taxes– i could go on, but i think u get what i’m saying–

  85. tooncigars Says:

    ^steveo– well shut my mouth brother!

  86. Steve, have you read any of Bob Woodward’s books about Bush? I’m not making this stuff up; it’s common knowledge, even among Bush supporters. What I call “Messiah complex”, some call Bush’s faith. They don’t consider it a problem.

  87. Joe thinks that Bush was, in effect, a religious zealot acting, he thought, on God’s orders.

    More accurately, a religious simpleton, unaware of his simpleness, and devoid of critics in close quarters willing to point it out. Bush critics weren’t “trusted advisors with a point to make”, they were “enemies to be banished from the inner circle”. Do some reading, kids. I wouldn’t pull this stuff out of thin air.

  88. “More accurately, a religious simpleton, unaware of his simpleness, and devoid of critics in close quarters willing to point it out.”
    Kinda like Chance the gardener in ‘Being there’

  89. no one can deny that the guy thinks he’s awesome

    Well, I don’t think most people with enough hubris to run for President are spending much time on Humble Road. “Yeah, I’d probably suck at this and be bad for the country” is not a thought you’re likely find on a debate stage..

  90. Before this thread fades into oblivion, I would like state something that I think is being lost on people who disagree with me. I believe you think I’m stuck on bush-bashing, which is why I stand by my opposition to the Iraq War, even though it’s ending quietly with “the bad guy” gone. That’s not it.

    George Bush, his crew, and the Congress made bad decisions that unnecessarily got a lot of young Americans killed. “It kinda worked out ok eventually” doesn’t change the fact that they’re still dead. I can’t support that, and refuse to forget the cowboy BS that started this mess.

  91. joeremi, what is the difference between a president who “know[s]what must be done” and a president “with a set of beliefs about what’s best for the country”?

  92. JR, as a simple question like that..nothing. They both have a set of beliefs. My problem is with Bush’s disinterest in much soul-searching or debate before “going with his gut”. I’ve also delineated my issues with how Obama comes to his decisions. One is all heart, no brain; the other is all brain, no heart. Eventually we’ll get both in the same package..

  93. To be clear, JR, the two quotes you pulled are specific to the “Messianic” comparison I was making. Bush had a “sent by God” perspective, while Obama – who the right routinely berates with phrases like “the Messiah” and “the Chosen One” – does not strike me as very religious at all.

  94. Ugh, I’m going to try one more time. I’m assuming everyone knows what it’s like to be an evangelical and feel led by God, which, of course, is silly.

    My impression of Bush – based on what has been documented by people who saw him in action, what he himself has said about himself, and my own past religious experience – is that he felt his set of beliefs were inspired from another source, and did not need much study or debate. He just “knew” because he trusted it. That type of “set of beliefs” is different from ordinary political points of view.

  95. tooncigars Says:

    wasn’t it Henry David Thoreau that used to say: “Simplify, simplify, simplify”– Bush saw things for what they were: good vs. evil and that drives leftys absolutely certifiably bonkers!– they seem to prefer the paralysis of trying to detect the nuances in the shades of gray so as not to offend anyone and to show that they use their big brains to make the best decisions for all us unwashed masses– sometimes it’s best to get to the nut of the issue– Saddam bad, United States good–

  96. ^ “Saddam bad, young Americans die” is a little too simplistic for me.

  97. God leads us when we listen to Him.
    We are not led blindly. We are led through prayer – intense prayer – one-on-one between us and God. That’s what George Bush practiced. He wasn’t basing his decisions based on “hunches.” And what president hasn’t prayed for guidance to be led down the right path? BTW, Bush did not have a “Messiah” complex. That is a condition in which someone thinks he himself is the savior.

  98. tooncigars Says:

    ^^joe, i rest my case–

  99. Carol, you’re probably right about the “Messiah complex” term. I don’t have a better one for what I’m describing. My problem with Bush isn’t that he believed he was led by God. It’s that he seemed to rely mainly on that, without much “interference” from advisors or history. That’s where I get the “Messianic” thing. He treated himself as a receiver of Higher Knowledge, which is a Jesus-like attitude.

    I want my leaders to trust and pray, but a little “verify” is good, too.

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