Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Tuesday, March 23, 2004  

Cheney is now giving a stock stump speech, similar to the one he gave last week at the Reagan Library. It looks a whole lot like the speech the President gave over the weekend in Florida.

If you happened to see the transcripts online, you may have noticed an alarming trend. Here's an example from the Bush speech:

THE PRESIDENT: He's following an interesting strategy. The other day, here in Florida, he claimed some important endorsements from overseas. He won't tell us the name of the foreign admirers. That's okay, either way I'm not too worried because I'm going to keep my campaign right here in America. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!...

THE PRESIDENT: It is the President's job to confront problems, not to pass them on to future Presidents or future generations. (Applause.) It is the President's job to step up and make the tough decisions and to keep his commitments. And that is how I will continue to lead our great nation. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!...

THE PRESIDENT: My opponent has a different view of tax relief. When we passed an increase in the child credit to help families, he voted against it.

AUDIENCE: Booo!

THE PRESIDENT: When we reduced the marriage penalty, he voted against it.

AUDIENCE: Booo!

THE PRESIDENT: When we created a lower 10-percent tax rate for working families, he voted against it.

AUDIENCE: Booo!

[etc.]

Now, it's one thing to put stump speeches online. The President, as a public figure, should have all public statements catalogued. But it's quite another to include responses by an audience hand-selected by the President. Does this add anything to the transcript? Or rather, is it purely base promotion? More: is it even accurate? Was this the whole crowd? Were there competing comments? Will the White House post the audience's response when the President speaks at public gatherings (if he ever does such a thing)?

The an official government website. Is it appropriate to sex it up like this? (That's actually an open question, not a rhetorical one. It seems slimy to me, but maybe I'm missing something.)

posted by Jeff | 10:59 AM |
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