March 26th, 2001

Ceci n'est pas une personne.

(no subject)

From March 23rd's White House Presse Breifing's:

MR. FLEISCHER: -- so I will go over what he's doing, to celebrate Greek Independence Day. That's press pool coverage at 3:50 p.m. in the Indian Treaty Room. He'll [President Bush] be joined by several elected officials and leaders of the Greek Community.

Now given the past treatment of Indian's (Native American's) and the treaties made with them, isn't that the last place I'd want to meet the President? I might leave the room with no land, and shuffled off to Oklahoma...

Plus the fact that Mr. Fleischer is trying to sound cool, by making up acronym's. No one cares, and that is rather amusing:

MR. FLEISCHER: Nobody's asking what a PG is.

Q Do we want to know?

This is generally a bad sign for a President and/or the Press Secretary, when people don't care what your acronyms mean. Then again, it means people aren't asking enough questions, and the President will start slipping stuff past the press.

Also, there was another display of the fine art of the non-answer. Ari get's called on it, and non-answers again:

MR. FLEISCHER: Any other questions from you PGs when we have assembled?

Q Ari -- Russian expulsions -- the White House --

MR. FLEISCHER: The President took the action he believes is appropriate to the national interests. We're aware of what Russia has said, and what they said they will do. The President considers the matter closed.

Q Does he not have any reaction to the fact that Russia reciprocated?

MR. FLEISCHER: The President considers the matter closed.

Q What does that mean? That's not an answer.

MR. FLEISCHER: That's the President's view.

Q So he has no reaction to what Russia did?

MR. FLEISCHER: The Russians have taken the action they did. The President considers the matter closed.

I wish I could away with non-answers like that in my life...

Finally, the press, once again seems to be missing the point. The President anounces his new tax plan, and brings out a family, to show how much they will save in taxes. Does the press ask about the plan, or how it will affect other tax brackets, or anything else of importance that will affect their audience? No. The find out the couple has a 14 year old daught, but have only been married 13 years, and question if the Man is a "solid man". What is up with our press, when that is the best question they can come up with? Read for yourself:

MR. FLEISCHER: Tax family. To do something different, we'll have a tax family join us today. The Hanington Family: Willard Hanington, Jr. He's a small business owner, in a family-owned logging business named Willard S. Hanington and Sons. His wife, whose named Karlene, Karlene Hanington. She's a part-time bookkeeper at Willard Hanington and Sons. They have three children: daughter Kayla, 14 years old; daughter, Laci, two-and-a-half years old; and the son's name -- anyone want to take any guesses on the son's name?

Q Willard.

MR. FLEISCHER: No.

Q Ari?

MR. FLEISCHER: Logan. He's 10 years old. They are from Wytopitlock, Maine. They met in high school, been married for 13 years. They're from Northern Maine. They currently have a joint income of $54,000. They currently pay $2,850 in federal income taxes. Under the President's plan, they would pay $700 in federal income taxes, or a 75 percent tax cut. That's resulted from the 10 percent tax bracket, doubling the child credit and from the the President's marriage --

Q What is the total savings?

MR. FLEISCHER: The total savings is $2,150, a 75 percent tax cut for the Hanington family of Wytopitlock, Maine.

Q What's their total income?

MR. FLEISCHER: I think it's $54,000.

Q How long did you say they've been married?

MR. FLEISCHER: They're high school sweethearts, Frank. They've been married for 13 years, thank you for asking.

Q One of their daughters is 14.

MR. FLEISCHER: I think that's a question you should ask the Haningtons.

Q So I did hear correctly?

MR. FLEISCHER: That's what the information says.

Q Okay.

Q Would you say that their marriage is strong after 13 years? (Laughter.)

MR. FLEISCHER: The President believes that Mr. Hanington is a good man.

Q Is he a solid man?

Out of a whole room of reporters, only one has the balls to pressure Ari for an answer, and still settle for a non-answer. They should be asking hard questions, and demanding good answers, not accepting non-answers, and going for warm and fuzzy human interest questions. These are political reporters, not writers for the LifeStyles page in the paper.