Networks Pan Bush Performance In Closing Out Bush's Press Conference Today
After President Bush concluded his press conference, the networks decided he was passionate, even "testy," said Tim Russert. That's virtually always a good description of White House reporters facing a Republican president. To be specific, MRC's Scott Whitlock noticed that Tim Russert proclaimed, "The Bush media blitz continues. This was a President who was passionate, animated, even testy about the eavesdropping situation, Brian. He realizes that this issue has legs, if in fact Republicans in Congress go forward with their investigation." Russert insisted the contoversy over domestic "spying" is "still a big question and clearly the President does not enjoy being challenged about it."
On ABC, MRC's Megan McCormack watched ex-Clinton spin artist George Stephanopoulos holding court with his "nonpartisan" opinions on how the "humble" Bush of Sunday night was the "defiant" Bush of Monday morning. Anchor Elizabeth Vargas noted his vigor in defending a "secret spying program." (As opposed to a overt, watchable spying program?)
New White House reporter Martha Raddatz expressed shock that Bush once again mentioned 9/11 and claimed Bush was completely vague in his responses: "I was struck by the fact that almost everything the president talked about today, he sent back to 9/11, Iraq, the Patriot Act, which obviously does involve the attacks there, but the NSA spying saying again and again he respects civil liberties of people, but this goes beyond that. But again, very political. He stayed very much on message and he did not give very many specifics about any of the questions he was asked." Vargas replied: "Indeed he didn't. All right, Martha Raddatz and George Stephanopoulos, thank you so much. A confident and defiant President Bush in his press conference this morning, lasting nearly one hour."
On CBS, MRC's Michael Rule found Bob Schieffer kept plugging his own Sunday show. Before the event began, Schieffer predicted: "I suspect that most of the questions today won’t be about that but about the disclosure that the government has been using its spy satellites to eavesdrop on Americans in this country. If you watched any of the Sunday talk shows yesterday you know what an uproar Congress is in over that." We've noticed how it's funny how the media pretends only "Congress" is in an uproar, instead of the media going into an uproar, telling Congress that's the story they want fussed over.
After the event, Schieffer leaned again on his own Sunday show as he looked to the week ahead: "Now, here is where the rubber is going to hit the road when this gets to Capitol Hill which is in a complete uproar about this right now. Yesterday on most of the talk shows, and on 'Face the Nation' as a matter of fact, Senator Joe Biden, who was one of the Senators who wrote the law creating this court that has oversight over all of this, he says the President has the authority to eavesdrop, but within 72 hours you have to go to the court and explain what you’ve done, and if the court says you can’t do that then you simply destroy the evidence."