Press Corps Focuses On Getting Bush To Admit Failure In Iraq
President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair held a joint press conference today to discuss the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group Report. The main goal of the presser was to show unity between the two leaders and discuss the plan going forward.
Apparently that goal is not in line with the mainstream media mission that is focused primarily on getting President Bush to admit that the War in Iraq is not going well. The underlying theme is that President Bush is still in denial. The only remaining question is whether or not some lucky reporter can get him to admit it.
One of the CNN reporters actually pondered if Tony Blair can get President Bush to face up to the difficulties in Iraq and admit that we need a new direction. Sure, President Bush has no clue as to what is going on.
Bush and Blair continued to discuss strategies at how we can succeed in Iraq and why it is so vitally important. Yet many of the press room reporters acted as if they didn’t even hear the discussion by the two leaders. I imagined them sitting there with ipods on listening to their favorite club music as they prepared to step up to the mic for their carefully prepared attempts to nail President Bush.
The first question out of the gate delivered on that promise. The reporter essentially asked President Bush if he will finally admit to failure (see video here).
For his part President Bush handled the question gracefully and attempted to inject some reality into mix. He said that Congress isn’t going to accept every recommendation in the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report and neither will the administration.
Prime Minister Blair followed the question up more directly. He said that there should be no dispute as to what the situation is in Iraq. He continued to stress that the important elements to focus on should be concerned with how we are going to proceed going forward.
Mr. Blair pointed out that Iran and Syria must support the democratic government in Iraq, not support sectarian violence, not support terrorism and not fuel the war in Iraq with opposition. The implication is clear – we can not negotiate with nations that are not going to support our efforts.
Finally Blair went on to point out that Iran has clearly been supporting terrorists as well as undermining our efforts in Iraq.
None of that seemed to matter to the BBC reporter who followed up by asking President Bush if he was still in denial. No surprise in that question seeing how this has been the coordinated train of thought in the media for as long as I can remember. The difference now is that they can revisit the question using the ISG report as the catalyst.
It was at this point that President Bush became angry. The President used the Clinton finger as he stated emphatically how much he understands the situation; with all due respect! President Bush seems best at these moments because he is not being overly careful to parse his words.
The event was remarkable in that it once again demonstrated that some people in the media are so blinded by their agenda that they can’t even concentrate on the reason the press conference is being held in the first place.