Wednesday, February 26
Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, CommonDreams.org, February 26, 2003
For almost two years now, we have covered the Bush White House with astonishment.
We are astonished by the simple fact that this President, with such strong ties to the corporate establishment, has for two years sailed smoothly through our democratic waters, at a time of rising popular discontent, unemployment, corporate scandals, national security disasters, and most recently, gasoline above $2 a gallon.
How does he do it?
First and foremost is the failure of the political opposition.
The Republicans are bought and paid for.
The leadership of the Democratic Party is timid, bought and paid for.
So, with no effective opposition in Washington, the President gets a free ride.
Unless the press puts his feet to the fire. [...]
So, we call ahead every day, and we get cleared in.
Unless the day is like yesterday, when we e-mailed our handler at the White House to get cleared in, are e-mailed back telling us that we were cleared in, but then when we get to the White House, we are told we are not cleared in. Sorry. You'll have to wait until you are cleared in.
Yesterday, Ari Fleischer's press briefing was scheduled at 12:15. Ari starts his press briefing then. We are left waiting at the White House gate until 12:40. We get in. Take a seat, and Ari gets to us, and skips over us.
So, first they ban you.
Then they leave you stewing at the gate.
Then they skip over you. [...]