Wednesday, October 6
Kevin Drum, The Washington Monthly, October 4, 2004
THE EARPIECE....The internet is your go-to medium for news of the weird, and this weekend's clear winner in the world of weird speculation was the buzz about George Bush's earpiece.
It all started when Bush looked up halfway though an answer during Thursday's debate and snapped petulantly, "Let me finish." This is a trademark Bush line and normally wouldn't draw any comment except for one thing: no one had interrupted him. He had plenty of time left, Kerry hadn't said anything, and Jim Lehrer hadn't said anything either. So who was he talking to?
The theory making the rounds is that he was wearing an implanted earpiece of some kind and was reacting to advice from whatever handler was on the other end. The hard evidence for this is approximately zero, but it did bring back memories of an odd incident a few months ago: Bush was at a press conference with Jacques Chirac and really was wearing an earpiece, and it appeared that his responses to questions were being fed to him a few moments before the words came out of his mouth. You could hear it on every network that carried the event.
And for even more weirdness, there's the mystery of the strange lump in the back of his jacket. It's been there before at press conferences, and it was there again at the debate (Digby has a picture). What is it?
Weird, weird, weird. But I'm sure there's a good explanation that doesn't involve tinfoil hats.
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What's the Frequency, Karl?
Is Bush Channelling Rove?
By DAVE LINDORFF, Counterpunch, October 5, 2004
The man of a hundred voices, Harry Shearer, host of NPR's "Le Show," recently did a skit
about Sen. John Kerry's training for the first debate, which featured a soprano-voiced aide who would ask the verbose and vacuous Democratic presidential contender a mock question, and then press a button to administer an electric shock the minute Kerry started off on a windy subordinate clause or an equivocation.
It was extremely funny, and the way Kerry kept to tightly scripted answers that fit into the debate format's tight time constraints makes it appear likely that it was close to what his training had probably been.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that the Republicans wired their candidate, who has his own linguistic difficulties, not just in practice sessions, but for the debate itself.
The theory is that Karl Rove and his minions gave their incoherent and intellectually-challenged candidate a secret little earplug connected to a wireless receiver, so that he could be provided with answers and clever punch lines when he heard a question and came up empty.
Remember the peculiar interjection "Now let me finish!" which Bush blurted out angrily during the debate in Miami? It attracted the attention of commentators and observers, because no one had interrupted him.
No one we could hear, that is.
The comment came out of nowhere, because he was right in the middle of his answer, well within the prescribed time limit.
But what if someone, realizing that the president was flailing around desperately for an answer, had jumped into his earpiece, irritating him.
In fact, a hidden wire connected to Karl Rove or some flunky transmitting for Rove would also explain Bush's peculiar, hunched over stance and his frequent expressions of annoyance, as well as the uncomfortably long silences at odd points in his statementswhich looked just as if he were listening carefully to some instructions!