Okay, in case you haven't heard, Mike Allen has a story
in the Post
tomorrow. And the lede is that the big yummy Turkey President Bush was photographed taking to the troops wasn't actually going to get eaten. It was some sort of display Turkey, seemingly gussied for the photo-op.
On the one hand, who cares? The Clinton-test
would lead me to that conclusion.
But you go down into the article and the other malarkey starts to add up.
Next there's the issue of the made-for-TV-movie British Airways fly-by that never happened. The White House, as we noted yesterday
, changed the story. But British Airways says the new story isn't true either.
I love this bit of snide understatement from Allen's piece ...
"I don't think everybody was clear on exactly how that conversation happened," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.
British Airways said it has been unable to confirm the new version. "We've looked into it," a spokeswoman said from London. "It didn't happen."
Unable to confirm ... didn't happen. I think we get the idea.
Then there's the choicest selection in the whole article ...
White House officials do not deny that they craft elaborate events to showcase Bush, but they maintain that these events are designed to accurately dramatize his policies and to convey qualities about him that are real.
"This was effective, because it captured something about the president that people know is true, that he really cares about the soldiers and gets emotional when he sees them," Mary Matalin, a former administration official, said about the trip to Baghdad. "You have to figure out how to capture the Bush we know, even if it doesn't come through in a speech situation or a press conference. He regularly rejects anything that is not him."
The explanation is worse than what's being explained. Fake scenes are good becaue they capture deeper truths about the president "that people know [are] true." That's classic. Sorta like how the Santa Claus story captures the deeper meaning of Christmas or that other story about the Stork.