Skip to main content

Emotionless

Listening to the President's press conference on Tuesday it struck me how flat and emotionless his voice was. He spoke about people dieing in the streets of Iran in the same flat tones that he used to speak about the economy and government run health care. It was really eerie. I wasn't the only one to notice either.

I was impressed by the question that was asked on behalf of the Iranian protesters, even if it was asked by someone from the Huffington Post. That is until I learned that it was all staged.
After the obligatory first question from the Associated Press, Obama treated the overflowing White House briefing room to a surprise. "I know Nico Pitney is here from the Huffington Post," he announced.

Obama knew this because White House aides had called Pitney the day before to invite him, and they had escorted him into the room. They told him the president was likely to call on him, with the understanding that he would ask a question about Iran that had been submitted online by an Iranian. "I know that there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet," Obama went on. "Do you have a question?"

Pitney recognized his prompt. "That's right," he said, standing in the aisle and wearing a temporary White House press pass. "I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian."

Pitney asked his arranged question. Reporters looked at one another in amazement at the stagecraft they were witnessing. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel grinned at the surprised TV correspondents in the first row.

So much for the free press. Nice show though.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Raï: Algerian blues and protest music

This all started because I wanted to find out what "cheb" meant. As I was poking around the internet I discovered several musicians with "cheb" in their names. I realised that it had to be an assumed title. Eventually I discovered that it means young in Arabic but I also discovered that it meant much more than just that.

Many cultures around the world have a tradition of social and political commentary through music. I was born in a place where politicians were weary of the popular musicians. One wrong move and they would be flayed by a skillful lyric. I actually remember singing songs that had been banned because they were critical of the government. The fact that as a six or seven year old I knew the words to the banned songs shows the power of those songs.

I'm sure that many of you are familiar with Sting's collaboration with Cheb Mami in 1999 that gave us Desert Rose(YouTube video). For most of North America that was our first exposure to the Algerian fol…

The Racist Nature of Cotton Balls

Yes I said cotton balls. Apparently dropping cotton balls outside of an establishment known to be frequented by black people is a hate crime. And here I thought it was at worst littering.
Arrests Made In Mizzou Cotton Ball Incident: 2 Students Suspended After Their Arrest
Two students have been arrested in connection with the incident where cotton balls were left overnight outside the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Very early Friday morning, someone threw cotton balls outside the Culture Center. The offensive act sparked a town hall meeting on the Campus Monday night. At the meeting, students discussed what to do in response to the racist display. Police investigated the incident as a hate crime. What to do about cotton balls on the sidewalk? Trample them into oblivion or pick them up! All that drama over cotton balls. I'm trying to imagine a mind fragile enough to be offended by cotton balls on the sidewalk. I don't have…