THE BLOG

The Sharks Read the Polls

10/14/2005 09:52 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A few days ago, I quoted a White House correspondent of long standing explaining why his amusing anecdotes about Ronald Reagan's, uh, oddities never reached the evening news: "We read the polls". Now comes the story of President Bush's videoconference with selected military officers being--wait for it!--staged. It's not surprising that it led this site today, but the attention this story is receiving in the wider newsiverse would suggest something...new. Yet anybody who's been paying attention knows that virtually every public, or semi-public event of this administration--every "town meeting", every "Presidential conversation", every meet and greet--every event where a camera and microphone have been, through the generosity of this admninistration, been allowed to be present, has been scripted and staged to the Nth (or, perhaps, in honor of Mike Deaver who invented all this, the Mth) degree. It's news, big news, making the evening news now for one reason, and that reason is called Under Forty Percent.