How to Redefine Spitting on People
In Exclusive Interview With ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney Opens Up About His Hard Line Tactics. (Note ABC's choice of words). How do you move from torture to "hard line tactics"? What role does the press have in accepting one definition of the act over another?
They are making an editorial decision every time they choose NOT to call waterboarding torture. If you read Jonathan Karl's questions you'll note HE never says the word torture himself, he always says "tactics" and attributes the word torture to "leaders, the incoming Congress".
As an old teacher of mine said, "Word choice is important."
You think Clinton careful choose his words? The Bush White House were masters at renaming things and getting the press to simply agree with the name and use them in their stories.
Talking torture is a sure turn off - I can already hear the mice clicking. Therefore I'll use a different analogy. It will involve George W. Bush, spitting and my beloved Canadians.
What if Bush started spitting on people when he met them? His PR people (some of the best in the world) need to transform it. What would they do? They would re-brand spitting on people.
They would sell it to the media as a new method of greeting, stop using the word spitting and start using the branded phrase "Hello Friend™"
Here is how it would be done:
"President Bush today appeared to spit on the Prime Minister of Canada. The nation was shocked and demanded an apology. Bush aides said that the President simply sneezed during the greeting and the act was never intended as an act of disrespect"
Canadian PM Jean Chretien with US President
George W. Bush -- moments before the alleged spitting incident
CP picture Archive Doug Mills.
That man SPAT on me, but we didn't arrest him! Jean Chretien speaks at the Canadian Bar Association annual meeting in Quebec City (Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
2001"President Bush had a cold again today when he sneezed while greeting the Prime Minister of Canada. This is the second year that Bush has caught a cold right before visiting Canada."
2003"Today when President Bush sneezed on the Prime Minister of Canada, his aide said that he was actually saying hello to his friend and his actions were misrepresented by the media who disagree with his policies about the war in Iraq, since Canada didn't send troops to Iraq.2004
"President Bush said "Hello friend!" by sneezing on the Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin. American TV commentator Bill O'Reilly expressed outrage that some Canadians saw the act of welcome as something other than the result of a cold or allergy that just coincidentally happened during greeting of the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Paul Martin opens his arm in greeting, right before the President's apparent sneeze.
A wary Prime Minister Martin looks on while President Bush discusses is relationship with Canada. Some partisan Democrats noted that for the fifth time the greeting consisting of sneezing on the Prime Minister, some Internet bloggers even claimed that Bush "spit" on the PM. Republicans insisted that Democrats were attempting to politicize greetings from people with allergies."
2006 President Bush today said hello to his friend the Prime Minister of Canada. Video of the exchange on appeared on the David Letterman show and has been replayed over 3,000,000 times on the new video sharing service YouTube where it appears to show the President making a sneezing type action movement during the greeting. Political analysts from the Newsbusters.org said that Democrats were trying to turn a simple sneeze into an international incident and pointed to multiple other instances of Bush sneezing before he greets most leaders.
2007The office of White House Protocol today included the "Hello Friend™" greeting into the official method of greeting the Prime Minister of Canada. The process involves applying moisture to the air which the minister will then walk into. Leticia Baldridge, Ronald Reagan's head of Protocol said that this method has a long tradition in the United States as an intimate greeting of friendship, in earlier White Houses the moisture applying method looked like an "air kiss". President Bush has removed the sexualization of the act, applied some distance so it is more formal and masculine.2008As a part of the Federal Rules Bush is putting in place for his successor the "Hello Friend™" method of greeting Prime Minister of Canada has been written into law. Shown here2009
Obama is expected to carry on the protocol of President Bush in regard to greetings or risk upsetting the 48 percent of Americans who didn't vote for him.
In a shocking display of disrespect, President Obama spat on the Prime Minister of Canada today. This disgusting display from the young black President is no doubt intended to show Prime Minister Harper that President Obama will not be working closely with him. The act shocked political observers who had never seen such a horrible display of manners in their 40 years of service.Obama will have a difficult time coming back from this setback, especially considering the good relations between President Bush and previous Canadian Prime Ministers over the last 8 years.Reporting from Canada, I'm Karen Ryan.