Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More of the Propaganda President

Without argument, the Bush administration has been the most blatantly propagandist administration in our nations history. From bribing journalists to fake news reports to hand picking his audience, Bush has truly been the propaganda president. But now, he has even trumped himself once again. At a Denver stump speech for Social Security privatization, three citizens were forcibly removed from the audience "out of concern they might try to disrupt the event." How did the Republican staffers come to this decision? Bumper stickers... That's right, from bumper stickers. Apparently, you have to approve of 100% of the presidents agenda in order to see him speak. If you don't agree with the war in Iraq, you can't see him speak about Social Security. Don't even try to go see him speak about tort reform is you would "rather be fishing" because you might just decide to get up in the middle of the speech and go fishing and disrupt the entire speech. God forbid you have a child on the "honor roll" at such-and-such elementary school... you would probably be shot on sight.

Three Were Told to Leave Bush Town Meeting

By Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 30, 2005; Page A04

Three Denver residents yesterday charged that they were forcibly removed from one of President Bush's town meetings on Social Security because they displayed a bumper sticker on their car condemning the administration's Middle East policies.

The three, all self-described progressives who oppose Bush's Social Security plan, said an unidentified official at an event in Denver last week forced them to leave before the president started to speak, even though they had done nothing disruptive, said their attorney, Dan Recht.

Initially, the three believed Secret Service agents had grabbed them and ushered them out of the auditorium, Recht said. But he said that Lon Garner, the Secret Service agent in charge of the Denver office, told them the service investigated the matter and found it was a "Republican staffer" who removed them because they had a "No More Blood for Oil" bumper sticker on their car.

Garner said yesterday that he was told by headquarters not to comment on the matter, and referred calls to Washington.

Jim Mackin, a spokesman for the Secret Service here, said he could not discuss the allegations that a Republican staff member was involved. "We will continue to look into it," he said. Mackin said a preliminary inquiry found that the Secret Service was not involved in the incident, which was first reported by the Associated Press.

Scott McClellan, Bush's press secretary, said it was a volunteer who asked them to leave "out of concern they might try to disrupt the event." He said the White House welcomes a variety of voices into events but discourages people from coming to heckle the president or disrupt town hall forums. "If someone is coming to try to disrupt it, then obviously that person would be asked to leave," he said. "There is plenty of opportunity outside of the event to express their views."

This is not the first time people have complained about heavy-handed monitoring of who can attend -- and speak at -- Bush's events promoting his Social Security plan. A newspaper in Fargo, N.D., reported that when Bush came to the city on Feb. 3, more than 40 residents were barred from attending the event.

(Full Story)

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