Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Laura Bush to appear on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

In other words, a desperate move by the Bush White House to look good after looking so bad during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Here's how The Seattle Times puts it:

Facing criticism that he appeared disengaged from the disaster wrought by Hurricane Katrina, President Bush has been looking for opportunities to show his concern. But the White House will take the effort a step further Tuesday, venturing into untested waters by putting the nation's first lady on reality television.

Laura Bush will travel to storm-damaged Biloxi, Miss., to film a spot on the feel-good, wish-granting hit "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Mrs. Bush sought to be on the program because she shares the "same principles" that the producers hold, her press secretary said.

That may be true -- I'm sure the First Lady has a good heart -- but then why did "the Bush team [contact] the show for a booking instead of the other way around"? Does it have anything to do with the fact that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is a top-15 show? Or that "it is considered one of the strongest family hours on television"? Or that Bush is looking to cover up his thoroughly irresponsible response to Katrina?

True, American attention spans are reputed to be quite short, but vague claims of accountability, an overhyped presidential speech that was little more than a big fat bribe of federal money to make up for negligence and incompetence, and this latest manipulation by way of tear-jerking reality TV won't be nearly enough to erase the memory of what really happened, and didn't, as those flood waters poured into the poorest sections of New Orleans and whole communities along the Gulf Coast were flattened.

Go ahead, Mr. President. Wag the dog. Just don't expect everyone to play along this time.

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