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September 21, 2010
Next Time, Give the Questioners Teleprompters, Too
Monday noon, at the Newseum in Washington DC, President Obama staged a televised town hall meeting to feign concern for the victims of his destructive economic policies. Unfortunately for the president, Velma Hart, one of his audience questioners, seemingly went off script and revealed that she had become a disillusioned Obama voter. (Might there be an IRS audit in her future?)
Others have written about that, but perhaps even more fascinating is the stage crafting that goes into one of these Democrat "grass roots" events. CNBC blogger Mark Koba gives us a minute-by-minute glimpse:
11:07am [The 227 hand picked Obama fans] are getting a bit of a pep talk--"we want you to look interested." They just practiced applauding. First time not loud enough.
It took CNBC's John Harwood three tries just to get their faux applause up to seven on a ten-point scale. Then CNBC's Mary Duffy came out and rehearsed the crowd in cheering. An audience member wanted to know whether the questions were pre-screened, and Ms. Duffy conceded that most were:
11:10am Are the questions for the president pre-screened? The answer was yes, but there may be some that are not.
Later, Harwood returned and tried to keep the audience stoked by reminding them that the president once caught a fly on his TV show:
11:31 am John Harwood just told the now famous story of how President Obama caught a fly with his hand that was buzzing around when John was interviewing him some time ago at the White House.
More sugary verbal snacks for the restless kiddies:
11:44 am Harwood just practiced introducing the president. Huge practice applause.
The show must go on. But...
11:58 am President still in make-up.
One last drag on the cigarette, and hey kids, it's Obama time!
12:02 pm Here we go, music cued, Harwood in place, president in the wings, music and voice over ends. Applause as show begins. Harwood talking. Introduces the president.
Why don't they just replace the audience with a clip of the restaurant scene from the film When Harry Met Sally?