As I watched Bush's televised "chat" with 10 of our troops in Tikrit, Iraq yesterday, I knew that the left would be foaming at the mouth to get out stories about how staged it was... I was right. The emails began hitting my inbox by 7pm last night.
Of course it was staged. It was horrible, but (even though I'll be tagged as a "Bush apologist") Bush looked as annoyed as viewers felt. I am sure the general questions and answers were previously discussed, but Bush did a bit of ad-libbing and looked a bit disappointed that the answers were so canned. Bush is best when he's off-the-cuff and he has a great sense of humor -so the pre-scripted responses did nothing for him.
It's easy to see why it was done that way. Most people don't understand how annoying it can be to hold a back-and-forth conversation with a satellite delay and a bunch of people speaking over one another, starting and stopping and telling the other person to "go ahead" does not make for good television.
So yes, it did look as canned as a sit-com, but it didn't look like Bush wanted it that way...and it didn't look like the soldiers knew if they were allowed to answer back freely when he went off-script.