Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The "Mission Accomplished" sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed some how to some ingenious advance man from my staff ...

--President Bush at his press conference today

The most elaborate — and criticized — White House event so far was Mr. Bush's speech aboard the Abraham Lincoln announcing the end of major combat in Iraq. White House officials say that a variety of people, including the president, came up with the idea, and that Mr. [Scott] Sforza [of White House communications director Dan Bartlett's staff] embedded himself on the carrier to make preparations days before Mr. Bush's landing in a flight suit and his early evening speech.

Media strategists noted afterward that Mr. Sforza and his aides had choreographed every aspect of the event, even down to the members of the Lincoln crew arrayed in coordinated shirt colors over Mr. Bush's right shoulder and the "Mission Accomplished" banner placed to perfectly capture the president and the celebratory two words in a single shot.

--Elisabeth Bumiller, "Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights," New York Times, May 16, 2003 (available here via CNN)

I don't recall anyone from the White House disputing this story when it appeared. So Bush was lying.

(And Media Whores Online notes that, according to MSNBC's Bill Press, "Senior Navy officials now confirm the sign was in fact produced by the White House.")

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