Talking Points Delivery Mix-up Shakes American Right Wing
Washington, D.C., February 22, 2006 -- A mix-up in the labeling of conservative talking points transmitted by the Bush administration yesterday reportedly led to widespread confusion among the extensive network of radio, television and internet commentators used to disseminate the White House's message.
According to a senior White House official ultimately responsible for the daily talking points distribution, the incident occurred when an attractive, buxom, unpaid intern known only as "Candee" mistakenly mislabeled the memo titled Iraq Talking Points with the heading U.S. Domestic Talking Points, and vice versa.
"Candee was just trying to do her job as best she could," said the senior White House official. "Unfortunately, that wasn't very well. She sure is easy on the eyes, though."
According to the senior White House official, who asked that he be referred to only by his code name, "Andrew Card", distribution of White House talking points is a routine procedure that generally takes place every morning between five and six a.m., before most right-wing radio and television commentators launch their morning broadcasts and government officials hold their first breakfast meetings with reporters.
"Usually it works without a hitch," said Mr. Card. "We issue the points and within a couple of hours the airwaves are swamped with them. There's not much you can do about human error, though."
Due to fact that the mislabeling of the talking points was not discovered until nearly twelve hours after their transmission, the bulk of the right-wing radio, television and newspaper spectrum, including the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the news desk of the Washington Times, a small, newspaper-format right-wing soapbox owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, spent the better part of the day speaking at apparent cross-purposes to the Bush administration's more commonly articulated domestic agenda.
"It was kind of a nightmare," said Mr. Card. "All our most reliable hacks, shills, lackeys and talking heads were suddenly completely off-message because the list of talking points was titled U.S. Domestic instead of Iraq. We had to scramble the phone lines for nearly three hours to get them all back on track."
According to Mr. Card, the right-wing radio and television spectrum, usually an extremely well-oiled Republican propaganda machine, came unhinged in virtually every medium.
"Rush Limbaugh, who's generally one of our most reliable 'performing monkeys', as we call them here in the White House, spent his entire three-hour morning rant demanding international electoral observers—right here in the United States—to ensure the confidence of the voting public and the integrity of our democracy," said Mr. Card. "That's just insane."
"Bill O'Reilly, who is just as vapid and virulent, but less articulate and not as fat as Limbaugh," Mr. Card continued, "called for a guarantee of a secular society where religion is practiced freely and fully protected, but where religion does not play any substantive role in government. He even suggested something along those lines be included in the United States constitution."
"To top things off," Mr. Card added, "Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard managed to get an editorial to press before we could stop him that demanded diplomatic rather than military solutions to security disputes, even going so far as to demand that no action be taken without a mandate from the United Nations. That got picked up by the Drudge Report, if you can imagine."
"Vice President Cheney," Mr. Card went on, "held a press conference calling for an increase in public funding for education and specific constitutional amendments protecting the rights of women and minorities, as well as heightened federal protections for the environment. Tom DeLay spoke with reporters condemning extensive and high-level corruption in the parliament and military—the 'United States parliament', he called it. And Bill Frist broadcast a morning radio address making the case that government-subsidized universal health care is a vital pillar of a strong and stable Western-style democracy. It was bedlam."
Mr. Card said that Candee, the intern whose Iraq-United States labeling reversal led to the off-message talking point pandemonium, was fired on the spot.
"Obviously we can't have that kind of thing going on," said Mr. Card. "We have a very specific set of goals and priorities for the Iraqi nation-building experiment that are clearly not the same as the goals and priorities we have for the kind of nation we want to build here in the United States. Candee had to go, and stat."
By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor
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