Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Salvo In War With Media

President Ups Media-War Ante; Bush, White House To Meet With Tom Cruise

Will Seek Actor/Scientologists’ Power In Getting More Iraqi War “Feel Good” Stories On-Air

Firing another salvo in his efforts to sell the War in Iraq, President Bush, after his freewheeling press conference this morning – only his second this year – clearly blamed the media for most of the problems he and the administration are facing in Iraq.

The President, as he left the podium, eyed Hearst White House Columnist Helen Thomas, the veteran, dean of White House reporters, who pushed the President – after being frozen out and ignored for over three-years – during the press conference, asking him why he invade Iraq, and was reported to have said;

“You wouldn’t know a good Iraqi story if it had arms and slapped you.”

This has been a growing battle, as the more criticism leveled at the President, and his administration, over the seemingly lack of progress in Iraq, and the War on Terror, the more the administration has fired back, faulting the media for ignoring their message, and the “tremendous progress” being made in Iraq.

Cruise Control For The Press?

The President left the press room before Thomas could respond and quickly, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan took to the podium and dropped a bombshell.

Saying that they hoped to leverage “the good news coming out of Iraq daily”, McClellan said that later this week, actor Tom Cruise will be coming to the White House, to meet with President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield, who will seek through Cruise, getting more of the pro-Iraqi stories on television.

“I think we all saw this week, the power and influence Mr. Cruise has, reportedly, in keeping bad stories off television,” said McClellan, “we’d like to see if he wants to join the War on Terror and help us in the March For Democracy in Iraq, with getting the good stories, showing the incredible progress, coming out of Iraq.”

He played a war hero in one film, now he has a chance to play one in real life,” added McClellan.

Neither Cruise, or his publicist had any comment on the upcoming White House meeting.

Cruise is at the epicenter of a wildfire story, that he used his position in influence to prevent a rerun of the popular Comedy Central program, “South Park” from airing this week.

The “South Park” program was set to rebroadcast “Trapped In The Closet”, first aired last November, an episode that satirizes Scientology, and the long persistent rumors of Cruise’s lifestyle.

The news of the rebroadcast prompted singer Isaac Hayes, voice of the “Chef” character in “South Park”, and also a Scientologist, like Cruise, to abruptly resign from the show.

Cruise, reportedly, used his star power with Paramount studios, producers of the soon-to-be released “Mission Impossible III”, staring Cruise, to pressure parent company, of both the studio, and Comedy Central network, Viacom, to have the episode’s rebroadcast shelved.

Creators of “South Park”, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, fired back at Cruise, saying “So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!"

McClellan read, in part a statement from President Bush, saying that;

“I like that top gunner Cruise guy. He’s not a quitter, he’s not going to cut-and-run. He sees a problem, like we had with Saddam Hussein, and he goes straight after it – just like we did.”

President Passing Iraq Off To Next White House?

While the administration may be solving one problem, McClellan was forced to do clean-up from another matter coming out of the press conference this morning.

When asked the question “Will there come a day -- and I'm not asking you when; I'm not asking for a timetable -- will there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq?”, the President appeared to be passing the buck to the next administration that will follow him in 2008.

That, of course, is an objective. And that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq.”

“The President wasn’t passing the buck,” said a defensive McClellan. “The President is confident that victory in Iraq will come long before 2008. It may be left for the next administration, and the new Iraq government, when they do come up with one, that there could be remnants of the sectarian violence we’re seeing today. The next President may call it a Civil War, and decide to pull all troops out of Iraq, or, he may, as we see it, as terrorist-infused sectarian violence – not a Civil War - and come up with his own strategy to deal with it.”

President Bush is planning on the assistance of Tom Cruise, to wield his influence and get more positive stories from Iraq on television

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