Just Google “Obama Sideshow”; this simple phrase “sideshow” gave cover to what has become the single greatest HOAX ever perpetrated on the American people by a sitting president with the sole purpose to place a forged birth certificate on the White House website. I have dubbed it “Operation Sideshow.” My browser showed 5,380,000 hits for this search string; you are welcome to try to ascertain this for yourself.
This is my favorite from the Huffington Post: “Carnival Barkers Slam Obama’s ‘Sideshow’ Remark“; posted on April 28, 2011, the day after the release of Obama’s latest birth certificate:
“I think the President should come see our show,” he (Scott Baker) said. “We’ll let him in for the kid’s price. Maybe we can use his birth certificate as the ‘blow-off,’ which is the extra entertainment that’s not officially part of the show.”
This shows the effectiveness of the “messaging” that the president’s men created as media hype on April 27, 2011 at a Press Gaggle prior to Obama’s short statement that immortalized the words “sideshows and carnival barkers.” Bob Bauer, Jay Carney, and Dan Pfeiffer chaired the gaggle, whose purpose was to prime the pump for the media cycle to follow as the set-up for Obama to send the “sideshow” message home.
Of course, without a pliant and fawning media, this would never have been possible. To the credit of the president’s men, they masterfully created the messaging blitz with the delicate touch of an artist on canvas with gentle strokes that breathed life into their story almost without effort, with their dupes, the press corps, as their all too willing accomplices.
They never saw it coming!
The first bit of irony came from Jay Carney, where was the transparency?
“I remind you this is off camera and only pen and pad, not for audio. And I give you Dan Pfeiffer.”
This made me question what was to follow; becoming suspicious of the Obama administration and their statements and motives is now almost a daily occurrence. In all fairness, I reviewed approximately two dozen random press-briefing transcripts on various topics ranging from the economy, security briefings, upcoming trips, and official state visits, whether it was aboard Air Force One or Two and various other briefing places. These briefings spanned a two-year period from today going back to March 2010 with Jay Carney and Robert Gibbs as Press Secretary.
I only found one briefing that Jay Carney required no audio or video recording present, on April 27, 2011 for the release of the Presidents recently acquired “Certificate of Live Birth” from the day before.
The transcript also looks as if it has been edited with statements stopping mid sentence, words replaced with “–” then continues with another thought or continuation. Who talks like this? It was not a literal transcription. Did White House personnel make this transcript from a recording?
The example shown below is the editing on remarks of Dan Pfeiffer on page 2 paragraph 3:
“And he did that despite the fact that it probably was not in his long-term — it would have been in his — probably in his long-term political interests to allow this birther debate to dominate discussion in the Republican Party for months to come.”
Bob Bauer on page 7 paragraph 15:
“I did not go to Hawaii. The counsel, Judy Corley, who signed the — the President’s personal counsel at Perkins Coie, Judy Corley, whose letter — signed letter of request is in your packet, traveled to Honolulu and picked up the birth certificate.”
(Note: Perkins Cole is misspelled as “Perkins Coie”)
This is probably the most important question by an unnamed reporter and answered by Dan Pfeiffer during the press briefing, although it appears to be heavily edited on page 4 paragraph 3:
“Will the President be holding it?”
Dan Pfeiffer then answered this on the next line:
“He will not, and I will not leave it here for him to do so. But it will — the State Department of Health in Hawaii will obviously attest that that is a — what they have on file. As Bob said, it’s in a book in Hawaii.”
What are the missing and vital words spoken to the press corps that morning and only allowing them to take notes “old school” with pen and paper? In the examples shown above, the edits appear deliberate as the edit comes at crucial points and does not lend itself to a transparent process, much less clarity.
If any members of the press who were present wish to shed light on what appears to be careful editing at critical points in the discussion for this transcript, please come forward.
Dan Pfeiffer used the press corps own prejudices against them with pejoratives, which are called “keywords” when used with digital media. Words like “birther,” which Dan Pfeiffer used twice to build rapport, and then the word “sideshow,” the keyword they wanted to plant, was used nine times during the briefing, six times by Dan Pfeiffer, twice by Jay Carney, and “parroted” once by a reporter.
Parroting is used to describe a message has been received and understood by the recipient, in this case a reporter. Dan Pfeiffer was looking for this to happen.
As shown by the reporter that asks on page 6 paragraph 2:
“Is there a concern that more and more people were actually starting to believe its sideshow — I mean, people have been asking about –” (emphasis mine underscore on sideshow)
Parroting is the verbal acceptance of the intended message in this case; the “sideshow” message was accepted hook, line, and sinker as displayed in the transcript by at least one reporter. The fact of the multitude of web pages and stories that used this simple message to discredit legitimate debate about our president was proof of its acceptance by the press corps and the public at large.
Other words of significance were used in the messaging as reinforcing words like “mainstream” was used five times by Dan Pfeiffer and parroted twice by reporters. “Debate “ was used eight times by Dan Pfeiffer, seven times by Jay Carney, and parroted twice by reporters. Reinforcing words give credence to the press corps own prejudices on this matter and build rapport with them to accept the premise of “sideshow” being presented to them.
Interesting that they chose to use the word “sideshow” in the first place, as some would see it as an attempt to deceive the American people and manipulate the press since sideshows have workers called “carnys.” Are they that comfortable with the collective media using a word that is directly associated with Jay Carney in their hip pocket and being so gullible that they would manipulate them in such a cavalier manner?
It only took 30 minutes to convince the press corps of this simple message; this lends credence to the saying “know your audience.” So yes, they are comfortable enough to use these techniques when it suits their purpose to plant a message within the press corps’ mind.
Part Two explores the couched phrasing and misdirection they used in their presentation next.
Photo credit: terrellaftermath