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We Begin Combing in Five Minutes!
March 21, 2003 1:55 PM   Subscribe

We Begin Combing in Five Minutes! The White House is vowing a strong retaliatory response after the BBC aired live video of President Bush getting his hair coiffed in the Oval Office as he squirmed in his chair and practiced on the teleprompter minutes before Wednesday night's speech announcing the launch of military operations against Saddam Hussein.

It's America's Funniest Outtakes (squirm). But where can we view it?!
posted by sparky (33 comments total)

 
The Smoking Gun, of course!
posted by smackfu at 1:56 PM on March 21, 2003


Ooh - here's a still:

Moments before the historic Bush speech began BBC News 24 accidentally showed the President being spruced up by aides. Viewers saw the US leader shuffling awkwardly in his chair as minions busied themselves trying to smarten his appearance.
posted by sparky at 1:56 PM on March 21, 2003


trying to smarten his appearance.

Excellent.
posted by soyjoy at 2:03 PM on March 21, 2003


There's a whole movie of this sort of thing. Albeit with a different set of characters.
posted by gwint at 2:07 PM on March 21, 2003


maybe they're going to paste someone else's face on top of his.
posted by answergrape at 2:09 PM on March 21, 2003


It was, as I said, kind of 'grounding', to the extent that it showed a candid Dubya miming through his speech, trying out postures and facial expressions to see how they'd look on screen. And, of course, getting his hair touched up. I doubt Saddam had that kind of prep for that disputed film clip.
posted by riviera at 2:10 PM on March 21, 2003


something tells me Saddam isn't letting anyone with sharp objects anywhere near that close to his head right now.
posted by jdaura at 2:13 PM on March 21, 2003


Wow, all this fuss for that? Even the Clinton administration wasn't this much of a control freak.
posted by machaus at 2:20 PM on March 21, 2003


But where can we view it?!

Why the hell would anyone want to...? ALL Presidents, CEOs, Toastmasters, journalists, etc, do this sort of thing...it's neither "embarrassing" nor something to mock.

Leave him alone, fer crying out loud.
posted by davidmsc at 2:25 PM on March 21, 2003


I'm no fan of the guy, but I don't consider that squirming. He just looks unavoidably vapid, as usual.
posted by Oddly at 2:27 PM on March 21, 2003


I suspected the guy wasn't all that bright, but I thought at least he'd be able to comb his own hair.

But seriously, this is truly silly and nothing to get the presidential panties in a bunch over. If the BBC was trying to make Bush look like a dork, great. But Bush getting pissy over it is going to make the job that much easier.
posted by padraigin at 2:28 PM on March 21, 2003


Great satellite feed footage available at http://www.illegal-art.org/video/index.html in Brian Springer's "Spin" documentary. Highly recommend it.
posted by armacy at 2:30 PM on March 21, 2003


Brian Springer's "Spin" documentary. Highly recommend it.

Damn, beat me to the punch. But let me second that recommendation. Spin is very interesting viewing—aside from the "America's Funniest Outtakes" quality of the movie, it really gets behind the style of total media control that Clinton perfected, and Bush (the younger) ripped off. (Not to mention, the opening sequence is completely enchanting.)

Watching it, I constantly had Benjamin's quote running through my head: "[Humanity's] self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order. This is the situation of politics which Fascism is rendering aesthetic. Communism responds by politicizing art."
posted by eatitlive at 2:35 PM on March 21, 2003


Yeah I was watching it live though a BBC RealVideo feed and was LMAO it was humerous, given the seriousness of his speech having someone primp his hair with a can of hair spray while he muttered to himself eyes shifting around.
posted by stbalbach at 2:40 PM on March 21, 2003


It's not what we see, but what we see ...
posted by feelinglistless at 2:59 PM on March 21, 2003


Why the hell would anyone want to...? ALL Presidents, CEOs, Toastmasters, journalists, etc, do this sort of thing...it's neither "embarrassing" nor something to mock.

What's embarrassing is that the ruler of the free world is "vowing a strong retaliatory response" to a media outlet for showing something other than the approved video stream.

Isn't he busy enough ensuring that the next few generations of Muslims will want to do nothing more with their lives than to destroy the US?
posted by goethean at 3:01 PM on March 21, 2003


If this had been Clinton the "primping" would have been going on under the desk. The White House shouldn't be that upset and we really shouldn't care. Everyone on TV gets primped before hand.
posted by MediaMan at 3:02 PM on March 21, 2003


The White House is vowing a strong retaliatory response after the BBC aired live video of President Bush getting his hair coiffed....

Right. Stand by for English muffin name changes in the White House mess.

Would that our brave "I'll Hide in the National Guard" Commander-in-Chief currently inhabiting the Oval Orifice worried about the inside of his head more than the outside.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:09 PM on March 21, 2003


What's embarrassing is that the ruler of the free world is "vowing a strong retaliatory response" to a media outlet for showing something other than the approved video stream.

I wouldn't bet the mortgage on this, but I'm pretty sure Lloyd Grove was just funnin' with us there. It wasn't a quote, it was just a snappy way to set the tone for the story.

Later on, the unnamed White House official says they'll control the on/off switch for the feed in the future, something they probably should've already been doing.
posted by baltimore at 3:12 PM on March 21, 2003


I want to see this one where he apparently pumped his fist and said, "feels good" right before the speech talking about invading Iraq. Disgusting.
posted by quirked at 3:25 PM on March 21, 2003


Exactly -- why couldn't whoever runs their uplink (I think it's the Signal Corps) just put up color bars until, say, fifteen seconds before airtime? That's essentially what they do with the presidential radio addresses each Saturday, and other official White House feeds.

but sheesh -- not noticing for 1:37? That's just lame.
posted by Vidiot at 3:25 PM on March 21, 2003


They did notice... they just had "technical difficulties" - the technicians were all rolling round the floor in hysterics I'd guess :)
posted by pixeldiva at 3:41 PM on March 21, 2003


the technicians were all rolling round the floor in hysterics I'd guess :)

I suspect there was probably a pillow-fight in the control room over the buttons on the vision mixer: the 'Bush getting miked up' thing was cut away from pretty swiftly and apologetically, and then came back for the crimping, eye-darting and lipsynching. BBC night staff, eh?
posted by riviera at 3:58 PM on March 21, 2003


"I want to see this one where he apparently pumped his fist and said, "feels good" right before the speech talking about invading Iraq. Disgusting"

amen! a friend said it would have been great to see him going like 'i feel good' following by 'i knew that i would' Ă  la james brown.
posted by Sijeka at 4:27 PM on March 21, 2003


Henceforth, the official said, the White House -- not the networks -- will throw the switches that make pool feeds available to broadcast outlets. "There have been too many incidents," the official said, listing various presidential speeches allegedly marred by pool-feed glitches. "We have to make sure we are comfortable with the situation."

We control all that you see and hear. The horizontal and the vertical.

(And the hyperbole, of course)
posted by armoured-ant at 4:48 PM on March 21, 2003


Aww man, I was hoping this was going to be an article about combing the desert:

Colonel: Sir.
Dark Helmet: What?
Colonel: Are we being too literal.
Dark Helmet: No, you fool. We're following orders. We were told to comb the desert, so we're combing it. Found anything yet?
Soldier 1 - "Not a thing, sir!"
Dark Helmet - "How 'bout you?!"
Soldier 2 - "Nothing yet, sir!"
Dark Helmet - "What about you guys?!"
Soldier 3 - "We ain't found shit!"
posted by sillygwailo at 4:52 PM on March 21, 2003


sillygwailo: Soldier 3 - "We ain't found shit!"

Proof positive that Iraq possesses no camels of mass destruction...

Or that they're just really good at hiding them, and that there are no smoking camels.
posted by kaemaril at 5:32 PM on March 21, 2003


Leave him alone, fer crying out loud.

So lemme see: we heckle presidents to the ends of the earth for slipping a mickey into an intern, but a funny shot of GWB getting his hair ready is a no-go? Please.
posted by owillis at 5:33 PM on March 21, 2003


This is where I got the avi's of Bush warming up and getting his hair done. Can anyone translate what the reporters are saying in the second one?
posted by sp dinsmoor at 6:56 PM on March 21, 2003


we heckle presidents to the ends of the earth for slipping a mickey into an intern

Monica was drugged?
posted by eddydamascene at 7:07 PM on March 21, 2003


We - the world public - have a very real interest in anything that can give us a glimpse of what lies beyond the controlled surface of the president. Mr bush is after all holding a portion of our fate in his hands. I have a personal interest in understanding what makes him tic. The telepromted puppetry that offers our only glimpse into the mind of mr. Bush is not enough for me - I want more combing.
posted by FidelDonson at 1:55 AM on March 22, 2003


This is where I got the avi's of Bush warming up and getting his hair done. Can anyone translate what the reporters are saying in the second one?

groomed2.avi is a clip from Dutch national tv. The reporters whose voices you hear are talking about it being unique material that will travel the world and surely come back to haunt Bush; and a reminder that this is a 'party animal' president who usually jokes around like this off-camera.
posted by milov at 10:11 AM on March 22, 2003


(correct link)
posted by milov at 10:12 AM on March 22, 2003


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