When Bush stammers publicly about freedom, democracy, and the axis of evil, American media commentators gloss his remarks positively. Reporters and pundits chronically overestimate Bush in much the way Chance's admirers do, discoursing about him as if he actually possessed a political philosophy and an understanding of government policies. They overlook, understate, or make excuses for his slipshod syntax, reliance on clichés, and inability to answer either theoretical or factual questions. They inevitably refer to him as if he were a "real" person with a complex sensibility, rather than a simulacrum entirely composed of sound bites and photo opportunities.
After the press conference of April 13, 2004, for example, one television reporter acknowledged that Bush had spoken "clumsily" at times, but speculated that the president's plain speech is part of his appeal, that he uses the idioms of ordinary Americans. Other commentators approved his evident "conviction" about the war in Iraq -- referring to moments when Bush uttered the clichés about freedom with apparent vehemence. On the April 13th, 2004, edition of Hardball, Chris Matthews expressed his admiration for Bush's refusal to acknowledge any responsibility or any mistakes -- a bizarre encomium, considering the long and embarrassing moments when Bush slouched down the side of the podium, grinning and stammering, unable to think of any response, as if a computer virus had infected his personal software.
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