With his retirement from being
press secretary, Fleischer takes a rare moment with the press
to reveal a few tricks of the political show business trade.
By George Wolfe
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer
reflected upon his stint with the Bush administration and responded
candidly to journalists' questions about methods of keeping the
media at bay during the war as well as shaping the ongoing opinions
of the average American.
"To be honest," said Fleischer, "Washington D.C.
really takes its cue from Chicago — the movie, that is."
if your economy is rusting?
Give 'em a show that's so splendiferous!"
— Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Asked to elaborate, Fleischer noted, "Give 'em the old razzle
dazzle. Razzle dazzle 'em. Give 'em act with lots of flash in it,
and the reaction will be passionate. Give 'em the old hocus pocus
– bread and feather 'em."
"How can they see with sequins in their eyes?" asked
a reporter from ABC.
"Razzle dazzle 'em, and they'll never catch wise!"
"What if your economy is rusting?" asked a reporter
"Give 'em a show that's so splendiferous!"
"What if, in fact, you're just disgusting?" asked a
reporter from NBC.
"Row after row will grow vociferous!"
The journalists feverishly copied down Fleischer's comments
before a Fox reporter inquired about Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld's ability to deflect federal spending from healthcare
and education into the military. Fleischer called Rumsfeld to
the podium to speak for himself.
"We just give 'em the old flim flam flummox," bellowed
Rumsfeld, "Fool and fracture 'em. How can they hear the truth
above the roar? Throw 'em a fake and a finagle. They'll never
know you're just a bagel. Razzle dazzle 'em. And they'll beg you
The Press Secretary was then queried about how it is that President
Bush's popularity is still so high. Fleischer directed the press
corps' eyes to a T.V. screen where President Bush spoke via satellite.
"Back since the days of old Methuselah, everyone loves
the big bambooz-a-ler. Give 'em the old three-ring circus. Stun
and stagger 'em. When you're in trouble, go into your dance. Though
you are stiffer than a girder, they let ya get away with a murder.
Razzle dazzle 'em, and you've got a romance. Give 'em an act that's
unassailable. They'll wait four years 'til you're available!"
Asked about the steady erosion of civil liberties, President
Bush responded, "Just give 'em the old double whammy. Daze
and dizzy 'em, show 'em the first rate sorcerer you are. Long
as you keep 'em way off balance, how can they spot you got no
talents? Razzle dazzle 'em and they'll make you a star!"