Possibly, if you were trying not to watch the Nets-Pistons game last night, for fear of the 'fro, you might have channel surfed over to CNBC, which rebroadcasts Meet the Press on Sunday nights, where you might have seen that insane part of the Colin Powell interview, where Powell's press aide Emily Miller seemingly pushed the camera off Powell. Powell and Miller argued about the move, Powell saying that the interview wasn't done and Miller saying something about "they're editing it," with host Tim Russert waiting and saying, " I'm right here, Mr. Secretary. I would hope they would put you back on camera. I don't know who did that...I think that was one of your staff, Mr. Secretary. I don't think that's appropriate." White House communications people claim that Meet the Press had run over its allotted time, but come on, the American people are stupid, but we're not naive about our TVs. Meet the Press is the highest rated network political program. It's an influencer. Silly Bush administration, your strong-armed media tactics ain't gonna fly. Especially not when at least part of the U.S. has watched The West Wing at some point.
Russert told the Times that it was a case of "press management gone berserk":
"I've been doing this program for 13 years and nothing like that has ever happened," he said in a telephone interview. "I remember sometimes in countries around the world this happens, but not in America. This is a free press, and political figures can always say `I don't want to answer.' " He said he did not know if it was the content of the question that caused Ms. Miller's reaction or simply that the interview had gone over its allotted time.
From what Gothamist saw, it seemed that the camera had been pushed away before Russert got to the meat of his question. To his credit, Secretary Powell seemed supremely pissed off. We just find the whole incident kind of crazy, in this sensitive time when, as it were, image is everything for the Bush White House. And this move just makes them look scared or stupid or both. Read the transcript. And if anyone can point the way to a video clip of the interview, let us know.