Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On Bush on Clinton and Market Scanners

Nina Camic writes about George H.W. Bush's comment that Bill Clinton was like the "Energizer Bunny" during their goodwill tour. Initially, when I read the post I thought, "Wow, Bush has really gotten up to date, knowing about the 'Energizer Bunny' like that. I recall that when he was president he didn't know about supermarket scanners." Well, looking for a link to make that point I came across Bush's own account of the scene:
I'll give you a personal example. It was alleged that I was out of touch. "Bush is a President that's out of touch. He came from a privileged background, doesn't understand the hurt around this country." I went down to see a technology show and one of the items in the show was a brand new technology for check-out counters. It showed a machine that had never been invented before and, if my recollection is correct, wasn't even on the market at this point. The guy brought in a crumpled milk carton and ran it across this scanner and it did something that no other scanner could possibly do.

I made some comment. "Amazing, this is a wonderful thing." And the people that produced this were saying, "This is the state-of-the-art, and we've got more to come." It was wonderful.

A lazy little journalist with a famous name working for The New York Times, the son of a decent and honorable father, but a lazy little journalist, was sitting in another room. He didn't see this. He wrote that, "Here is Bush, he's out of touch. He saw a scanner. He didn't even know that at supermarkets you can scan something." It played right into the hands of the press that wanted to show I was out of touch and it was picked up.

We pointed out to the press afterwards that, one, the guy wasn't there; two, this was brand new technology. CBS, not my favorite, came and defended me. Another one of the wire service reporters said that I got a bum rap, but the people don't remember that. What they remember is that I was out of touch, that I didn't even know what a grocery scanner was. You can't fight back against that kind of thing. You can do a better job in communicating.
These complaints against the "MSMs" have been floating around for quite some time, haven't they?


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