White House hid religious right leaders during Bush’s TV address

Not a single religious right leader was visible on camera during George Bush’s entire address this afternoon.

No one.

I TiVo’d the entire address, watched it twice, froze the frames, and there were plenty of audience shots of the crowd assembled at the White House to cheer on Bush’s address supporting an anti-gay constitutional amendment. And not a single shot showed a leader of the religious right sitting in the audience.

Now, we know this White House. Not a single event happens in this White House that isn’t fully scripted. The camera in the room swung out numerous times to show the audience, but interestingly enough, the people in the line of sight of the camera were NEVER the religious right leaders. It’s almost as if, by sheer coincidence, the entire religious right leadership just happened to be placed in the obstructed view seats, so to speak. And trust me, this White House knows exactly which seats are on camera and which are not.

Who did we NOT see sitting in the audience?

Pat Robertson
Jerry Falwell
James Dobson, Focus on the Family
Janet Parshall, radio host (formerly FRC)
Bob Knight, Concerned Women for America
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
Peter LaBarbera, former CWFA and FRC
Lou Sheldon and Andrea Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition

Who DID we see? A number of black people, and of course the required Catholic guy. I.e., we saw “mainstream” people, the kind of people who don’t embarrass George Bush. But we most certainly didn’t see a single seated leader of the religious right. (Note, you did see at the very beginning Matt Daniels being pointed in the direction of his obstructed view seat – but again, the camera just happened to catch him expressly walking in front of it.)

What should have happened? The religious right leaders who are the ones behind this entire effort should have been front row. They should have been up there right next to Alberto Gonzales. But they weren’t. And spare us the “it was first come first serve” crap. Again, in this White House there’s no such thing – they choose who sits where, and had they wanted to, they could have reserved seats up front for the top religious right leaders, and Bush chose not to.

I guess the crazy aunt in the attic got hidden away yet again.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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