Here's a selection from the 6/30/06 press gaggle from Air Force One with Press Secretary Tony Snow. I haven't done a word for word count, but I estimate this represents about 75% of the whole thing. The full transcript begins with a hard-hitting question about Snow's sunglasses, then questions about the SCOTUS ruling on Guantanamo - which Snow brushes off - then this. Check it out the full transcript, if you want. You won't learn anything.
If you have any illusions that serious affairs of state are discussed at these things, you're about to be disappointed.
Q What are they [Bush, japanese Prime Minister Koizumi, and various staff and republicans] doing up there?
MR. SNOW: Actually, they are sitting in the forward cabin kind of enjoying themselves. The still photographers have had a picture. The Prime Minister has an Air Force One jacket now. And it's very interesting -- Senator Frist and Mrs. Frist have been up there in the forward cabin with them, and it's a pretty relaxed conversation. They've been enjoying themselves.
Q Are they talking about substantive issues, or are they talking about fun things?
MR. SNOW: Probably a little bit of both. I mean, the first thing the President did was just pull out the map and show them where we're going today. And beyond that, I've not been privy to all the conversations, but I have a feeling that a lot of it is just informal. Again, these are two guys -- I don't know if you saw the Prime Minister's toast last night, but he talked about the first time they met, tossing a baseball together, playing catch, and moving forward to a very close relationship. I'm sure they'll be doing some business, but these are also two guys who like each other a very great deal. And this is going to be their last trip together and I think they're going to make the most of it.
Q -- is there Elvis music, movies?
MR. SNOW: I don't know if you heard it, but there's Elvis -- we were playing Elvis music when you came on board.
Q You can't hear it back here.
MR. SNOW: Elvis music was being played through the PA. There are, but have not yet been played, there are DVDs of "Love Me Tender," and "Viva Las Vegas," and I am not aware that they have yet been requested by anybody in the forward cabin, or, for that matter, in the staff cabin, but they are available for viewing.
Q Do you know what song was playing when he came on? Was it a specific song --
MR. SNOW: It was an Elvis compilation album. I remember hearing "Love Me Tender," and "Don't Be Cruel," but I'm sure there were plenty more.
Q Are they both excited about meeting Elvis when they get to Graceland and having a chance to talk to the King for a while?
MR. SNOW: Well, I think they are going to view the alleged grave site. (Laughter.)
Q There are some local people who are wanting to give him some present of some sort. Do you have any idea whether that's being worked into the day?
MR. SNOW: I'm not aware of it. I'll let you know if I find out. But what local -- what is it? You know more about this than I do.
Q There's some local guy who wants to give him a lock of his hair, Elvis' hair --
MR. SNOW: I don't know. (Laughter.)
Q Did they close Graceland to the public for this?
MR. SNOW: I'm sure they did. I mean, with all the security issues, I'm almost certain that it's been closed at least for the duration of the visit.
Q Priscilla and Lisa Marie are going to conduct the tour; is that right?
MR. SNOW: They will be in on the tour and they will also participate in the lunch -- The Rendezvous, the favorite barbecue place, ribs place.
Q Are there visitors there that are members of the Japanese delegation?
MR. SNOW: A lot of members of the Japanese delegation. There will be some Tennesseans joining at the lunch -- Fred Smith of Federal Express, and others. I think you'll get a full list, if you don't have it already.
And, no, I'm not going to say it -- wait, wait -- the cheesy Elvis thank-you. Okay, here is the week ahead.
Monday, he signs H.R. 5403, the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act. That will be at the White House.
On Tuesday, Independence Day celebration in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, followed by a lunch with military personnel. Back to the White House for July 4th celebrations.
Wednesday, he will participate in a meeting with the President of Georgia at the White House.
Thursday, he will participate in a photo opportunity with the 2006 March of Dimes National Ambassador, participate in a meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, and have a joint press availability with the Prime Minister of Canada. Will head that evening to Chicago. And on Friday, there will be remarks at Citizens For Judy Baar Topinka reception in Chicago, Illinois.
Q Overnight in Chicago?
MR. SNOW: Overnight in Chicago on Thursday night. That is all the detail we have for now. I will continue to look for bits of color as they proceed. There ought to be plenty today, so we'll keep an eye out.
Q Did you hear the Prime Minister say anything this morning, like, I really want to go to the jungle room?
MR. SNOW: No, I haven't, but I'm sure he's anticipating it as eagerly as the rest of us are.
Q Is the President wearing anything Elvis-y?
MR. SNOW: No. Neither of them is wearing Elvis-y regalia. That has been only staffers who have been reduced to wearing bad sunglasses.
Q Is it true we're going to have peanut butter and banana sandwiches?
MR. SNOW: We'll have peanut butter and banana sandwiches which, apparently, have 36 grams of fat.
Q -- they're having?
MR. SNOW: Up in the aft cabin, they have been -- that is one of the breakfast options. And some brave staffers have tried it.
Q What is the President --
MR. SNOW: I think the President is having a healthier diet than the --
Q What about the Prime Minister?
MR. SNOW: I didn't see what the Prime Minister ate, but I'm willing to bet -- I'd rather not speak out of turn. I will inquire as to whether they tried and peanut butter and fried bananas. Although, on the menu it appears as "ripped" bananas. We are not sure what that means.
Q -- working out?
MR. SNOW: They're working out or getting drunk -- we're not sure which it is. But in any event, it's 36 grams of fat and apparently those eating it feel each and every one of those grams as they eat them.
Q Thank you for coming back.
I'm not sure whether the entire White House press corps is made up of reporters from Entertainment Tonight, but what bullshit, softball fluff, huh? Granted, the press gaggle is more informal than a press conference, but you'd expect something more than freakin' Elvis. You half expect some dumbass to ask, "If the president were a tree, what kind of tree would he be?"
It's not like it was a slow news day. There are US troops accused of murder and rape in Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict threatens to destroy all progress toward peace, and the east coast - including Washington, D.C. itself - is recovering from massive flooding.
Just another nail in the coffin of the myth of a liberal media.