Washington, DC (Rotters) – Indulging in a time honored strategy to save a failed presidency, George W. Bush has reportedly been holding “off the record” meetings with selected reporters during this past week. Several reporters and bloggers, including Daily Kos founder Marcos Moulitsas, admitted to reluctantly participating in or being invited to such events.
Moulitsas, or “Kos”, as he likes to be referred to, was in Washington, DC yesterday for a book signing of his new grassroots political ‘how-to’ book entitled “Crashing the Gates” which he co-authored with fellow blogger Jerome Armstrong. Moulitsas admitted that he was dumbfounded when he received the invitation for an exclusive White House off the record meeting yesterday.
“It was beyond surreal… it was downright creepy,” stated Moulitsas. “He wanted to talk about my kid, my family and the new house we bought. He knew things. At one point he started asking me questions about immigration and my parents’ citizenship. The last time I felt this creeped out was when I was watching that Agent Smith interrogation scene from The Matrix.”
Critics claim that these informal meetings are an attempt to play to what is perceived as the president’s strengths in salvaging his legacy. The White House has often felt that the president shines best at strictly informal one-on-one presentations.
According to Moulitsas, Bush then went on to thank him and Daily Kos bloggers in their efforts last year in cleaning up the White House press corps. Off the record, the president referred to “Gannongate”, in which the false credentials of a White House “correspondent” Jeff Gannon were exposed. Bush reportedly thanked Moulitsas for his support in exposing an undercurrent of sexual deviance in the White House press corps, and asked for the online community’s continuing support in exposing Helen Thomas.
Moulitsas stated that the president then insisted in participating in an online virtual swearing in ceremony for the 50 newest Kossacks to sign up at The Daily Kos. Bloggers who participate in the online community at The Daily Kos are frequently referred to as “Kossacks”. A dramatic blowup of the Daily Kos logo served as a backdrop and the president wore a matching orange tie.
Moulitsas revealed that, off the record, President Bush admitted to being a longtime “lurker” on Daily Kos with a user ID number in the 30,000’s. “We maintain a strict policy of anonymity at the Daily Kos.” stated Moulitsas. “This includes banning people for impersonating real personages. I can’t tell you how many variations of “George W. Bush” we’ve had to ban over the years. We have a number of real life celebrities and politicians who actually do post under their real names, and probably the most recent and most famous is former President Jimmy Carter. In each case we meticulously checked these people to verify that they are who they say they are. I don’t doubt that Mr. Bush actually is a member with a different “handle”. With what I have learned of him today, the resources that he has available, and his proven track record for illegal surveillance, I think we will have to go back and seriously reevaluate our precautions on anonymity. I think our gates have been crashed.”