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CALL THE WAAAH-MBULANCE

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By Michelle Malkin  •  April 27, 2006 08:08 PM

***updated with reader feedback…Atlanta Journal Constitution story…see also the interesting e-mail below from a GM worker…CNN boo-hoos…Reader Chris quips: “I recommend the administration tune the press corps TV’s to the Cartoon Network.”***

Transcript of the hissy fit White House press corps reporters had earlier today about TVs being tuned to Fox News (sent by reader John…by way of Hotline):

Q [WaPo reporter Jim VandeHei] It’s come to my attention that there’s been requests — this is a
serious question — to turn these TVs onto a station other than Fox, and
that those have been denied. My question would be, is there a White
House policy that all government TVs have to be tuned to Fox?

MR. McCLELLAN: Never heard of any such thing. My TVs are on four
different channels at all times.

Q Because you have four different TVs. But every time I’ve ever been –

MR. McCLELLAN: Every TV in the White House also has channels every –
has a split screen, where they can –

Q VandeHei Well, they always seem to be tuned to Fox, and there’s been requests, and these are paid for by taxpayer dollars. And my understanding is that you guys have to watch Fox on Air Force One. Is that true?

MR. McCLELLAN: First time I’ve ever heard of it. First time you’ve
brought it to my attention, meaning the first time the press corps has
brought it to my attention. In fact, I’ve watched other channels on here.

Q VandeHei There’s one –

MR. McCLELLAN: Hang on, Jim, come on. I’ve watched other channels on
here, so I don’t know where you’re hearing that. But it’s the first time
anyone in the press has raised that question with me.

Q VandeHei You’ve watched other channels other than Fox?

MR. McCLELLAN: On here, yes, sure.

Q VandeHei I’ve never seen — they’re always turned to Fox, which a lot of people consider a Republican-leaning network.

Q VandeHei Scott, is it one — on the airplane, is it one for all? I mean, if
it’s tuned for Fox here, is it Fox everywhere?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that certain areas may be interconnected, but
I’ll have to double-check which.

Q VandeHei Is yours off, wherever you are?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the conference room, or the senior staff office,
the staff office, they’re different TVs, and you can switch to different
channels. I’m not sure if some of these in the back are connected to
some of the others that are watching right here, right now. It doesn’t
look like it to me. I’ve never known anyone that’s raised a complaint
about a request from back here to watch a different channel.

Q VandeHei I’m officially raising it and officially complaining about it.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’m going to go see if we can change the channel
for you. Have you called up?

Q [Agence France Presse photographer Tim Sloan] I was the Fox victim, and I was told — the quote was, “No,” when I
asked for CNN.

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know who you talked to, so — it didn’t come to
my attention. You don’t know who you talked to either?

Q Well, the magic people at the other end off the phone.

MR. McCLELLAN: The magic people at the other end of the phone. Well,
I’ll see if this cabin is –

Q I was told, “We don’t watch CNN here, you can only watch Fox.”

MR. McCLELLAN: As I said, it’s hard to respond to something when I don’t
know who it is you talked to.

Q I used the phone back here.

MR. McCLELLAN: I find this all quite amusing, to tell you the truth. I
mean, there are a lot of people on this plane that do watch that channel.

Q I’ve never been told, no. They’re such nice guys up there.

MR. McCLELLAN: First time you brought it to my attention. I’ll go see
what we can do on it.

* * * * *

MR. McCLELLAN: We just called up. They’re going to be changing it, at
your all’s request, to the channel that you requested, which is CNN –
from the press corps.

Q Thanks, Scott.

END 11:39 A.M. EDT

Waaaah.

***

Reader David S. writes:

I want to know why I have to watch CNN at every airport that I go to. Are airports not taxpayer supported?

Reader Matt G.:

What does it mean for the press to complain that all administration TVs are tuned to a single channel, Fox (considered by many to be “a Republican-leaning network”), but then to propose unanimously that the press’s TVs be tuned to CNN (considered by many to be a Democrat-leaning network)?

1. A one-channel society is OK. The White House is just watching the wrong channel?
2. The MSM is just as biased as their opponents charge?
3. Their objection is not principled–i.e. a variety of channels should be allowed–but only the result of partisan bias?
4. All of the above.

Reader Marc:

If I didn’t know you better, I woud guess that this article is a spoof!

A tipster e-mails:

I work for General Motors, and due to the condition of the business here, I would prefer to remain anonymous. Conditions here are very stressful.

However, after reading “Call the Waaah-mbulance” on your blog, I want to share this information with you. Just don’t connect my name with it.

At the assembly plant where I work, there are approximately 200 TV sets installed so that the line workers can watch them while they are doing their jobs. There are also TV sets in each of the team/lunch areas with auxillary amplifiers and speakers. These are all paid for with “joint” UAW/GM funds and are utilized to communicate information for both the company and the union.

Safety information, notice of blood drives, etc. is on some of the time, but most of the time the cable is set to CNN.

Usually it is Natalee Holloway all day, every day, but a couple of weeks ago we were all shocked to see FOX on the TVs. Then with no warning, we were back to CNN, which prompted this exchange:

Dear Xxxx.

A modest request here. For a while on evening shift we were getting FOX
news on the TVs at break time. Everybody was glad that it had been
changed. Now it is back to CNN and Nancy Grace is driving most folks out
of the team areas at lunchtime. What are the chances of going back to FOX
news?

Thanks for your help,

Xxxxxx on evening shift

Hi Xxxxxx,

I feel your pain, but we are obligated to show CNN due to the UAW/GM
negotiations agreement. If and when the agreement changes then labor
relations will let us know.

Sincerely,

Xxxx

So anyway, just get the word out to the White House press corps that if they want to watch CNN all they have to do is get a job at General Motors. CNN is contractually required there.

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