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Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage

by : Charlie Brooker
Monday October 25, 2004 - 00:43
15 comments

Charlie Brooker Saturday October 23, 2004 The Guardian

Heady times. The US election draws ever nearer, and while the rest of the world bangs its head against the floorboards screaming "Please God, not Bush!", the candidates clash head to head in a series of live televised debates. It’s a bit like American Idol, but with terrifying global ramifications. You’ve got to laugh.

Or have you? Have you seen the debates? I urge you to do so. The exemplary BBC News website (www.bbc.co.uk/news) hosts unexpurgated streaming footage of all the recent debates, plus clips from previous encounters, through Reagan and Carter, all the way back to Nixon versus JFK.

Watching Bush v Kerry, two things immediately strike you. First, the opening explanation of the rules makes the whole thing feel like a Radio 4 parlour game. And second, George W Bush is... well, he’s... Jesus, where do you start?

The internet’s a-buzz with speculation that Bush has been wearing a wire, receiving help from some off-stage lackey. Screen grabs appearing to show a mysterious bulge in the centre of his back are being traded like Top Trumps. Prior to seeing the debate footage, I regarded this with healthy scepticism: the whole "wire" scandal was just wishful thinking on behalf of some amateur Michael Moores, I figured. And then I watched the footage.

Quite frankly, the man’s either wired or mad. If it’s the former, he should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the nuts. And if it’s the latter, his behaviour goes beyond strange, and heads toward terrifying. He looks like he’s listening to something we can’t hear. He blinks, he mumbles, he lets a sentence trail off, starts a new one, then reverts back to whatever he was saying in the first place. Each time he recalls a statistic (either from memory or the voice in his head), he flashes us a dumb little smile, like a toddler proudly showing off its first bowel movement. Forgive me for employing the language of the playground, but the man’s a tool.

So I sit there and I watch this and I start scratching my head, because I’m trying to work out why Bush is afforded any kind of credence or respect whatsoever in his native country. His performance is so transparently bizarre, so feeble and stumbling, it’s a miracle he wasn’t laughed off the stage. And then I start hunting around the internet, looking to see what the US media made of the whole "wire" debate. And they just let it die. They mentioned it in passing, called it a wacko conspiracy theory and moved on.

Yet whether it turns out to be true or not, right now it’s certainly plausible - even if you discount the bulge photos and simply watch the president’s ridiculous smirking face. Perhaps he isn’t wired. Perhaps he’s just gone gaga. If you don’t ask the questions, you’ll never know the truth.

The silence is all the more troubling since in the past the US news media has had no problem at all covering other wacko conspiracy theories, ones with far less evidence to support them. (For infuriating confirmation of this, watch the second part of the must-see documentary series The Power Of Nightmares (Wed, 9pm, BBC2) and witness the absurd hounding of Bill Clinton over the Whitewater and Vince Foster non-scandals.)

Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he’s not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat. And besides, in a fight between a tree and a bush, I know who I’d favour.

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod’s law dictates he’ll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?



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> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Monday October 25 - 01:12 - Posted by 005a96fc21f2ca94...


> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Monday October 25 - 05:04 - Posted by 4feaf1aef9b78d66...

My thoughts exactly!

— A terrified (of Bush), frustrated American



> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Monday October 25 - 06:31 - Posted by 2e11e52aa2302dfd...

Great Site Here - You’re the only media which is still covering the Bush BUlge...

BUT I WANT TO CHANGE THAT

GO to http://www.bushbulge.com/action.html

and you can instantly email dozens of American press and journalists.

Take the 2 minutes and make a difference! This story needs to break!!




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Monday October 25 - 11:52 - Posted by a0cab3abd51994b7...

Actually, that’s not ENTIRELY true:

It’s still popping up here and there every day. This story will NOT die — until the question is answered.
It definitely deserves more media attention than it’s getting, though. And it deserves to be investigated seriously.

EXAMPLE - Al Jazeera Editorial (October 25, 2004):

The Government You Deserve

By John Chuckman

http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%...

 This story misses is certainly not as complete as the articles on this site, however. For example, the "medical device" theory is not mentioned at all.



> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Monday October 25 - 11:42 - Posted by a0cab3abd51994b7...

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD!!!!!!


FREE FOR EVERYONE TO USE AS A CAMPAIGN POSTER FOR OUR CAUSE...

http://img33.exs.cx/img33/3244/Bulg...


If you want a bigger version, just let me know and I’ll post it.




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Monday October 25 - 15:47 - Posted by 74b841513cb535a8...

You can read more about this at:

http://puppetstring.blogspot.com/




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Monday October 25 - 16:46 - Posted by 21c8df7e9107c4b2...

Straw poll shows 64% of republicans believe Bush is wired(75% overall)

http://cgi.doonesbury.com/cgi-bin/v...

Observant viewers of the first Bush-Kerry debate noted the clear outline of a rectangular object beneath the back of the president’s suit jacket, giving new life to months-long speculation that the earpiece he often wears may bring him talking points, if not from God then possibly from Karl Rove. Pressed for an explanation of the bulge, a campaign representative suggested that the mysterious shape was most likely "rumpling" or "a wrinkle”. Frank Shattuck, Bush’s tailor, disagreed. "There’s defintitely something there," he opined. "...But it’s not hidden very well. They should have come to me."

Was W wired during the first debate?

1)Probably. How else to explic Bush’s otherwise inexplicable "Let me finish" when no one was interrupting him? And why wouldn’t the White House reveal a legit source for the way-obvious shape if one existed?

2)No way. Karl Rove would never allow so detectable a stunt unless Bush were losing by at least 10 points. Could Dems please save the paranoid fantasies until after Kerry loses the Ohio recount?

3)Possibly. Bush may have been running a rogue operation of his own, strapping on an iPod so he could listen to Toby Keith while waiting for Kerry to stop bragging about his innumerable, boring "plans".




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Tuesday October 26 - 16:26 - Posted by eb36731515438355...

This MOrning on Good Morning America, Charlie Gibson showed a recent interview he did with President Bush. He held up a picture of the now infamous "bulge" and asked the President about it. After a "Bushesque" pause, The President joked that he was wired for sound then he attributed the bulge to a poorly tailored shirt. ( I find that funny since I recently saw a show that features Bush’s tailor, Georges de Paris, and highlighted the amount of effort that goes into his "look". I believe it stated that his suits are around three thousand dollars and he has 2 or 3 fittings")... At any rate as a final insult Bush asked Gibson if someone could show him how this electronic listening device thing works..???

In his tailors on words
http://www.hillnews.com/under_dome/...




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Tuesday October 26 - 17:36 - Posted by 8a1d7829ab8f3088...

Does he also wear poorly tailored T-shirts?????

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2...




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Friday October 29 - 02:52 - Posted by 00a60962f1fd6246...

I would LOVE to know what that bulge is - and I have sent emails to every U.S. media outlet I can find asking why they are not covering the story. The answer has been the proverbial deafening silence.

I am sick to death of American media acting as a collective of cowardly White House shills and stringing the [embarrassingly gullible] American public along like a bunch of rats after the Pied Piper in tune to Shrub’s nursery rhyme. If we are not able to banish the Shrubbage to some distant deserted island on November 2nd I am going to blame it on the irresponsible news NON-coverage we have been stuck with by our corporate media in the U.S. and head for the nearest passport office.

What Bushco has done to America, and the entire world, can never be completely eradicated, no matter how wonderful Kerry and his successors turn out to be - but hopefully they can stave off the far worse results we will see immediately after 11-02-04 if Dubya [cheats, lies, steals, commits any number of crimes and thus] retains his residency at the White House. Pray it doesn’t happen.




40 Minutes 37 Seconds - just who did President Bush think was interupting him? (Nixon had his 18.5 minutes of missing tape, now George has his famous "minutes")
Friday October 29 - 06:31 - Posted by 74b4d73dd42d3e4a...

Do you have any ideas on this? I could not find anything on your site about this.

From the message board at bushbulge.com

http://members.sitegadgets.com/bush...

Nixon had his 18.5 minutes of famous erased tape. Now George has his famous conversation with no-one at 40 minutes 37 seconds into the first presidential debate.

40 Minutes 37 Seconds - just who is he talking to?
Posted by not_george on October 28, 2004 at 23:21:27:
The important thing to note is not what this bulge might or might not be - That is all conjecture (though quite entertaining...especially if the "cowboy" wears a bullet proof vest - He would loose his bravado if his posse found that out!)

What can be empirically demonstrated though is that at 40 minutes 37 seconds into the first debate the President interupts himself with "I, I, ah ah, l-l-let me finish" (time intervals taken from debate archive feed at http://www.c-span.org/2004vote/deba... )

The rules of the debate where 2 minute answers, 90 second rebutal, 30 second extenstions at the moderators discretion. Senator Kerry began to answer his question at 37 minutes 27 seconds, President Bush began his rebutal at 39 minutes 30 seconds, and then at 40 minutes 37 seconds he utters the line above.

The time left indicator lights infront of the President had only just turned green (still yellow, red, and then a buzzer left to go).

So this is a question with a very clear unambiguous answer at its core.

JUST WHO IS THE PRESIDENT TALKING TO????

 Mr. Lehrer did not interrupt the president.
 The President is looking to his left when he makes his comment (Lehrer is at the center which is to the presidents right).

 Your thoughts????

Link to c-span coverage showing the comment to no one

http://www.c-span.org/2004vote/deba...




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Saturday October 30 - 04:59 - Posted by d900d8827177ea6f...

A NASA scientist has used some spare time to do a little image analysis on the "bulge":

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2...

Forget the sharpened and edge-detected versions of the picture ; the first image shows it quite clearly already: there’s a wire under there!

As for the bulge itself— to me, it looks like it really is just a wrinkle in the
jacket. But it’s a wrinkle caused by the wire! It’s either just the wire
itself, or it’s a point where the wire is taped to the inside of the jacket.




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Sunday November 14 - 00:18 - Posted by 00531540f7013e2b...

Charlie: On either the first or third debate (I think the 3rd) I saw quite clearly on two occasions an earplug
in Bush’s ear. There is no doubt in my mind that one was there. I somehow had not noticed the bulge,
and it did not occur to me he might be receiving messages or answers. I thought the plug might be
to cut out extraneous sound. Silly me, when I have had 7 years of college work and have a Master’s
degree and was admitted to PhD candidacy at the Univ of Chicago. The Master’s was at Berkeley.
But after the matter of the bulge in his back became a big issue on the Internet, I sent a letter to the
San Francisco Chronicle on the bulge and the earplug. They never used the information. I have nagged
them and also suggested they check with Jim Lehrer, to ask if the candidates were checked for listening
devices before the debates. A reporter in the Business section of the Chronicle wrote an article on the
bulge. He took a picture of it to a shop in San Francisco which specializes in listening devices. The owner
of the shop said the bulge almost certainly was a listening device, but one needed an earplug also. I sent
that reporter my original letter. He did not know of it. He said he would write a followup article when he
had the time. But he considered the matter, judging from his article, as a big joke.
I have since sent letters to Newsweek and to Jim Lehrer of The Newsroom on PBS. Perhaps one of them
willdo some investigating. I wish I could watch a tape of the debates so I could print out a picture of the
earplugs which I saw. I am still totally convinced they were there.
Rex Beckham, e-mail: rbeckham@baysidebooks.com




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Thursday May 19 - 23:15 - Posted by b93fb44ce3b49c0c...

The G-8 are the only ICONOCLASTS. We are all ICONS (Assholes). Want to start a G-9th??? People could trade their faith in paper ideas for a 6hr. work/year system. End WAR and the "PEACE" which has led to war more than any other idea.




> Bush Bulge: Conspiracy theory until you see the footage
Thursday April 13 - 19:33 - Posted by 4756b510f6c0d273...

looks like your lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat won. Too bad for you.







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