Peter Jennings: Inauguration coverage, 2001, on a nasty, but it could be worse, kind of day in Washington.
Protesters: What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!
Michael Moore: On the day George W. Bush was inaugurated, tens of thousands of Americans poured into the streets of D.C., in one last attempt to reclaim what had been taken from them.
Protesters: Hail to the Thief! Hail to the Thief!
Michael Moore: They pelted Bush’s limo with eggs.
Police: Stay back! Get back!
Michael Moore: And brought the inauguration parade to a halt. The plan to have Bush get out of the limo for the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped. Bush’s limo hit the gas to prevent an even larger riot. No president had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day.
Moore then says that on inauguration day people pelted Bush’s limo with eggs, and prevented the president from taking the usual walk outside his car that normally ends the inaugural procession. It is true, as this BBC story demonstrates (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1127937.stm), that “one protester threw an egg at the new president’s motorcade.” But as the same story also demonstrates, in the very next line, it is also true that “Mr Bush delighted supporters by getting out of his limousine and walked the last block of the parade, holding hands with his wife Laura.” Moore also claims that “no president had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day.” Whether this refers to the true part (the egg) or the false part (no walk) of Moore’s earlier claim, it is certainly not true that no such thing had been seen at past inaugurals. At Nixon’s 1973 inaugural parade, for instance, protestors burned American flags, booed and cursed at the president and his wife, “and deluged their car with sticks, stones, beer cans, and bottles” (Randall Bennett Woods, Fulbright: A Biography, p. 501, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521482623). According to a history of the U.S. Secret Service, Nixon kept his limousine’s windows open during the parade even though protestors “opened up with a barrage of eggs and rotten fruit” (Philip H. Melanson and Peter F. Stevens, The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency, p. 297, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786710845).
The movie lauds an anti-Bush riot that took place in Washington, D.C., on the day of Bush’s inauguration. He claims that protestors “pelted Bush’s limo with eggs.” Actually, it was just one egg, according to the BBC. According to Moore, “No President had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day. ” According to CNN, Richard Nixon faced comparable protests in 1969 and 1973. According to USA Today, the anti-Bush organizers claimed that they expected 20,000 protesters to show up, whereas the anti-Nixon protest in 1973 drew 60,000 people. (USA Today, Jan. 20, 2001).
Moore says, “The plan to have Bush get out of the limo for the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped. But according to the BBC, “Mr. Bush delighted his supporters by getting out of his limousine and walked the last block of the parade, holding hands with his wife Laura.”
Reviewers Who Fell For The Deceptions:
Moore segues into the presidential inauguration where we see an angry protest against the Bush election and, at the point he should have been walking past the crowd in triumph, the president is rushed away in his limousine by the Secret Service as the crowd pelts eggs at the car. This is one of the more frightening, little known facts – I cannot recall any news coverage at the time, correct me if I’m wrong – that “Fahrenheit 9/11” brought to light.
The exposition shows how Bush won the election in Florida just because his brother Jeb was the Governor of that state, thus some people threw eggs at his car during the presidential Inauguration Day.
George W. Bush Inauguration 2001: They pelted his limo with eggs and brought the parade to a halt […]
I was hoping M$M would have done a split/screen showing Bush limo getting hit by eggs….
The news media chose not to show the American people how the new president was really welcomed on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2001. There was no Jimmy Carter-like stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue. Bush stayed inside a fast-moving limousine as it got pelted with eggs by angry protestors. The first view of it most Americans got was in Fahrenheit 9/11.
It then backs up to scenes of a questionable election, of people holding signs reading “Hail to the Thief” and Bush’s limousine being pelted with eggs during his inauguration.
I did not know on inauguration day, raw eggs pelted Bush’s limousine. Personally I consider this disrespectful; less tantrum-oriented means for displaying dissatisfaction prove eminently more effective.
The film also reminded me of things I either forgot about, or knew happened but didn’t realize the severity of the incident and everyone involved. Take Bush’s inauguration for example – in the lead-in, Moore details all the events in Florida and the early months of Bush’s presidency, including his inauguration where his limo is pelted with eggs, protestors clash with police and the limo is forced to speed up to get away when normally the President-elect would get out to walk the rest of the parade route.
What happened? From those scenes, you couldn’t tell Washington DC from Bogota, and yet afterwards… you’d barely even know what had happened. Where’s the outrage? A President just got “elected” who didn’t even win a plurality of the vote!
Concerning the actual footage of the worst inauguration in American history: it was never shown anywhere on American television to this day as far as I know.
Countering the Reviewers:
To those people saying that Bush didn’t walk the parade route the entire way like Jimmy Carter did:
In 1977, Jimmy Carter walked from the Capitol to the White House, although for security reasons, subsequent presidents have only walked a part of the way.
Moore’s narration: “On the day George W. Bush was inaugurated, tens of thousands of Americans poured into the streets of D.C., in one last attempt to reclaim what had been taken from them. They pelted Bush’s limo with eggs. And brought the inauguration parade to a halt. The plan to have Bush get out of the limo for the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped. Bush’s limo hit the gas to prevent an even larger riot.”
One source that Moore uses to defend this part of the movie at his website:
Bush made one concession to the weather — or to security concerns: He stayed in his limousine nearly the entire length of the mile-long inaugural parade, waving through a slightly foggy window. He got out to walk only for a brief distance when his motorcade reached the VIP grandstands in front of the Treasury Department and the White House. Doyle McManus, et al., “Bush Vows to Bring Nation Together,” Los Angeles Times, January, 21, 2001.
So there was dreary rainy weather and other presidents after Jimmy Carter also took motorized transportation instead of walking. So obviously, it must have been the mighty mighty protesters and that mighty mighty egg that had Bush cowering in his limo.
KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You may have noticed along the parade route the presidential motorcade noticeably picked up speed and at other times just came to a complete stop. That, I am told by law enforcement officials, is a security precaution.
There was some question as to whether or not there was a threat or a problem, but we checked it out and know that as a matter of course, whenever they have a presidential motorcade in a situation like this, they like to vary the speed so that you keep everybody else off-guard, if somebody’s trying to pace the vehicle.
Hmmm… Sounds to me like it was general security concerns instead of those specific mighty protesters that were responsible for the limo halt and speeding up:
“They pelted Bush’s limo with eggs. And brought the inauguration parade to a halt. […] Bush’s limo hit the gas to prevent an even larger riot.”
Moore’s narration: “They pelted Bush’s limo with eggs.”
To backup his claim that Bush’s limo was pelted with more than one egg, he uses this source:
“Scuffles erupted between radicals and riot police while an egg struck the bullet-proof presidential limousine as it carried Mr. Bush and wife Laura to the White House.” Damon Johnston, “Bush Pledges Justice as Critics Throw Eggs,” The Advertisers, January 22, 2001.
At the head of the parade, the presidential limousine was hit by an egg and a tennis ball thrown from the crowd along the roadside. But despite the presence of hundreds of protesters upset by Bush’s win in the contentious Florida recount, police reported only four arrests.
If you go to C-Span and watch Obama’s Inaugural Parade, you’ll read this:
The Obama family traveled slowly in a limousine down Pennsylvania Avenue to the cheers of a large crowd lining the street while the parade followed them. The Obamas also got out of the limousine to walk the final few blocks to the White House.
If you go to C-Span and watch Clinton’s first Inaugural Parade, you’ll read this:
Bands and marchers heralded the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in the inaugural parade from the U.S. Capitol to the White House. The Clinton family travelled slowly in a limousine down Pennsylvania Avenue to the cheers of a large crowd lining the street while the parade followed them. The Clintons also got out of the limousine to walk the final few blocks to the White House, followed by the Gores a few minutes later.
If you go to C-Span and watch Clinton’s second Inaugural Parade, you’ll read this:
Bands and marchers heralded the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton in the inaugural parade from the U.S. Capitol to the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue. The Clinton family traveled slowly in a limousine down Pennsylvania Avenue to the cheers of a large crowd lining the street while the parade followed them. The Clintons also got out of the limousine to walk the final few blocks to the White House.
If you go to C-Span and watch Bush’s first Inaugural Parade, you’ll read this:
Activities included a congressional luncheon in Statuary Hall with President Bush’s remarks, presidential review of troops and drive down the parade route to the White House. President and Mrs. Bush walked the last block to the White House.
Wow… So you mean that Clinton and Obama walked an entire couple of blocks more than Bush? Again: Wow…
Yep, those protesters really got inside the head of the entire Bush Machine and had them rattled but good.
Moore shows an unruly bunch of protesters scuffling and fighting with the police. He mixes this footage in with shots of the limo so that you’ll think that these people are dangerously close to Bush. So when he mentions that these protesters are the cause of the limo being halted and then speeding up, you won’t think to wonder: “Why is the limo reacting in this way when the protesters are all behind a barricade and the limo has lots of room between it and the barricade?“
Old Tone: Just watch this youtube video which shows that posters of Bush drawn as the devil were already in use on his first day as President. (and check out the New Tone of this New Black Panthers footage! and people letting off steam with a little harmless newspaper dispenser tossing)
Old Tone: this video shows that someone was putting a Hitler moustache on a pic of Bush as far back as his first day as President.
So, to sum up:
On the day George W. Bush was inaugurated, tens of thousands of Americans poured into the streets of D.C., in one last attempt to reclaim what had been taken from them.
True, there probably were tens of thousands of protesters. But they were not pouring into the street and running for and encircling Bush’s limo and beating down the doors. They were either watching the limo go by and jeering from behind the barricade… or causing a ruckus and property damage in the streets but far away from Bush… or physically scuffling with the “pigs” while behind the barricade… or unsuccessfully trying to rush the limo and being stopped in time by the police before they managed to get anywhere near the limo.
They pelted Bush’s limo with eggs.
No, Bush’s limo was apparently hit by one egg and one tennis ball.
And brought the inauguration parade to a halt.
No, the limo apparently halted and then sped up due to general security procedures. Not those particular protesters nearby.
The plan to have Bush get out of the limo for the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped.
No, maybe they walked a couple blocks less than in the past, but if you watch the C-Span coverage, you’ll see just how long George W. and Laura spent walking down the street and waving to the cheering people. That’s right. There were plenty of cheers that day. It wasn’t all boos and jeers like Moore tries to show.
Bush’s limo hit the gas to prevent an even larger riot.
It sped up. It didn’t “hit the gas” like it was trying its hardest to get away from something. And those protesters were not the cause.
No president had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day.
Wrong again: Nixon. Both times.
:: E X I T L I N K S ::
My Full Collection of F9/11 Deceptions Will Be Stored Here
The Best F9/11 Debunkings can be found at:
An Old Moore-post That’s Worth Remembering:
First, can we stop the Orwellian language and start using the proper names for things? Those are not ?contractors? in Iraq. They are not there to fix a roof or to pour concrete in a driveway. They are MERCENARIES and SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE. They are there for the money, and the money is very good if you live long enough to spend it.
Halliburton is not a “company” doing business in Iraq. It is a WAR PROFITEER, bilking millions from the pockets of average Americans. In past wars they would have been arrested — or worse.
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “The Enemy.” They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush? You closed down a friggin’ weekly newspaper, you great giver of freedom and democracy! Then all hell broke loose. The paper only had 10,000 readers! Why are you smirking? […]
There is a lot of talk amongst Bush’s opponents that we should turn this war over to the United Nations. Why should the other countries of this world, countries who tried to talk us out of this folly, now have to clean up our mess? I oppose the U.N. or anyone else risking the lives of their citizens to extract us from our debacle. I’m sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe — just maybe — God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.