I usually confine my viewing of OLN, the Outdoor Life Network, to pen-to-pen coverage of the Professional Bull Riders Tour.
But then, like a shiny object dancing before me, on-the-set production details for OLN’s Fishing With Roland Martin appeared on Josh Marshall’s Talkingpointsmemo:
On Saturday, Bush and his father were to go fishing at the ranch’s bass pond with a crew from the Outdoor Life Network’s “Fishing with Roland Martin.”
The White House approached the network about coming to film Bush, who is eager to cultivate an image as a sportsman with the millions of voters who hunt and fish. The crew was to bring its own boat for the shoot on the small pond. [emphasis added for ironic effect]
I’d imagine Roland & Co. would need at least a month’s leadtime to put such a shoot together. Coincidentally, it’s been just over a month since White House producers–and sportsman voters–heard a report on NPR where “the hook-and-bullet crowd” voice opposition to the Bush administration’s environmental policies. Roland’s crew is joined this weekend by the NRA and conservative/moderate conservation groups mentioned in the story.
Although manmade, Bush’s bass pond was not actually excavated for the shoot. The CSMonitor even mentions it in a WH Press Office-stocked feature on Bush’s Crawford ranch:
A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll shows that 55 percent of Americans believe four weeks is too long for a president to be away from Washington. Keenly aware of the image of a slough-off president – the Washington Post calculates that Bush has spent 42 percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route – the White House refers to this as a “working” vacation. The president has planned about two trips a week to spread the gospel of “heartland values.” Last week, much of his time was taken up with the televised announcement of his stem-cell decision.
Still, there’s no doubt the president is enjoying considerable down time. He’s gone on long, early morning walks with his wife, golfed with friends at a nearby course in Waco, fished, and jogged through canyons on his land – where he’s also building a nature walk. [emphasis added]
The date of that article: August 14, 2001.