“Good evening, I’m Andy Card — Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush. I welcome you to the inaugural ‘Ask the White House’ online discussion. I am pleased to be here tonight to answer your questions. The Internet is an important communications medium. We have witnessed, especially during Operation Iraqi Freedom, a substantial increase in the amount of traffic to Internet sites as more and more people — worldwide — are relying on the internet for information. | We see the ‘Ask the White House’ series as another way for our citizens to interact with the White House. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and answering your questions during tonight’s online discussion. | With that, I’m happy to begin . . . ” Andy Card
—Ask the White HouseWhite House)
While this appears to be the perfect set-up for some Onion-style humor (see “Ask a High School Student Who Didn’t Do the Required Reading“), it’s actually the introduction to a real event that took place last night. Card’s responses are a bit dry, but I hope this feature returns. When it does, the new transcript will probably replace the one I’ve linked to, which is annoying. They should put a copy of the transcript in an “archive” file right away, if they’re really serious about following up with similar events featuring other government figures. It’s a good experiment in providing raw blogger fodder, unmediated by professional journalism practices.