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Wednesday,  January 8 12:01 AM EDT

Bush Administration's Bright Shiny Object Fascinates Americans

By Barry Mitchell

Washington DC - White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer held the press corps in awe for approximately 15 minutes by producing a bright, shiny object from his pocket during his daily press briefing Monday. Dangling the object from a chain, Fleischer waved it back in forth in front of the members of the press.

Oooo.  Shiny.Prior to revealing the object, Fleischer was being questioned by CNN correspondent Hugh McDowell. "Mr. Fleischer, some political analysts are saying the President's hawkish stance on Iraq and North Korea is an attempt to sidetrack the American public's attention to the failing War on Terror and the sagging economy. How does the President respond to this criticism?"

Fleischer then pulled the shiny object from his pocket, followed by excited tittering from the press pool.

The bright, shiny object, carried live on national television, seemed to have a calming effect on otherwise disgruntled Americans.

Bob Higgins, a truck driver from Richmond, VA, was watching the conference at "The Rusty Skillet", a diner in Arlington. "I don't believe a word this guy is saying," Higgins said in response to Fleischer's defense of the Bush Administration's economic policy. "We're not on the rebound. My brother and two of my cousins just got laid-off last week."

After Fleischer produced the shiny object, Higgins said, "What the hell is that? Wow. What IS that? It's bright. It's shiny!" and tried grabbing the object through the television screen.

Maria Lopez, investment banker and a patron at The Rusty Skillet, was also watching the press conference. Lopez was talking about how "this talk of war with Iraq seems like such a political ploy" when the shiny object caught her attention. Lopez stared at the object on the screen for the next several minutes with her mouth hanging open and fumbled with her purse looking for her credit card.

When asked about her views on Fleischer's comments, Lopez responded, "Wha? I dunno. Want thingy," pointing to the TV and shook her head rapidly while blinking.

In an interview later that day, when asked about Fleischer's bright shiny object, Vice President Cheney reached into his pocket and produced another one. "You mean this?" he asked.

Oooooo. Shiny.

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