FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Instant Understanding

by MICKEY Z.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: The era of classified documents and backroom scheming has gone the way of the elected president. U.S. leadersÐRepublican, Democrat, or corporate (pardon the redundancy)Ðfeel little need to conceal their criminal agendas. Someone, somewhere made the assessment that enough of us have been sufficiently indoctrinated. There is no longer any necessity to camouflage regime changes, carpet bombings, or tax cuts for the rich. Cloak everything in the robes of homeland security and the public won’t protest. In fact, many of them will line up to help.

In such an age, presidential handlers and their loyal media lapdogs feel secure discussing methods of manipulation. In a May 16, 2003 New York Times article (“Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights”) Elisabeth Bumiller tells us that the Bush administration is “using the powers of television and technology to promote a presidency like never before.”

Without a shred of scorn, Bumiller reports, “The White House has stocked its communications operation with people from network television who have expertise in lighting, camera angles and the importance of backdrops.”

She even gives a specific example. When President (sic) Bush spoke near Mount Rushmore last summer, “the White House positioned the best platform for television crews off to one side, not head on as other White Houses have done, so that the cameras caught Mr. Bush in profile, his face perfectly aligned with the four presidents carved in stone.”

“We pay particular attention to not only what the president says but what the American people see” Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, told Bumiller.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but even Reagan’s string-pullers kept stuff like this under their hoodsSI mean, hats. Hey, who needs Chomsky when the Times is writing articles like this? We didn’t have to wait a few months for some brave soul to leak a confidential memo to Counterpunch or Democracy Now so we could all tsk, tsk, tsk in unison at such furtive fraudulence. The White House dupes us and then uses the allegedly adversarial press to crow about it. Such audacity renders impotent our media criticism and propaganda decoding. Like the target audience for Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the infamous Iraqi Information Minister, we’re not even expected to trust the company line…who has time for that?

“Americans are leading busy lives, and sometimes they don’t have the opportunity to read a story or listen to an entire broadcast,” says Bartlett. “But if they can have an instant understanding of what the president is talking about by seeing 60 seconds of television, you accomplish your goals as communicators.”

An instant understanding…or as Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf once said: 3The American press is all about lies! All they tell is lies, lies and more lies!2

MICKEY Z. is the author of The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet and an editor at Wide Angle. He can be reached at: mzx2@earthlink.net.

 

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here. This piece first appeared at World Trust News.  

May 05, 2016
David L. Glotzer
Welcome to Fortified Europe: the Militarization of Europe’s Borders
Adam Szetela
Beyoncé’s “Formation” and the Boutique Activism of the Left
Bruce Lerro
Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party
Paul Cochrane
Hot Air in the Saudi Desert: a Kingdom in Descent?
Brian Terrell
My Visit to a Las Vegas Jail
Judith Deutsch
The Military’s “Securitization” of Climate Change
Phyllis Bennis
Kunduz Bombing: Proof the Pentagon Should Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself for War Crimes
Chad Nelson
When Compassion is Terrorism: Animal Rights in a Post-911 World
Dan Arel
Making Sanders’ Dream a Reality Through Political Activism
Kent Paterson
Ten Years Later: Reflections on the Legacies of Immigrant Spring
Serge Halimi
Why Firefighters are Against Free Trade
Andrew Stewart
Green Bernie or Green Party Machine?
Binoy Kampmark
Yuri Gagarin in Space: the Politics of Cosmic Discovery
Hayes Rowan
This Naming of Things
May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s China-Bashing
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail