FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Instant Understanding

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.

 

More articles by:

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.  

December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
ANIS SHIVANI
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail