Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Fourth Estate: FUBAR'd

While we're noting down the names of the first wave of Bushist fascists to ship off to Gitmo after the revolution--I mean, after the 06 midterms return control of Congress to the Dems, let's save some space for the fourth estate.

As much as the Bushist fascists are directly responsible for the actual moral and fiscal ruination of America, they never would have been elected (sic) were it not for the conduct of the American press: vile, cowardly, snide. A press that made fun of Al Gore's thoughtful intelligence and failed to make fun of Bush's lack of intelligence. A press that, four years and many Bush failures later, made fun of John Kerry's thoughtful intelligence and failed to make fun of either George W. Bush's failures or his continuing thoughtless, reckless, feckless lack of intelligence.

I was struck, during the 2004 campaign, reading a front-page, above the fold article in the NY Times neatly penned to savage Kerry by framing him as a wimp; it did so by perseverating about Kerry's fondness for peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

Sigh.

A Night Light's RJ Eskow neatly skewers the methods of such journalistic madness in his recent piece: Win A Dream Date With Alito!!

In a similar vein, that of holding the the press corps' feet to the fire, visit and take note of Pre$$titutes.


"We believe Pre$$titution is the First Cause of the worst presidency in U.S. history. The transformation of George W. Bush from a smarmy underachiever to a supposedly resolute, pious, compassionate leader is the result of years of methodical Pre$$titution. Journalists have abdicated their interrogative role and pandered to the administration, propagating rightwing talking points and pushing pro-Bush storylines. The cumulative effect of countless implicit and explicit pro-Bush stories and soundbites has been to create the illusion of legitimacy around an individual uniquely unqualified to be president. It is death by a thousand cuts in reverse, the creation of a myth in thousands of small increments. Our aim is to make that process transparent.

Pre$$titutes use sophisticated persuasion tactics to influence public perceptions and to shape the political landscape, from cable coverage of Bush's stage-managed speeches with captions that read "Bush Stands Firm," to the correction and re-framing of Bush's mangled English, to the use of 'negative' stories to push pro-Bush narratives. For example, saying Bush is "unwavering" in the face of sliding poll numbers reinforces the fabricated image of a steadfast, principled leader. Another favored press tactic is to create a self-reinforcing loop by making news and then commenting on it. During the 2004 presidential campaign, the cable networks gave round-the-clock coverage to the Swift Boat slime machine. Weeks into the coverage, these same outlets began asking why Kerry's attackers were getting so much traction in denigrating his military service.

By choosing what to cover, what not to cover, and how to cover it, Pre$$titutes influence ALL aspects of American politics. Touch-screen voting machines fixing elections? If the Pre$$titutes don’t report it, few Americans know or care. Abu Ghraib a permanent stain on America's moral standing? Not if the Pre$$titutes lose interest and move on to round-the-clock Michael Jackson or Natalee Holloway coverage. Our troops coming home in flag-draped coffins? Not if the Pre$$titutes won’t show it to you. Saddam Hussein unconnected to 9/11? Not if the Pre$$titutes let the administration conflate the two.

Bush's resilience in the face of scandals that would bring down any other government is primarily a factor of Pre$$titutes' willingness to give him a pass. Pushing deeply-ingrained fictional narratives about Bush and avoiding the derisive tone they reserve for Democrats like Howard Dean or Al Gore, Pre$$titutes provide cover for Bush's worst transgressions."


Last but not least, hat tip to Wealth Bondage, this piece by Robert Scheer re Judy Judy Judy journalism and the cost of Plamegate in the Nation: How Reporters Helped Lead Us to War.

Scheer concludes:

"The First Amendment protection is not a license for mischief on the part of journalists eager to do the government's bidding. To the contrary, it was conceived by the founders to prevent government from subverting the free press in an effort to misinform the public. Unfortunately, that is precisely what occurred here."


The Fourth Estate in America is totally FUBAR'd--and thanks to them, so are we.

Ship 'em to Gitmo.











Note: sporadic blogging may be a thing of the future. It is certainly a thing of the present. As one more No Blood for Hubris Mental Health Interlude, we have acquired a new puppy. She will be running us ragged until further notice.

2 comments:

enigma4ever said...

front seat for Judy.... and Novak....

No Blood for Hubris said...

Feh.