Stage Managed Reality: The GOP Way
"This event has been in the works for several weeks" -- White House spokesperson Scott McClellan on Mr Bush visiting Fort Polk, LA
The White House said that visiting Fort Polk had nothing to do with the media finally taking a look at Mr Bush's Air National Guard record. Yet enterprising reporters found that the visit, contrary to what the White House spokesperson said, was scheduled just last week. Enterprising? Yup, they picked up the phone, called the base and asked when the visit was scheduled.
"At one point, Louisiana had the highest percentage in the country of National Guard troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The troops were given permission to cheer the President as he arrived to strains of "Hail to the Chief" rather than coming to attention as is usual protocol. They even practiced yelling before he arrived.
The Washington Post article "Ft. Polk Troops Practiced Their Hoo-ahs" by Dan Froomkin also points out other Bush Photo-op stage settings that will help "We the People" think correctly about Mr Bush and policy.
For instance, when Bush went to a window and door factory in Tampa on Monday, Mike Allen noted in The Washington Post that the White House actually brought its own windows. "Strengthening America's Economy" was emblazoned on two fake windows that revealed an inviting blue sky.photo
Pretty amazing. In the sense that these managed press "moments" are artificial; they are quite reflective of the administrations honesty on the whole, as well as it's legitimacy.
A couple weeks ago, on Bush's trip to Charleston, S.C., Allen reported that the "White House staff had to get the Coast Guard to reposition a cutter anchored behind him because it had drifted out of position and was no longer providing a perfect backdrop."
This sort of psychological stalking of the citizenry may be seen by some as just media savy. But when it seems Bush programs cannot stand on their own merits and need to be reinforced with subtle media manipulations my sense is that Democracy is not being served.
In St. Louis in January, Allen wrote that "Bush began his visit . . . on a low bench with three pupils at his side and 'No Child Left Behind' written in chalk on the blackboard behind him. He spent 22 minutes chatting with parents on a stage in front of a White House set with 'No Child Left Behind' written 10 times so it would appear in almost any camera shot."
The No Child Left Behind Act is a farce, just like the concept of credibility being applied to the present Administration.
"Last year alone, the Act was underfunded by $7.5 billion. Underfunding by such a drastic amount undermines not only successful implementation, but the very spirit of the law".
I leaned heavily today on the Froomkin article. Yesterdays lengthy piece on Team B and the history of Neocons still involved in government as part of the present administration to lie to have their policy wants met as well as to use the media strategically to shape public opinion; seems echoed by these Bush administration attempts to stage manage reality.
WaPo link gleaned at WTF is it Now?