George W. Bush and his staff can get any and all media time they want simply by calling up a journalist and saying, "Hey, want an interview?" But the "Bullypulpit" has limitations, all the more so given the FACT that the case Bush and Blair have made is flimsy, at best.
So, what's a "good" president to do? Slippery Karl Rove and other notorious spin master advisors have apparently decided to buy some insurance. The administration is going to spend $200 million dollars to target emotions (advertising). Reason alone (media debate) simply isn't enough. The Times in the U.K. published a news story about this today, and it appears to be the first media "trial balloon" (see excerpt below).
Last Fall, Tony Blair's government published a dossier on Osama Bin Laden. No money for advertising was needed to seed that document's message and justifications.
When a US administration feels the need to spend what amounts to about 35% of what was spent in all advertising and campaigning in the 2000 presidential elections, you know they're worried about winning your brain. Drawing an analogy to the corrupting influences of the campaign financing system is apropos on more than one count, for the US media greatly benefits during election years. The argument can be made that media corporations have a vested interest in keeping a one dollar, one vote system alive. We now stand at the crossroads where the media and politicians may develop a vested interest in dollars for individual policies, never mind elections. With our money, the magnitude of financing emotion (not reason) campaigns for political ends is here.
For the record, to counter any debate about the policy in advance, there is significant difference between this PR campaign (funds used partly for domestic propaganda) and comparables like the money used to support operations like Radio Marti, beaming to Cuba. Radio Marti is about money spent to influence Cubans in Cuba. This week's insane Bush "PR" proposal is partly about spending your money to influence your mind, brought to you by the administration that openly discusses "selling" a plan for war on Iraq as a "new product," packaged and launched for your consumption.
It's bad enough that we live in a system that corporations can abuse with their money. Now we have a nation were our tax dollars are used in a similar manner.
God bless the United States of Plutocracy
September 17, 2002
America plans PR blitz on Saddam
From Tim Reid in Washington
THE TIMES (UK)
The Bush Administration is to launch a multimillion-dollar PR blitz against Saddam Hussein, using advertising techniques to persuade crucial target groups that the Iraqi leader must be ousted.
The campaign will consist of dossiers of evidence detailing Saddam's breaches of UN resolutions, and will be launched this week at American and foreign audiences, particularly in Arab nations sceptical of US policy in the region.
The White House is aware that it lacks substantial new intelligence on Saddam's nuclear programme or evidence directly linking Baghdad to the September 11 attacks. But it will build on the contents of President's Bush's speech made to the UN General Assembly last week, in which he listed Saddam's violations of UN resolutions.
The campaign, which will initially receive over $200 million (£130 million), will be overseen by the Office of Global Communications, whose existence will not be formally announced until next month.