Saturday, March 19, 2005

Propaganda: The Gathering Storm

Follows is helpful timeline of the gathering momentum around the propaganda story. The Bush team continues to manipulate the press undaunted. Despite significant legal questions and the cascade of criticism in the media and elsewhere, they intend to produce more video news releases to build support for Bush's Social Security, education, Iraq, anti-drug and other plans.

A Bush Fantasy?
Already, State Department, Defense Department, Transportation Security Administration and Agriculture Department video segments have been beamed over hundreds of local TV stations. All told, at least 20 federal agencies have quietly used this tactic to cloak the administration's messages as objective television news. And it's all done at the taxpayers' expense.

Here's a brief history, replete with Democratic calls for action or, as Dowd put it, "whining letters of protest that are tossed in the Oval Office trash:"

January 4: GAO Rules 'Video News Releases' Violate Federal Law
January 7: President Asked to Renounce Covert Propaganda
January 11: GAO Asked to Investigate Covert Propaganda
January 14: FCC Chairman Calls for Payola Investigation
January 21: House Members Challenge SSA Communications Plan
January 26: Report: PR Spending Doubled under Bush
January 28: House Dems Urge President Disclose All Propaganda
February 9: Slaughter Calls on Bush to Explain Scandal
February 10: Request for Documents Related to "Journalist" Gannon
February 10: Cogressmen Call for Gannon Investigation
February 16: OPEN Government Act Introduced
February 22: GAO Reminds Agencies of Covert Propaganda Ban
February 22: Democrats Call for Gannon Inquiry
February 23: Congessmen Call for GAO Investigation
March 1: Reps. Request VNR Disclosure
March 11: White House Rejects GAO Ruling
March 16: Bush Shifts Responsibility to Broadcasters
March 21: Free Press Urges FCC Investigation

With more forceful public support this whine might reach a fever pitch. For more on this and to take action against the further spread of news fraud, see our propaganda report at Free Press.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

VNR's...or Payola first?
I agree that this is not China and VNR's should not be welcome here! However, I cannot help but comment that the alleged " concern " announced today by the current FCC Chairman Jonathan A., a Democrat, deserves some attention first, before we handle this whole VNR thing. This ought to make the public eerily suspicious that his timely follow-up to the New York State Attorney General's probe into payola at radio stations in the US ( plus not only the entertainment execs, but the celebrities/artists who are just as guilty and involved, I think, & who are all Democrats too ), is really just a carefully masked attempt by him, a handful of Dem insiders, and their media-entertainment conglomerate buddies ( who are the only people in the Democratic party that have any money left these days, since there are no oil tycoons paying for Hillary's luncheons ) to " take care " of this strangely flourishing and ripe-for-the-picking payola " scandal " (which probably does in fact exist on a huge scale) by launching their own phony, over-hyped and conveniently half-assed " investigation " Which I am sure will ultimately find and allow them to determine that " there isn't any problem " in the music business with payola. That way, whenever the issue gets brought up ever again in the future, they can say " Oh, we took care of it in 2005 so don't bother---everything is fine. Let's move on to more important issues ". And then, secure in their own brand of high-level gov't corruption, they'll keep right on making their lil' payola payments, their artists' egos will inflate into outer space ( which to them, somehow seems to translate into votes, plus all the homeless people and criminals = a WIN! ) and thus they be able to keep on nailing that choice airtime for themselves ( and their campaign ) for FREE! This could be looked at by the Dems as a golden opportunity to unethically use covert means of getting back at the Bush admininstration for everything (including VNRs). Frankly, it doesn't hold any weight with anybody intelligent to keep billing the Democratic Party as though it is a collection on infallible angels who are incapable of being just as sleazy as they claim Bush and his BUSINESS PARTNERS have been. It's called using reverse psychology; apparently the Dems don't favor looking both ways before the cross the ol' information highway anymore, let alone at themselves in the mirror, so it seems...