July 13, 2007
How a Tightly Run Ship Began Sinking (Bob Franken)
@ 12:02 pm
Remember “Message Control”? All public information about and from the Bush administration was held very close. Nothing came out unless it had high-level approval from the White House commissars. Deviation could be considered a capital offense. Not only were facts grudging dispensed but many topics were taboo — just about anything that ran afoul of the Bush ideology. If truth had to be misrepresented, so be it. If lies had to be told, well, it was for a greater good.
Of course, we in the news media were pliant little puppies, yipping for approval, and not daring to do anything that would cut off our carefully sanitized little scraps.
When it came to how the informed electorate was informed, it was not. The people around the president sailed a tightly run ship.
Well, then, how did it become a sinking ship? Simplicity itself: It collided with reality — the reality that other vital functions of the government were being run in very sloppy ways. Such little matters as international relations, and spending; stuff like that. Those lies, things like torture of prisoners, were exposed, often by happenstance as opposed to good reporting, but exposed nonetheless.
The spinners inevitably slipped on their own leaks and then on torrents of bad news. But to this day they continue their disingenuous ways — presenting failed war policies as progress, for example, even though we in the media are now bolder, mainly because it has become fashionable, and because even through all the fog of disinformation, the American public caught on.
Still, the president and the White House persist. There’s a word for that: shameless.