Saturday, March 11, 2006

Communication, Communication, Communication...

One of the problems with communication professionals is their underlying cannon that anyone can sell a dead skunk to a blind person by simply repeating over and over that it's actually a vintage mink coat.

In due time, the removed stink glands from the anus give way to stench from the corpse; and with nostrils aflame, the smell of death overtakes the poor sap.

Well, such is the case for Bush's Iraqi War, the metaphysical bush tailed polecat; and media consultants are just the latest snake oil sales force to hit the mean streets of Washington. No amount of perfumed boxes, ribbons and bows can wipe the cruel reality of dead GI's coming home in body bags wrapped inside flag-draped coffins. Inside those coffins are real and women who didn't need to die for a lie.

After three long years of happy-talk and 2,308 soldiers dead, 17,004 wounded, and who knows how many civilians killed with over $246 billion spent, isn't it time for the media to quit enabling our Drunkard-in-Chief? Eventually you have to confront him and tell him no more booze, even if it means you have to admit you were duped; you bought the skunk coat.

The Washington Post keeps covering up for Bush's War. Message to folks in the media (i.e. Fred Hiatt), you bought the coat from the affable souse, and now you're stuck with the stink and the carcass, but for the sake of our country, expose him; stop giving lines to his lies.

This morning, readers of The Washington Post were treated to a gem of a story on page A-3, "Bush Goes on Offensive to Explain War Strategy, Speeches to Combat Public Pessimism."

Well, at least the Post had the decency to not front-page the non-story.

Think Progress had a great analysis on the topic. I mean, as they ask, how many times will newspapers continue to "headline" the same tired meme "that we have seen [so] frequently over the past three years"?

The article, like previous ones with similar headlines, posits that public dissatisfaction with the war has intensified because Bush has not “explained” it well. The story notes, “The president hopes to give ‘better depth, understanding and context for how the strategy in Iraq is unfolding,’ a senior White House official said of the planned speeches.” A quick review of old headlines, however, shows that Bush has been given ample opportunity to explain his Iraq strategy, but the public is no longer buying his bill of goods:
Indeed, the Bush administration is tone-deaf and blind, and it certainly looks like they might've bought a skunk coat of their own. No doubt communication gurus with hefty consulting fees have been telling them they can sell anything with the right message packaging.

Election fraud? No problem. Secret energy meetings? No problem. Exhaustive tax breaks for the rich? No problem. Jobs for your buds? No problem. Needless war? No problem. No bid contracts for friends? No problem. Massive deficits? No problem. Warrantless spying? No problem. Lackluster economy? No problem, more tax cuts. Why just think how pretty America will look in her brand spanking new skunk coat!

On topic, this morning The New York Times showed the world why they are the number one newspaper in the country. Their lede, "Bush Is Business as Usual Despite Party Grumbles" pins the tail on the skunk. In talking with their inside sources, it's clear Bush and Company worship at the altar of media packaging.

"They have a transmitter but not a listening device," said one well-known Republican with close ties to the administration who gets calls from White House staff members. "They'll say, 'What are you hearing, what's going on?' You tell them things aren't good on the Hill, you've got problems here, you've got problems there, or 'I was in Detroit and boy did I get an earful.' And their answer is, 'Everybody's just reading the headlines, we've got to get our message out better.' There's denial going on, and it starts at the top."
Reminds me of an old Aretha Franking song, "Whose zooming who?" In perfect poetic irony, looks like the hunter got captured by the game. But just the same, please dear Washington Post, no more stories about soon-to-come skunk coat sales.

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