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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Pattern Recognition in the Bush Media Era

by Danny Schechter

In a remarkable video constructed by David Olson and posted on some months back, we hear President Bush speaking explicitly in one of his often incoherent speeches about “catapulting the propaganda.” The President shares his belief—and no doubt the advice of his advisors that repetition of key phrases and message points is essential to influencing public opinion.

“See in my line of work,” he told students in Rochester New York on May 24, 2005. “you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

It is this key Pavlovian insight that animates the GOP media offensive and is often critical to its success. Let me repeat: It is this key Pavlovian insight that…..” How else to let “the truth to sink in?”

Here we have a President who seems so flustered and unfocussed revealing just how calculated he is about what he says and how he says it. He knows he is spewing propaganda and is proud of it.

In a media environment of so much “noise,” clutter and contentious argument, oft repeated simplistic phrases easily break though into public consciousness at a time when impressions and thought by association often drives meaning.

This approach is not fact-based but rather uses symbols and stylized sincerity more than serious explanation. That’s why it’s effective in an already dumbed down media environment.

Another favorite tactic is producing events with carefully chosen backdrops and organizing pre-planned well orchestrated events.

The President’s secret mission to save the mission in Iraq is the latest example of pre-emptive warfare by media to create a basis for looking tough and acting optimistically while the sh-t hits the fan. His audience most assuredly were not Iraqis but Americans for whom this kind of political theater seems to work well. With showbiz values already driving news biz presentations, Bush has been able to stoke up his supporters without changing anything on the ground. In this way, he can look like a winner while losing.
read the rest......
Pattern Recognition in the Bush Media Era


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