Okay, so we know now that the Bush administration has been using all kinds of devious means to push propaganda on the American public--fake news generated by the Pentagon for overseas, and ultimately, courtesy of blowback, U.S. consumption, fake news reports by fake reporters peddled to local TV stations, bought reporters and syndicated columnists paid to shill for the administration's policies, and even fake reporters salted into the White House press corps to ask puffball questions if the president or press secretary start getting too much heat.
But why is this all happening? Surely the Bush administration isn't the first to push its story out there. And sure, the administration should take some of the blame for this Soviet-style manipulation of public opinion.
But what about the media?
This column already made the point that if the White House press corps were doing its job and asking tough, probing questions, James Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, would have stood out like a stallion with a hard-on--er, excuse me, a sore thumb.
But what about the "Karen and Mike Show," those fake "news reports" by fake reporters which were sent directly to local TV stations across the country by the DEA and the Department of Health and Human Services, where they were often aired without question as local reports on administration activities. Do local news shows have so little concern about the content and veracity of their programs that they would just run a report by a reporter they don’t even know without fact-checking it and checking on the credentials of the reporter? Of course not! They had to know that the reports they were broadcasting were from government agencies and were nothing but blatant propaganda. This is the video equivalent of publishing press releases verbatim.
And what self-respecting newspaper would do that?
Oops! Lots of newspapers do that--and not just government press releases. They publish corporate press releases verbatim, too. Just scan the business pages of the New York Times.