|April 29, 2006|
A Commentary on the Tony Snow Job*
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
The appointment of Fox "News" Channel (F"N"C) propagandist Tony Snow as White House Press Secretary has aroused a lot of comment. For example, very early on, the Center for American Progress drew attention to the fact that for some time now Snow has been a critic of Bush, from the Right. The question was raised, how does that make sense, how could Snow do the job, which supposedly includes defending the President?
Well, it all comes down to defining exactly which job Snow was hired to do. In this space I am going to take a short crack at answering that question. First: what the job is surely not, based on how the various Georgite operatives occupying the space have handled it up to now. It is surely not to answer questions forthrightly, honestly, and openly. It is surely not to establish a cooperative relationship between the White House and the media. It is surely not to increase the amount of information made available to the American people about the Executive Branch of their government, how it operates, and what it is doing.
So, if we know what it is not, just what is it? There is a series of answers to that question, not all of which will be covered in this space. But understanding them requires first an understanding that when in a Constitutional Democracy a regime is marching towards the substitution of fascism for it, that regime has three main targets: the legislature, the independent judiciary, and the mass media. The right-wing Republican campaign to destroy the independence as well as the public trust of the mass media actually started several decades ago, and has been ramped up significantly under the Georgites. It helps to understand this appointment if it is seen in that context.
1. First, Snow is to revive the old CNN political show “Crossfire," where yelling and screaming was substituted for rational discussion and disagreement over significant political issues. Reduce reporters to jelly by yelling at them, literally or figuratively, whether they yell back or not, is job one.
2. Further demean and disdain the media, treating them as untrustworthy and unimportant. Obfuscate, conceal, distract, distort, and lie, with more skill than any previous holder of the position.
3. Begin the merger of the Privatized Ministry of Propaganda, of which F"N"C is the prime property, into the government.
4. Mollify the right-wing base by having a “Bush critic" in place, a highly visible one. Doing so also makes Bush appear as if he can be subject to criticism, while all the while he is being pushed towards even more far-out positions that in his gut he would actually like to take.
5. Snow is not a “newsman." He is a voice of Radical Right-wing Republicanism. Hiring him clearly demonstrates what the Georgites think that “news" is all about --- as made so clear every day by the F"N"C (which I do watch, folks): PROPAGANDA.
The Volkischer Beobachter (the Nazi Party’s daily “newspaper") is right around the corner.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and a weekly Contributing Author for The Political Junkies (www.thepoliticaljunkies.net).
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