|January 22, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
Bush's Bold Vision is Rhetoric: Bush's Utter Failure is Stunning Incompetence
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
We were not surprised to unfurl the Chicago Sun-Times Friday morning (1/21) to see a full page photo of a grinning, designer-dressed "First Family" leaving the White House for the inauguration with the headline: "Bush's Bold Vision: 'The Survival of Liberty in our Land Increasingly Depends on the Success of Liberty in Other Lands.'"
We were lucky we hadn't eaten breakfast yet.
You see, Karl Rove had met with the White House propaganda staff shortly after the November "vote," and they decided to focus on the theme of freedom and liberty to drape around Bush for the inauguration. It was to become a Teflon-coated mantle for the "Pet Goat" leader. They wouldn't mention Iraq, because, well, it's an utter failure, with thousands upon thousands dead and wounded in a war that knows no ends. And it's a little hard to discuss Iraq when Bush and Cheney both now admit that there were no WMDs -- and that they've called off the search. To put it quaintly, they have been proven liars on multiple accounts in terms of leading a nation to war.
So, the Bush Administration is always ready with a new script. It's like watching a television series. You tune in each week to find out what the writers have in store for you. Never mind if the house next to you blows up, the fiction on the tube is more "real" than the reality next door.
The basic premise of the inauguration was this: wrap liberty and freedom around Bush -- and then anyone who opposes Bush's policies opposes liberty and freedom. Got it?
Reality doesn't matter much anymore to the mainstream media. They have a White House script to follow, and the real news is an unpleasant intrusion that they can't allow to distract from the "show in progress."
We have a man in the White House who cavalierly responds to a question about what happened to bin Laden with the answer, "He's hiding." We have a White House that failed to take actions to prevent hijackings prior to 9/11 even though they were directly and explicitly warned of Al-Qaeda plans for hijacking planes in America. We have an administration that lied almost hourly about WMDs and dismissing doubters as traitors who aided terrorists. Now, when no WMDs are found, the administration just shrugs its shoulders, as if to say, "What's the big deal?"
We also have an administration that sanctioned torture and put our troops in jeopardy because the same torture can be used against them. The torture scandal continues to unfold daily, in all its horror, and the White House and Defense Department act as if it's just a few bad apples, while the architect of Torture Inc. gets promoted to Attorney General. And the National Security Advisor who failed again and again in her duties is given a "second chance" as Secretary of State by the likes of naive Joe Biden, always eager to lend a helping hand to incompetence.
But the liberty in America which is threatened daily by various Bush administration efforts to savage our Bill of Rights through administrative fiat, the passage of various iterations of Anti-Patriot Acts, and the actions taken in secret courts, is suddenly dependent upon wars in distant shores that the Bush Administration turns into catastrophes. So we are told. It's in the White House script, you see.
Never has a non-totalitarian news media so failed to demand that words be measured by actions and failures, not by the mere recitation of the latest script.
The headline of a recent commentary by Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page captures the cavalier essence of this hideous farce, "Bush's promises? Oh, never mind."
And Congressional Democrats, with rare exception, also appear unable to hold Republicans accountable for their actual failed and incompetent behavior that threatens our national security. Republicans, on the other hand, are experts at blowing up the most minor of Democratic indiscretions into impeachable offenses. And the media has no relative value scale to judge what is a threat to our national security and what isn't, what is a serious ethical lapse and what isn't.
If they did, most of this administration would be serving time by now.
The mainstream press just goes with the Republican script, because it's all entertainment now anyway. We are all just watching a story unfold on television and in the newspapers and on the radio. And there's no room for the real political news. It would be too upsetting to Stepford voters -- and it hurts advertising revenue.
Apparently, the President of CBS, who has no news experience and is a part-time actor, is thinking of luring Katie Couric over to replace Dan Rather. He -- it is rumored -- wants to change the format of the CBS evening news into more of a "Today Show" style news/entertainment/marketing program.
And who could argue with him? In a nation that has a draconian legal policy toward drug use and indulgent notion toward hedonistic use of alcohol, who could object that it has found its perfect narcotic in a political/entertainment/news convergence that knows how to stick with the script.
It's all about entertainment, profits and powers.
What do democracy, actual deeds and enlightened public policy debate have to do with the news?
Nothing, it appears.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL