A BuzzFlash Editorial Commentary
DECEMBER 13, 2001
What a Coincidence?
After a several day public relations buildup, the Bush administration released an incriminating videotape of Osama bin Laden today. Why did they go through a clearly strategic delay in letting the public see the tape?
BuzzFlash believes that the timing of the release was calculated to minimize coverage of two other announcements on Thursday: Bush formally stated that he will pull out of the ABM treaty, and he also claimed executive privilege on information sought Congress.
By creating a heightened curiosity about the video, the Karl Rove PR machine followed the classic Hollywood publicity technique of building up excitement for a movie to draw record crowds to the opening night.
In this case, the Bush administration wanted to smother coverage of another White House grab at locking the door on the public's right to know and a highly controversial step toward re-igniting a nuclear arms race.
Of course, the bin Laden tape will be the featured attraction on the nightly news. Americans are addicted to the B-movie (this one sounds like it was made in someone's garage), and gripping visual footage is what television is all about.
So don't expect any great protest over two more egregious administration actions: one, another insidious affront to an open government, and the other one giant step back into a nuclear arms race.
Just remember, it's the grainy footage of the evildoer that counts, not the betrayal of democracy and the restoration of the cold war era.
For the executive privilege and ABM stories, come on over to BuzzFlash.com.
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