The Republican Propaganda
February 14 2006
by Andrew Bosworth
Republican Propaganda Machine is firing on all pistons. It has to be. The new agenda is about convincing conservatives to betray their core
The new Party Line is:
- Limited government is now
Big Brother government
- Free enterprise is now
- Science is now garbage
- Prudent use of force is
now permanent war
All governments play with
words and ideas, spinning things their way. But the Bush administration
is the first to bathe America in a sewer of propaganda: Free Speech
Zones; the Middle Class Tax Cuts; No Child Left Behind; the New Freedom
Initiative; the Clear Skies Act; the Data Quality Act, the Patriot Act
and Compassionate Conservatism all mean, in the real world, their
opposites. Consider the following egregious examples of propaganda:
- The White House even
concocted a fake news agency, Talon News, to provide a cover for a
fake reporter, Jeff Gannon, to lob fake questions at President Bush.
After suspicions arose, the White House spokesman, Scott McLellan,
denied that they were using Gannon to propagandize ("just a wild
conspiracy theory"). But proof soon came forward that Jeff Gannon
was his fake name, and that in real life he was a prostitute.
- Republicans in Congress
broadened the classification of "manufacturing" so much that even
the Starbuck's company qualifies as a manufacturer (and receives tax
breaks). Gregory Mankiw, one of Bush's economic advisors, proposed
redefining "manufacturing" to include making hamburgers. The
inclusion of McJobs as manufacturing would thus mask the loss of
real manufacturing jobs.
- The "Data Quality Act" prevents the federal government from
disseminating warnings about products if industries can produce,
with garbage science, countervailing data. The Act has been used
to harvest more timber, to treat playground equipment with arsenic,
and to suppress reports on the hazards of nickel.
- The White House regime
hired a professional public-relations firm, the Rendon Group, to
help sell the American public on the War in Iraq.
- President Bush repeatedly
juxtaposed "Saddam Hussein" and "Al Qaeda" in the same sentence,
implying a strong connection, and more than half of Americans were
fooled into believing that Saddam Hussein had something to do with
9-11. The result is the indirect fabrication of an enormous lie,
which recalls the words of Joseph Goebbels: "When one lies, one
should lie big, and stick to it."
- Condoleeza Rice, as
National Security Advisor, disseminated the even-then-suspicious
"Niger uranium" theory linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program and
then, when the theory was demonstrably false, she offloaded the
mistake to the CIA. (When it was a CIA report in the first place
that put the Niger uranium theory in doubt).
- The White House hoodwinked the media into airing countless "fake
news" segments: the fake Jessica Lynch story about being "rescued"
behind enemy lines (when in fact she was resting in a hospital and
retrieved with no hostile fire); the fake Pat Tillman story about
dying while fighting the enemy (he was killed by friendly fire); and
the toppling of Saddam's statue in front of a fake spontaneous crowd
(the sympathizers were bused in for the pre-arranged event).
- The Bush Administration
orchestrated a fake presidential chat with the troops in Iraq, who
were coached for each "impromptu" question by White House spin
In George Orwell's 1984, the
totalitarian regime of Oceania sponsored the creation of a new language,
"Newspeak," designed to impoverish vocabulary, narrow the range of
thought and limit critical reasoning.
A related concept, Orwellian
"doublethink," enabled people to hold two contradictory beliefs in one's
mind simultaneously. But 1984, a novel, was designed as a general
political comment. Who would have thought that newspeak and doublethink
were such prophetic concepts?
President Bush's destruction
of meaning, doublethink and circular reasoning:
- "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like
it's some kind of federal program."
- "This notion that the
United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.
And having said that, all options are on the table."
- "I want to send the
signal to our enemy that you have aroused a compassionate and decent
and mighty nation, and we're going to hunt you down."
- "We're a peaceful nation
and moving along just right and just kind of having a time, and all
of a sudden, we get attacked and now we're at war, but we're at war
to keep the peace."
- "I know what I believe. I
will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe -- I
believe what I believe is right."
In the United States, there
is little or no overt government censorship of the media. Instead,
there is "market censorship." This annihilates stories that are
unfavorable to corporate advertisers, media owners or dominant political
factions. Consider the following examples of how market censorship
dovetails with Republican propaganda.
- FOX News refused to
broadcast a commercial critical of Supreme Court nominee Samuel
Alito. The ad explored his support of the police in the case of a warrantless strip search of a mother and her 10-year-old daughter.
- FOX News cancelled a
story about hormones in the dairy industry of Florida (where
President Bush's brother Jeb is Governor) because of corporate
lobbying by Monsanto (the drug company that makes the hormone).
- Clear Channel and Cumulus
Media blacklisted the Dixie Chicks from their playlists because
Natalie Maines, the lead singer, expressed shame for coming from
Texas, the same state as George Bush.
- MSNBC cancelled the
highly-rated show by Phil Donohue (a liberal) and replaced it with a
program called Countdown: Iraq. MSNBC claimed that the Donohue show
suffered from poor ratings when its ratings were higher than
Hardball with Chris Matthews (a conservative). A leaked MSNBC memo
reveals the truth about executive concerns that the network would
become "… a home for the liberal anti-war agenda at the same time
that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."
- CBS bowed to the Republican National Committee and cancelled its
miniseries, "The Reagans," because it contained several unflattering
portrayals of Ronald and Nancy.
- ABC cancelled three
interviews with Robert Kennedy Jr. regarding his investigation of
thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines and linked
- CBS refused to air a
Moveon.org advertisement during the Super Bowl because it was
critical of President Bush's role in ballooning the federal deficit.
- CBS and NBC refused to
run a United Church of Christ advertisement because it implied that
gay couples were welcome.
- The National Drug Council
was allowed to air commercials linking marijuana smoking to
supporting terrorism. But Arianna Huffington was not allowed to
air commercials linking gas-guzzling cars to Middle Eastern
countries that support terrorism.
- The mainstream media
downplayed and eventually killed reports about President Bush
possibly being electronically wired for the first debate. This was despite analysis by a NASA scientist specializing in
The Republican Propaganda
Machine has benefited from having much of the media on its side –
particularly FOX News, which, as the network repeatedly points out, is
number one. As for the Bush regime itself, it continues to spew a toxic
torrent of misinformation, disinformation and propaganda.
PhD. teaches Political Science at a university in Texas. This is the first
installment in an upcoming book, American Apocalypse. Andrew can be