As the propaganda wall starts to crack and glimpses of the truth are seen by those who have been trapped in the "network ghetto," the Bush administration propaganda machinery is smoking in its effort to counter the flow of truth.


In the past week, I have been tracking propaganda trends in radio, TV, online and print media. A very clear general trend is apparent: the Bush machine is pulling out the stops. Representatives from the anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-healthcare for the masses corporate front group The American Enterprise Institute are turning up as "experts" everywhere, from NBC to C-SPAN to NPR and PBS. Fred Thompson, the rightwing former Congressman turned actor, is turning up as a "spokesman" for the Bushies at least half a dozen corporate front websites and was given a big cameo slot on Tom Brokaw's nightly news on Friday (4/18), where he delivered one of the most thinly veiled threatening statements to dissenters I've heard. After reading a poem about how Americans owe EVERYTHING to soldiers, not statesmen, poets, or social activist leaders, Thompson blasted Tim Robbins for saying that he supports the troops, but not the war. Thompson: "It's not like we're trying to abrogate anyone's constitutional rights, but you're walking a pretty thin line when you support the troops but you don't support what they are doing." After this menacing little bit, the alleged "journalist" narrating the slot, Roger O’Neill closes with this statement: "If it were not for the brave [solider, i.e.], there would be no home of the free." It is hard to imagine that anyone at NBC has any illusions that this represents "journalism."

The Freep attacks are escalating, too, and now attacking moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe as well as Democrats and Greens. The Freep attacks against Congress folk are being orchestrated by the Club for Growth, a noxious propaganda engine funded in large part by the odious bigot Tom Delay and his friends in the corporazzi. Club for Growth is a corporate front group, make no mistake. Their biggest thrust is ramming the tax cut down America's throat no matter what and now matter how so that their funders, ie, the "captains of industry" hoarding 95% of America's wealth can scoop up even more via a tax handout.

That the rightwingers are becoming increasing vicious and, thankfully, heavy-handed (makes their strategy so much more obvious even to the dimmest witted) became more obvious this week. The new buzzword: liberalism is a "disease." Liberals are pessimists" while rightwingers have "beautiful minds."

The Bush factions are now shoving their propaganda through every crack in the door they can find. The worst thing I noticed this week was the increasing use of moderate public forums by rightwing operatives. C-SPAN seemed to have more obviously planted callers (like the woman who started out with a southern accent that turned into an Aussie accent as she stumbled along through her script). Talk of the Nation had a guest who was supposed to be talking about the increased use of the Internet by the public during the war - but the spin was heavily toward directing people away from liberal sites and (repeatedly) toward google news (which of course, is now affiliated with the outrageously Bush-slanted AOL).

At a White House Press Conference, fanatical Christian Zionist Les Kinsolving was allowed to dominate the last 5 minutes, laying out a belligerent, obviously prescripted case for invading Syria as a "question" to Ari Fleischer. (Kinsolving has been used by rightwing presidents in this way since Nixon, while by contrast, his perpetual post in the White House Press Corps was used to bash Clinton in the 90s).

As people start to notice things, even on the network news, such as the lack of real crowds in the streets during supposed "jubilant celebrations" by Iraqis, the networks are ramping up the classic propaganda to distract viewers from the truth. For example, to keep people from noticing the lack of WMDs being found, we are being treated to lurid stories of "hundreds of people in Basra" who were horribly tortured by Saddam - he cut their ears off!!! etc. (remember the bogus paper shredder story and the "babies torn from incubators" story?). To distract us from the footage of the trashed museums, we are now being shown heartwrenching films of the Baghdad zoos suffering animals (suffering mostly from the American invasion, but this isn't mentioned)...and how the kindly American soldiers are taking care of them (of course we aren't shown footage of kindly Americans blowing away gazelles or, for that matter, civilians). In short, folks, the propaganda assault is in progress and the need for counterspin is more critical now than ever before as the Bushies start to feel backed into a corner. We must keep speaking up, calling news people and corporate front reps on C-SPAN, Talk of the nation, etc. and callers on their crap. They are counting on a post-war refractory period, with the "reasonable majority" backing off and taking a breather. Instead, now is the time to stage our own renewed "assault on the citadel."

Bush Propaganda Machine Turned Up Full Blast
By Cheryl Seal

Posted on the Independent Newswire on 19 April 2003.