Writer of fiction, poetry and essays.

He’s “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”–Harry Reid, on candidate Barack Obama. 

“We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama,”–Rudy Giuliani, on Obama’s National Security policy.

Which statement is false?

Which statement got more press coverage?

Why?

As I have discussed here and here, an attempt seems to be going on to subtly revise history so that people forget George W. Bush was President on 9/11. 

One question I didn’t address in the earlier posts is: Who is doing it? Now, you might think it’s obviously the Republican party doing it, as part of an effort to rehabilitate the image of Republicans as better at National Defense. This is quite likely, although it seems like it would be simpler to demonize Bush, and claim that his Presidency is not typical of Republican ideology. 

But is there any other group that would have an incentive to make this effort?

This little item deserves a bit more attention, I think. First of all, I must admit I have a personal bias against Giuliani because, quite frankly, I am biased against jerks. The man is barely even a Republican in terms of his actual political policies (he used to be a Democrat, in fact) yet he has been using some of the worst elements of the Republican party to gain power for himself. That’s my opinion of him. 

But, his personal character aside, what’s actually interesting about this is that it seems to be part of a concerted effort to absolve Bush from blame for negligence in allowing 9/11 to happen.

The theory behind this goes like this: everybody makes a claim. They make it a lot. The claim will be analyzed, and, often, proven false; but that is irrelevant. The important thing is, if you get enough people saying it, someone who is utterly uninformed will hear it, and assume it’s true because he hasn’t got time to research it in depth. 

Like I said in my previous post, this isn’t the first time prominent people try to hammer home a stock line. I remember a montage on Rush Limbaugh’s show that illustrated this technique perfectly. This sort of thing goes on all the time in politics, and once you know about it, it becomes incredibly obvious. (Remember how every speech at the ’08 Democratic convention pointed out the similarities between McCain and Bush?)

That said, I don’t know if anyone has ever attempted revisionist history on this scale. I know the USSR infamously cropped pictures of people who’d displeased Stalin after they were executed, but this is something else entirely. 

What I wonder is:

1. Who is making this concerted effort?

2. Could it work? Will people really start to forget who was President on 9/11?

To be continued…

http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2010/01/rudy-giuliani-no-domestic-attacks-under-bush-one-under-obama.html

This is an excellent lesson in how politics works, and in how political parties can play the press. 

Giuliani is not alone, you see:

http://rawstory.com/2009/2009/12/gop-strategist-matalin-bush-inherited-911-attacks-clinton/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzpy1GdIeCY

It is curious, I think, that they all have been having this memory lapse. 

In seriousness, though, this is by no means a new technique, but I do think it is a tad brazen to do it with regards to something as obvious as a terrorist attack.

Just a quick point–it’s obvious if you think about it, but most people don’t:

It is nearly impossible for a journalist to be unbiased on any contentious issue. If you understand an issue well enough, you almost certainly have an opinion. If you have an opinion, you assume that your opinion reflects “The Truth”. And as a journalist, you must report “The Truth”.

That’s the date the rapture will occur, according to this biblical scholar. His reasoning is as follows, and I’m sorry I couldn’t put it in block quote form, but blogger’s software is screwed up.

“The number 5, Camping concluded, equals “atonement.” Ten is “completeness.” Seventeen means “heaven.” Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011. 

“Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.,” he began. “Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that’s 1,978 years.”

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days – the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.

Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.”

Full article here.

I must say, this is inspired. The Christians have to find some way to beat out the Mayans doomsday prophecies, and now they’re offering doomsday a whole six months earlier. This may well increase their market share.

As I have said, almost everyone seems to think the media is against them. However, as far as news media and Journalism is concerned, this charge has been obsolete since, at the latest, 2004. The internet has enabled people to easily access propaganda for any viewpoint they want. This is one argument many people made a few years ago, when there were rumors of a revival of the so-called “Fairness doctrine”. You don’t need any one News source to be unbiased when you have thousands of News sources that cater to various ideological, religious, or whatever persuasions. 

Now, this is true for News sources and journalism. But the argument I would expect (especially from Conservatives.) is that this is only the tip of the iceberg. The argument is this: It’s more than just journalism that is biased, it is all forms of entertainment. For example, witness the Conservative anger at the film “Avatar”.  That entire site exists because conservatives believe that Hollywood is biased heavily against them, with the vast majority of films containing messages and morals that are contrary to their worldview, and, more importantly, brainwash audiences in the same way.

All of this sounds extremely reasonable, (I have not researched it, but I personally suspect that, broadly speaking, movies have a bias that is generally liberal.) I can put my own political commentary on the internet with ease, but I am not, as of this writing, capable of producing a special-effects laden adventure film to advance my views. And really, which would you rather see?

So, if we extend the definition of media to include fiction movies, novels, non-political, non-news television shows, music, stage performances and video games, we may be getting somewhere. After all, if all this is biased against you, what chance do you really have?

Except the internet defeats even that. Think about Big Hollywood again: if you don’t like what you see in any of these entertainment forms, you go there and get to read people who agree, and see what they recommend as good entertainment for the conservative mind.  

Furthermore, I question the idea that people can be brainwashed by simply placing messages like this in entertainment media; I think audiences are not given enough credit by those believe that the mere presence of such biases can persuade them to change political views. 

To be continued…