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It was a good war. (For some.)

Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., repeatedly lobbied Tony Blair to invade Iraq. In the days leading up to the invasion, Tony Blair's Director of Communications wrote that "(Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc. Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got." The phone call in question took place just days before a crucial vote on Iraq, and was one of three personal calls from Murdoch that Blair received in that week alone. Blair recently testified, admitting an "unhealthy" level of closeness with Murdoch, oftentimes communicating more with him than with his own ministers. In the first 19 days following the invasion of Iraq, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 236% increase from the weeks preceding the war. Huge increases in newspaper sales were seen throughout his global media empire, with advertising revenue soaring to record levels. That empire now faces serious calls for it to be broken up.
posted by markkraft on Jun 16, 2012 - 62 comments

"War Made Easy" A Movie On How Government Deception and the Conservative Media (includeds NYT & NPR, national pentagon radio) has fostered War.

“War Made Easy" is a documentary with Sean Penn narrating, and is based on a book by Norman Solomon . This is an award winning expose on how the American Public has been led into a 50-year pattern of government deception and spin, dragging the United States from one war into another. Remarkably this film exhumes archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations. Brutally persuasive this film presents disturbing examples of propaganda from those we want to believe in.
posted by Rancid Badger on Sep 29, 2007 - 51 comments

Unpopular premier slams popular press

The UK media is like a "Feral Beast", and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2007 - 21 comments

Disenthralling America

Keith Olbermann's Edward R. Murrow* moment: A Textbook Definition of Cowardice. MSNBC's host excoriates Bush, FOX News host Chris Wallace, and the media for its response to former president Clinton's "tantrum" [still being discussed here]. Note: Don't just read the transcript. Watch the video, because Olbermann's use of visuals adds greatly to the power of his presentation. No matter which side of the red/blue-state divide you're on, students of politics and media will be reviewing this clip for years to come as a little cultural watershed -- if only a consummate example of "Democrat" angerTM.
posted by digaman on Sep 26, 2006 - 169 comments

The Hiding of the President

Keep Bush away from the press. Joe Scarborough (in the news lately for asking rude questions about the President's intelligence) opines that "If George Bush has lost his ability to give a commanding presser, then stage manage him differently. Play to his strengths... Show him only in settings where he is in control." Curiously, while Bush's press conferences have become unsetllingly less coherent in recent days -- even for him -- the so-called liberal media and even the blogosphere have barely mentioned it (perhaps in the spirit of preserving the dignity of the office, like FDR's wheelchair?) Example: watch this video -- what happens at 1:34 or so, right before the President abruptly terminates the questioning? Will Bush in his twilight years, as Foxborough advises, become like Ronald Reagan, protected from public humiliation by his faithful staff?
posted by digaman on Aug 22, 2006 - 156 comments

Ava Lowery, propagandist

Ava Lowery is a 15 year old master of flash-based propaganda, and burgeoning media sensation. Lowery's clips (especially this one but also ones like this and this (more here)), have been described as mere facile emotionalism. Others however regard her work as courageous and truthful. She was enlisted to express the soul of the movement for the recent Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas. One thing's for sure: Lowery's method of story telling leaves traditional media confused and bewildered.
posted by washburn on Jun 29, 2006 - 113 comments

Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush

Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush In this excerpt from his book, Eric Boehlert writes about how "[c]owardly and clueless, the U.S. media abandoned its post as Bush led the country into a disastrous war. A look inside one of the great journalistic collapses of our time."
posted by shivohum on May 7, 2006 - 67 comments

Downgrading the Fourth Estate

Rollback. Media critic Jay Rosen rises above the McClellan/"shake-up" foofaraw to put several pieces of the puzzle together and show how the Bush administration has significantly altered the long-standing relationship of the press to the White House. (More from Rosen here.) Another piece that fits: Donald Rumsfeld's bold, frequent, and rarely-challenged assertions that the American press is being expertly "manipulated" by Al Qaeda "media committees" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by digaman on Apr 20, 2006 - 19 comments

Is the News Media in Iraq practicing "compensatory criticism"?

The big payback in Iraq. Last night on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, ROBERT LICHTER, President, Center for Media and Public Affairs put forth the following: You know, Charlie Peter, a great Washington journalist, once said, "The message of Watergate was dig, dig, dig, but journalists thought the message was act tough." And so I think you're getting negative coverage that may be kind of compensatory criticism.

Should the news focus more on the optimistic elements or is it reflecting public opinion. Is "compensatory criticism" justified for what it might wrongly perceive as possible White House manipulation during the run up to the war?
posted by Skygazer on Mar 23, 2006 - 22 comments

A Presidency in Shadow

Notice: henceforth, the Minister of War shall address the people only through the Ministry of Truth. The story-behind-the-story of the Vice President's hunting mishap is the denigration of the MSMTM as the traditional proxy of the public interest, says NYU journalism professor and media critic Jay Rosen. "It strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is," Cheney told cherry-picked Fox "News" correspondent Brit Hume yesterday. GOP spokesperson Mary Matalin underlined the point by saying that Cheney considered holding a news conference, but that "would have meant a lot of grandstanding" by reporters; Donald Rumsfeld often goes even farther, claiming that terrorist organizations manipulate the American press directly through "media committees." Judging by the administration's contempt for the Fourth Estate, says Rosen, "The public visibility of the presidency itself is under revision. More of it lies in shadow all the time. Non-communication has become the standard procedure, not a breakdown in practice but the essence of it." Even arch-conservative pundits like George Will are starting to get nervous about the lack of check and balances under the current regime. There's no doubt that the White House press corps seems angrier these days -- but are they missing the bigger stories by focusing their wrath on Scott McClellan's birdshot spin?
posted by digaman on Feb 16, 2006 - 34 comments

Don't Bomb Us.

Don't Bomb Us. In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar (discussed here and here on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues, firsthand accounts of US attacks on their offices, links to relevant reports on the controversy, Flickr photosets of protests calling for an official investigation, and al Jazeera's code of ethics. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments.
posted by edverb on Nov 26, 2005 - 117 comments

God Bless Helen Thomas

Being Press Secretary is a difficult job. Link to a hilariously uncomfortable transcript of Scott McClellan dancing his way through a White House press briefing doing his best to clarify whether or not the American government sanctions terror.
posted by jonson on Nov 9, 2005 - 52 comments

Lights, camera, empathy!

Lights, camera, empathy! The Bush adminstration has gone to great lengths and great expense to create just the right image... from the "magic hour light" Mission Accomplished speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to hiring a small floatilla of barges with floodlights to illuminate the Statue of Liberty, to sticking his head on Mount Rushmore. It seems a bit absurd, however, to spend a huge amount of money to bring in lighting crews and massive theatrical floodlights to bathe a building blue in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. They even took the time to reset the clocktower back to the correct time. Why didn't they just use the building's existing white lights instead? Did they need the lights to match the president's shirt? Note that his sleeves are rolled up and his collar is unbuttoned. It sure is hard work rebuilding New Orleans, isn't it?
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 16, 2005 - 129 comments

The Matrix shatters in New Orleans

The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) -- and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft]
posted by digaman on Sep 3, 2005 - 100 comments

Hey! Turd blossom! Get in here!

If the president can say it, why can't Gary Trudeau?
posted by ZachsMind on Jul 26, 2005 - 59 comments

The Emperor's New Hump

The Emperor's New Hump In the weeks leading up to the November 2 election, the New York Times was abuzz with excitement. Besides the election itself, the paper’s reporters were hard at work on two hot investigative projects, each of which could have a major impact on the outcome of the tight presidential race. One week before Election Day, the Times (10/25/04) ran a hard-hitting and controversial exposé of the Al-Qaqaa ammunition dump—identified by U.N. inspectors before the war as containing 400 tons of special high-density explosives useful for aircraft bombings and as triggers for nuclear devices, but left unguarded and available to insurgents by U.S. forces after the invasion. On Thursday, just three days after that first exposé, the paper was set to run a second, perhaps more explosive piece, exposing how George W. Bush had worn an electronic cueing device in his ear and probably cheated during the presidential debates.
posted by Postroad on Feb 5, 2005 - 121 comments

Move along media... nothing to see here...

Seems the media's STILL scared of looking too closely into BUSH's history... and WHO helps him cover up on the way...
posted by samlam on Jan 25, 2005 - 8 comments

ten-gallon-hat leadership style?

Person of the Year. TIME magazine reveals their pick. Is anyone surprised?
posted by wfrgms on Dec 19, 2004 - 81 comments

Who care what happened 25 years ago

"Any day in which Bush's Nat'l Guard service is the dominant news story is a lost day for the Kerry campaign." As another round of media yadayada (see below) is about to emerge over President Bush's National Guard service or lack thereof, Noam Scheiber explains why this is probably very bad news for ... Kerry. We know who Bush is. The election is about the future, not the past. Scheiber's point may have been made in the MeFi thread referenced above, but I'm afraid I lost consciousness after a screen or so.
posted by mojohand on Sep 8, 2004 - 87 comments

House of Bush, House of Saud, House of Cards?

House of Bush, House of Saud, House of Cards? A superb, reasoned discussion of "How Does the Saudi Relationship With the Bush Family Affect U.S. Foreign Policy?" - regardless of which side you might agree with, it's one of the very few calm, rational media conversations on this topic.
posted by twsf on Jul 7, 2004 - 23 comments

Unger chews Isikoff a new one

The Newsweek-Fahrenheit wars - Michael Isikoff's "seven errors, distortions and selective omissions of crucial information" detailed by Craig Unger, "House of Bush, House of Saud" author (read excerpts of his book at Salon.com, for members or by a "day pass") Isikoff has heavily cited Unger's book but, it seems, not bothered to read Unger's generously provided source files. "Liberal" PBS is not excluded, as credulous (or ignorant) "On the Media" host Bob Garfield's July 2 interview with Isikoff demonstrates. What shall we call such pervasive, ongoing and seemingly willful patterns of inaccuracy, distortion, and selective omission?
posted by troutfishing on Jul 7, 2004 - 34 comments

Challenging Bush.

Challenging Bush. The White House has thrown a bit of a tantrum over Irish reporter Carole Coleman's confrontational approach to interviewing the president (watch the interview here or here). No-one's allowed to interrupt him any more, apparently.
posted by ascullion on Jun 26, 2004 - 77 comments

Press Going Too Easy on Bush

Bottom-Line Business Pressures Hurting Press Coverage, Say Journalists. "Press Going Too Easy on Bush" survey finds. This and more in the annual State of the News Media report, paid for and sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts (non profit established by the children of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew).
posted by stbalbach on Jun 9, 2004 - 19 comments

It's leaking all over my democracy

Bush orders officials to stop the leaks. News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately. And speaking of leaks, two U.S. officials are the primary sources of information about Israel's Harpoon cruise missiles which may or may not be used to attack Iran.
posted by dejah420 on Oct 16, 2003 - 25 comments

It's not censorship if it doesn't work

GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq They claim that the ad itself is dishonest, and cite the obligation of broadcast outlets to be free of misleading information. “Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.” Despite the implicit threats, only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jul 23, 2003 - 74 comments

a sudden fakery of ideas

The keepers of the Bush image lift stagecraft to new heights. "We pay particular attention to not only what the president says but what the American people see," Mr. Bartlett said. "Americans are leading busy lives, and sometimes they don't have the opportunity to read a story or listen to an entire broadcast. But if they can have an instant understanding of what the president is talking about by seeing 60 seconds of television, you accomplish your goals as communicators. So we take it seriously."
posted by four panels on May 16, 2003 - 23 comments

White House media advisor spins the war in London.

White House media advisor spins the war in London. President Bush has sent "military advisors" to Yemen, Georgia and the Philippines to help with the war on terrorism. Did anyone know he sent his #2 media man, Tucker Eskew, to London as a "media advisor" to Tony Blair's #1 media man, Alastair Campbell, to help spin the war to the Brits?

Do you think a U.S. administration would ever agree to a foreign government rep "advising" them on how to talk to their citizens? Or do they already?
posted by busbyism on Mar 20, 2002 - 9 comments

At the risk of reopening this recount thread - The Economist is running this rather sarcastic correction in their current edition, along with this strange little 'What if Gore Was President' article. Does this signal that the Age of Irony is not, in fact, dead - or did someone at The Economist just not get the memo?
posted by anastasiav on Nov 16, 2001 - 10 comments

Press sez "good", public sez "bad"

Press sez "good", public sez "bad" I'm not posting this story to discuss Bush's EU tour (lord knows we've done that one to death), but rather to examine this line: "Mr. Bush's European tour, though it drew largely upbeat news coverage, did not appear to help him in the eyes of the public." I'm a pretty big believer that the media (oh, let's just go ahead and capitalize it: "The Media") plays a huge role is shaping public perceptions of politicians, and I too thought the coverage of Bush's EU trip was pretty positive -- certainly in comparison to the "he's gonna go over there and get suckerpunched" predictions they were running before his departure. And, still, his numbers go down. What do you think? How large an influence does The Media really have? Does the public just believe what Peter Jennings tells 'em, or is it possible that, *gasp*, they can think for themselves?
posted by Shadowkeeper on Jun 21, 2001 - 32 comments

That dude that's been doing the Gore vs. Bush graphics for CNN has outdone himself. It looks like Gore is actually trying to bite Bush's head... Egads!
posted by Niccola Six on Nov 29, 2000 - 16 comments

Bush receives more newspaper endorsements.

Bush receives more newspaper endorsements. Also, editors are predicting a Bush win. While I wince and grimace at the thought of that man in office, I also think the editors are deluded in thinking they have much influence over their readers' voting habits.
posted by Mo Nickels on Nov 2, 2000 - 7 comments

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