Did I say devaluation?
February 20, 2002 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Did I say devaluation? Nothing important, just another presidential blunder that caused a bit of confussion among Japan traders. Here in Europe it's been all over the place in the news and I am surprised that that little detail has been absent of the main USA media. I'm sure I didn't do my (online) homework well, could you please help me?

Maybe is that the European media jumps at every oportunity to ridiculize Bush? Or is the american media protecting Bush image inside the USA?

Could things like this controversial Pentagon plan be the beguinning of a New Media War? We begin by hidding the little things and then we'll go for bigger and bigger blackouts, and then even lies?
posted by samelborp (17 comments total)
I saw it on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. Hardly hidden. My understanding was that the "confusion" lasted less than an hour.

BTW, Maybe you could pad your post with a couple more spaces next time. Also, congrats on surviving the recent British invasion.
posted by revbrian at 11:55 AM on February 20, 2002

The Office of Strategic Influence doesn't want you to know that we already talked about them here.
posted by ook at 12:01 PM on February 20, 2002

Now that is power.

This was covered best by... The Daily Show on Comedy Central (a comedy-oriented cable network we get in the States - not sure if it is seen in .eu or elsewhere).

It's simply a matter of the son upstaging the father. The father horked at a state dinner, so the son causes market turmoil by using the wrong word. Top that, Dad!

I'm waiting to see what the spin masters do with this one. Talk about being given a smoking hand grenade.

"We felt the Japanese market was overinflated and President Bush was trying to help them out."
posted by hadashi at 12:01 PM on February 20, 2002

It's good to know that the world's power money stokers act on such deep, insightful, due dilligence.
posted by HTuttle at 12:23 PM on February 20, 2002

Maybe is that the European media jumps at every oportunity to ridiculize Bush? Or is the american media protecting Bush image inside the USA?

Kinda. Here if you so much as breathe anything that remotely looks like a dig at the President you are branded as helping the terrorist.

Shortly after 11 September a couple of journalist were fired (scroll down to Collateral Damage heading) for writing unflattering articles about President GW Bush. I wouldn't be surprised if other journalist are reluctant to speak out.

Last night there was an interesting forum on NPR (in conjunction with WAMU), and some of the panelist were reporters who were on the campaign trail with Bush. They touched on the fact that the current climate isn't very forgiving when it comes to questioning the president.
posted by terrapin at 12:51 PM on February 20, 2002

Which side is the president on?? I mean come on, he could have said something like "I believe that Taliban owned companies are not wise investments" or something along those lines.

Exactly precisely HOW did this country get to this point?? I don't see a clear historical precedent for this character being in power. We are truly living in the dumbassed now, doubleparked between life and death.

I supppose criticism of the president, while totally valid and productive, is not striking the root of the situation. When I hear news like this it makes me suspect that the whole financial community is very well connected and very small - not run by numbers but by rumour and self interest. That makes me more nervous than when the president being an idiot. Markets controlled by human beings rather than market forces?? eeeeek.
posted by Settle at 1:16 PM on February 20, 2002

I've seen this story everywhere as well. Please don't take off the tinfoil hats people! Otherwise they get in your brains.
posted by owillis at 1:34 PM on February 20, 2002

i can only assume that when someone makes this many verbal errors that they don't know what they're talking about.
posted by ggggarret at 1:36 PM on February 20, 2002

It should be noted that the Japanese currency's value was affected by up to two tenths of one percent. Charting this this blip in context -- from day to day it may fluctuate more than a full percentage point. (I did look for one of the open markets on Monday, but no luck.)

HTuttle: watch CNBC more regularly and you'll see that they react easily to the slightest of rumors. The fact is that a stable currency, like a stable stock, is of little value to traders. It is the changes and fluctuations that allow them to make money.
posted by dhartung at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2002

It registered only a blip on CNN, Fox and MSNBC. Did not see it at all in my local newspaper. Absolutely, the U.S. media protects Bush. They did it during the election by reporting only a few of his rampant word fumbles and they continue to do it today.
posted by fleener at 2:16 PM on February 20, 2002

It registered only a blip on CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

Yeah, they should've broken into regular programming and stayed on this story for hours: The president misspoke!

For what it's worth, the Boston Globe had it in a front-page story on Tuesday. Although, quelle horreur, it was only in the second paragraph of the story.
posted by agaffin at 2:44 PM on February 20, 2002

From today's Best of the Web:

A False News Story About False News Stories?
A story in yesterday's New York Times about the Pentagon's new Office of Strategic Influence begins as follows:
The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said.
The claim that the Pentagon was going to put out false news stories caused quite a stir, not least at the Times. An editorial today calls the plan a "misguided experiment in news manipulation." Over on the op-ed page, Maureen Dowd is in full froth:
We're the white hats, but we're planning a "black" propaganda campaign against the axis--and even the allies.

People at the Defense Department and elsewhere are cringing at the news that the Pentagon's shadowy new Office of Strategic Influence is plotting to plant deliberately false stories in the foreign press, with both feral and friendly nations.
But wait. Is the Pentagon really planning to spread false news stories? There's nothing in the original Times report, other than the aside in the lead paragraph, about false news stories, and indeed it sounds as though the "black" part of the office's efforts is distinct from the "public affairs" element, which is "white":
Headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations.

The new office "rolls up all the instruments within D.O.D. to influence foreign audiences," its assistant for operations, Thomas A. Times, a former Army colonel and psychological operations officer, said at a recent conference, referring to the Department of Defense. "D.O.D. has not traditionally done these things."

One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with foreign media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with the proposal said.

General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said.
Today's Washington Post carries a follow-up article entitled "Defense Dept. Divided Over Propaganda Plan," which leads us to think that the Times' editors and Dowd have been fooled into taking sides in a bureaucratic turf war.

In any case, the Times carries on its Web site today an Associated Press dispatch quoting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying that while the Pentagon may employ "tactical deception" to confuse the enemy--"if U.S. troops were about to launch an attack from the west, they might 'very well do things' that would make the enemy believe an attack was instead coming from the north, Rumsfeld says"--the Pentagon will not lie to the public or the press.
posted by aaron at 2:55 PM on February 20, 2002

i can only assume that when someone makes this many verbal errors that they don't know what they're talking about.

There are another is possibility: he who wrote not tongue English is of mother.

Saludos desde Barcelona!
posted by samelborp at 3:11 PM on February 20, 2002

Im not an expert on the bush families child raising strategies, but Im pretty sure english was his first language.
posted by Iax at 4:21 PM on February 20, 2002

Maybe it was an attempt to help some Enronesque buddies make up some of their recent losses through daytrading shenanigans....
posted by rushmc at 4:46 PM on February 20, 2002

It is difficult sometimes to distinguish the malevolent from the merely stupid.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:14 PM on February 20, 2002

Of course, the funny thing is that the yen probably should be devalued, but the Japanese bureaucracy is so resistant to the types of reform that are needed that everyone dances around the issue.

There's a good series of articles in this months Economist about the current state of Japan's economy.
posted by jaek at 8:41 PM on February 20, 2002

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