The 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 crony capitalism
Science is now garbage science
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
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
The Bush Administration orchestrated a fake presidential chat with the troops
in Iraq, who were coached for each "impromptu" question by White
House spin doctors.
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 to
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
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 photo imagery.
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.
Andrew Bosworth, PhD. teaches Political Science at a university
in Texas. This is the first installment in an upcoming book, American Apocalypse.
Andrew can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.