As we near the end of the first year of Obama's administration, with the excitement of losing two governor ships of dubious importance, and the media's insistance that Obamania is dead, I thought we should look back and remember just how grateful we all are that Bush and his cronies are out of the Oval Office.
To do that, I'll turn to my friend Frank Rich, in The Greatest Story Ever Sold. So we all knew the media was/is completely complicit in managing Bush propaganda, but I don't remember hearing all of these stories in those awful years. The gist is that about 1.6 billion dollars was spent, by the administration, that means "government spendin'" to you wingnuts, on creating fake news to be devoured by major news networks. In otherwords, actual government agencies, creating fake news reports to extol Bush programs. Again, to the wingnuts, or perhaps, nutbaggers, that is "facism."
Rich highlights a couple of them, pg 166-172.
The Department of Health and Human Services, devoted $124 million to sell the public on how great Bush's Medicare reforms were. That's right, these reforms. These "freelance journalists" were actually shills. This is old news, but remember Bush Remembrance Day is a time for old news.
Another oldie but goodie is when Armstrong Williams was $240,000 to shill for "No Child Left Behind." He was issued citations for it by the FCC.
And let's not forget my personal favorite, Jeff Gannon. Or should I say James D. Guckert. Who was issued a press pass by the White House, and sidelined as a gay prostitute. Scotty McClellan would regularly, during tense moments (the only tense moments in a Bush press grilling were when he stumbled over his failure to grasp the English language). To quote Rich, "A close reading of the transcripts of televised White House press briefings over the preceding two years revealed that at uncannily crucial moments, "Jeff" was called on by McClellan to field softballs and stanch stuff questioning on such topics as Abu Ghraib and Rove's possible involvement in the outing of the CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson." (pg. 172).
Ah the memories, it makes just about everything that has occurred in the newsosphere over the last year pale in comparison.