Friday, August 06, 2004

If you've ever found yourself in an empty room screaming at CNN, Paul Krugman's Tuesday column may reassure you about your sanity.
As the movie "Outfoxed" makes clear, Fox News is for all practical purposes a G.O.P. propaganda agency. ... CNN used to be different, but Campaign Desk, which is run by The Columbia Journalism Review, concluded after reviewing convention coverage that CNN "has stooped to slavish imitation of Fox's most dubious ploys and policies." Seconds after John Kerry's speech, CNN gave Ed Gillespie, the Republican Party's chairman, the opportunity to bash the candidate. Will Terry McAuliffe be given the same opportunity right after President Bush speaks? Commentators worked hard to spin scenes that didn't fit the script. Some simply saw what they wanted to see. On Fox, Michael Barone asserted that conventioneers cheered when Mr. Kerry criticized President Bush but were silent when he called for military strength. Check out the video clips at Media Matters; there was tumultuous cheering when Mr. Kerry talked about a strong America.Another technique, pervasive on both Fox and CNN, was to echo Republican claims of an "extreme makeover" - the assertion that what viewers were seeing wasn't the true face of the party.
But, in fact, hiding the true face of the party is what the REPUBLICANS will do in New York. They'll feature moderate pro-choice speakers and hide Tom DeLay and Donald Rumsfeld in a closet. The American Prospect satire on this subject, a la Raymond Chandler, begins:
It was one of those summer days in D.C. when people were ducking into steam baths to cool off. My feet were propped up on my desk, and just as I noticed that my shoes had started to sweat, the phone rang.
"How long has it been since you've heard a good 'My goodness'?" she asked in a voice that was all New York neo-con.
"Months," I answered. "What's it to you?"
"That's just it," she said. "Rumsfeld says 'My goodness' when he's good and steamed, or just every now and then. He's not said it in a while now. He's not really said anything. They've got to be shutting him up. Or worse," she added, and her voice started to tremble.

Near the end, the takeoff has Karl Rove chuckling:
Don't they understand that their role at election time is to hide? Lay low? Scram? That we breed these compassionate-conservative cicadas that come out every four years at Republican conventions, that we've got gay marriage for the sticks, that the last thing we need to do is parade around the architects of the Iraq war?"
He rose, walked behind his desk and threw open a closet door. There they all were, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, the whole gang, poring over maps, planning the invasions of Old Europe, California, and the Democratic 527s. "Mum's the word," said Rove.

Click here if you'd like to read the rest of the satire.


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