Saturday, October 8, 2005

Presstitutes: The Sound Of A Tornado - How Bush Could Rebound

Presstitutes: The Sound Of A Tornado - How Bush Could Rebound: "Bush is 'likable.' Bush is 'religious.' Bush is 'resolute.' Bush is 'plain-spoken.' 'Al Gore invented the Internet.' John Kerry is a 'flip-flopper.' The media is 'liberal.'

"Through a self-reinforcing loop, the media can turn talking points into accepted, unconsciously-repeated facts. Inject the meme into the national bloodstream, repeat it endlessly, have ordinary citizens repeat it to the press, use these statements from the public as evidence of truth and as a means to convince other members of the public that the talking point is factual. And so on.

"Bush's opponents may be lulled into believing that his dismal poll numbers are evidence of his political demise, but Pre$$titutes have perfected the art of inserting pro-Bush and anti-Democratic memes into the public psyche, and that well-honed ability to create and solidify pro-Bush narratives suggests that his political fortunes could turn on a dime. . .

"Yes, there is a dawning realization among more and more Americans that 'Bush the resolute leader' is a figment of Pre$$titutes' imagination, that his presidency is a sham. But it's dangerous to underestimate the power of the media to drive home a narrative, and if they get an opening, a polling uptick, an event that can be spun in his favor, his fortunes could change dramatically."

The hope that a perfect storm -- really, the manifest consequences of insanely stupid and destructive policies -- could sweep Bush away depends delicately on the power of narrative. It is not the fact that policies have consequences, which matters so much, as that narratives identify good guys and bad guys, "cause and effect", etc. It is a sequence of events, spun into a persuasive narrative, which, dramatically, has political consequences, by attaching meaning and a moral lesson to those events.

Pressitutes reminds us that the corporate right-wing media is the corporate right-wing media -- they are an institutional enemy of rationality, liberalism and all that is right and just in America, and they are not likely to be swept away by any political storm. Instead, they make the weather, so to speak. The narratives of the coming political storm will be fabricated by the corporate right-wing media, and it is wrong to expect too much of those narratives.

Democrats need to realize that liberalism, to survive and prosper, must make the total and immediate destruction of the corporate, right-wing media an immediate priority. Democrats will be brought to power, however briefly, by Bush's incompetence. They may be made impotent in power by some combination of the corporate right-wing media and Bush's authoritarian Supreme Court. Serious Democrats need to think about what to do, about the Supreme Court (and the Judiciary, more broadly) and what to do about corporate media (cable news, Sinclair Broadcasting, Clear Channel, Infinity and the rest).

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