Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bush and the new media

While it was heartening today to see the Commander in Chief holding forth on Rathergate (as told by Matt Drudge) and the newfound power of the blogosphere and the new alternative media, one sincerely wishes he and his administration would get a better grip on the old media. What Fudgate and Portgate painfully illustrate is an administration desperately in need of some basic PR expertise.

I guess I need to come right out and say it: I'm one of those in the extreme minority who believe Bush is dead right on the Dubai port deal. We need good Arab allies like the United Arab Emirates in the global war on terror, and we should be jumping at the chance to cement that tie. All the politicians who've been trashing this deal have three things in common--an unseemly visceral reaction to the fact that these are Muslim Arabs, a blatant disregard for the facts of the case and a naked desire to pander to popular ignorance. (In less polite circles that would be called demagoguery.)

But when it comes to handling the public on a case like this, the Bush administration is dead wrong. Not understanding the importance of selling his case, he's got yet another fine mess on his hands, which is simply to throw more gasoline on his already burning performance ratings in the polls. The sad thing is that this case definitely could be made to the American people and the Congress--maybe not easily, but the facts are there.

One other thing: I think W falls a bit short in his definition of the mainstream mediocracy as simply ABC, CBS, NBC and The New York Times. The sooner everyone understands who the other rascals are in the mediocracy racket the better. I'm referring to the major wire services--Associated Press, UPI, Reuters, Knight-Ridder and the others run by big corporate media companies (NYT, WaPo, etc.). These folks are to journalism what Ward Churchill is to academic professionalism.



Blogger Robin said...

Roscoe - You hit the nail right on the head. I have researched the ports deal and am okay with it. I am just amazed at the lack of "press savy" from the WH Press Office. I think they need to hire us. It would certainly set the reporters back on their heels!

6:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home