Media Manipulation
Disinherit the Devil © 2010

A serious analysis leads to the unavoidable conclusion that in 1988, George Bush was elected, not by the people of the United States, but by the carefully scripted images that the media published.

William Schneider, a respected political analyst summed up the disturbing reality when he said, "If I am pessimistic, it is because, look at the 1988 campaign. It was all images and symbols and manipulated ads. It wasn't about anything serious or substantive. It was about judgement and values and personal qualities. That's very bad news. If I had to draw one conclusion from the 1988 campaign, it's a very pessimistic conclusion. The message of that campaign was that negative campaigns work. The good news from that campaign is the public did not like it very much. They said it didn't address the issues, they were perfectly aware of what was going on. It worked, so people are going to continue to watch it. But now, we are approaching the point where people are saying about politics what they once said a long time ago about television. Our politics is becoming a vast wasteland."

William Sneider is pessimistic because, during the 1988 presidential election race, less than 10% of the media coverage dealt with issues of substance, and when the voters cast their ballots, they actually knew next to nothing about Bush and Dukakis.

George Bush was therefore elected, not because the public thought he would make a better President, but because of the impact of the media campaign that his handlers scripted. Dazzling choreography gave George Bush the edge and turned the election into a contest which was primarily impacted by entertaining visuals.

When scripted images are valued more than journalism, the real story is buried by the visual. Devoid of context and explanation, Michael Dukakis may look ridiculous riding a tank, but is George Bush not even more ridiculous for expecting to get elected by simply challenging the patriotism of a fellow American?

Perception trumped reality, image buried substance, and it is ultimately the media that scripted the message.

The role that the media played in electing George Bush is clearly undeniable and the youtube video above illustrates the disturbing manipulation which is responsible for burying the news and denying the accountability that a democracy demands.

It is important to clearly understand how the media dictated the 1988 election because the will of the people is essentially manipulated when it is shaped or subject to the influence of fabricated messages.

Campaign 1988 buried good journalism through the well publicized confrontation between Dan Rather, who was trying to be an investigative journalist and George Bush, who was trying to evade the truth. The disturbing transition from substantive news, to substance-free news, has reduced the media into a group of television executives who promote false, official stories that ignore the hard news that is necessary to expose the make believe worlld they manufacture.

Former CBS News Producer essentially explained the nature of this new world when he said, "What Dan Rather attempted to do in that interview was to pose afew of those questions, and allow candidate Bush to provide any answer he cared to to a national audience and to let them decide whether he was responsive or not. The end result was that he was not responsive at all. He didn't answere the questions, he attacked CBS. He attacked Dan Rather. He made Dan Rather's record the issue, not George Bush's record.

I have no trouble defending his journalism. Did it succeed, I think the answer is 'no' because the theatre of television overtook the content. In fact, candidate Bush was no more responsive to Dan Rather's questions than he had been to anyone else's prior to that. But that's not what got the attention the next day. The heat and not the light got the attention the next day. The confrontation that candidate Bush fabricated got the attention the next day. Not the fact that he was totally unresponsive to questions about a very critical, foreign policy failure of the Reagan administration."

Bush turned the news to his advantage by creating a backlash against CBS. This process of using other media to attack the media you do not like has made a mockery out of journalism because the news is supposed to be about answering questions in a truthful manner, not about using media-generated heat to deny the opportunity to expose the truth.

As Dan Rather said, "the important story is that there are unanswered questions" the unanswered questions remain unanswered and that is why George Bush was elected.

When Ronald Reagan was President, reporters like Leslie Stahl were pressured to soften their pieces on Ronald Reagan, and George Bush essentially did the same to Dan Rather in a public forum which demonstrated a fierce disdain for democratic principles, yet he managed to get away with it, probably because the media let him get away with it.

But why didn't CBS news rush to support Dan Rather?

Speaking about the news she broadcast during the Reagan years as a CBS correspondent, Leslie Stahl said, "alot of my pieces were dilluted and I never knew why. But they were approved in Washington first and they'd be approved and sent to New York where they were dilluted and sent back and there would be many arguments." Washington and CBS news did not want Leslie Stahl to talk harshly about Ronald Reagan, and if that is not stage-managing the news, what do you call it?

As a matter of fact, all criticism about Reagan was tactfully buried, and Leslie Stahl described the process in the following words: "It was okay if I said something that was somewhat critical as long as it was covered with pictures but when I was shown on camera, it was to be innocuous, whatever I was saying. That was quite disturbing to me."

Is it any wonder that George Bush expected a free pass from CBS, in 1988? -and he certainly got it!

The integrity of mainstream news has been permanently buried and it is now the reponsibility of the individual to clearly understand that what you hear on television and what you read in the newspaper is frequently a total fabrication, for all of the above reasons.

Analysis: Obama and Reagan are probably equally popular, and that is not saying anything substantive. It just means that the public is under the influence of media-hyped praise and media-hyped criticism. Reagan's hyped up popularity is quickly deflated, under scrutiny, and Obama's is similarily underestimated because he looks very good compared to all the fickle criticism he receives.

The "showbiz" media criticizes absolutely everything Obama says and does. He is even criticized for looking tired. To be sure, substantive criticism is necessary in a functioning democracy, but the mainstream media has abandoned that responsibility.

Reporters are no longer respected and trusted anymore, they have become media celebrities who talk to themselves about themselves. And if you think you can trust the polls to guage the genuine popularity of a political candidate, read this, it will clearly change your mind.

It is our well founded opinion that Obama's popularity will continue to climb because he has all the right enemies, and that makes him a majority of one because he is invariably criticized whenever he attacks anybody.

We understand the principle, it is better to stand for something instead of against, but the rules have changed.

Tea Parties are funded by billionaires to advocate their special interests.
Sarah Palin evidently thinks she is leading the next American Revolution.

NEXT: Destructive Propaganda

These are the holes they dig.

These are the people who pay the price.



These are the questions we have ignored.