Mika Brzezinski: “Our Job” to “Control Exactly What People Think”
“Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies’ products.
Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.
The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items.”
“George W. Bush has been criticized for disdaining fact in favor of faith in his own instincts. But he is savvy about the dangers that information can present to his authority over the government and the American people.
That is why the first priority of his second term has been the elimination of the few government sources of information that could challenge the images he wants to project to the public. Bush doesn’t want the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency portraying his Iraq and other foreign policies as abject failures or reckless adventures.
So, by attacking these remaining pockets of analytical resistance, Bush is moving to ensure that his administration can keep much of the U.S. population seeing a near-empty cup as almost entirely full, a concept known in the intelligence world as “perception management.”
On a personal level, Bush appears to have found in his electoral victory a validation of his public-relations strategy of casting his foreign policy as a black-and-white war between good and evil. In this tough-talking approach, Bush has been helped immeasurably by the powerful conservative news media, ranging from AM talk radio to Fox News, from right-wing newspaper columnists to Internet bloggers.
Indeed, it is impossible to understand why Americans have grown so detached from reality without appreciating the combined impact of this conservative media – built over the past quarter century – and Bush’s personal insistence on loyalty over almost all other values. These two factors have made the United States a kind of ultimate test for the Orwellian intelligence theories of “perception management.””