“All the News That Fits”
Vol: 11 Issue: 26 Monday, August 26, 2002
It must be difficult for President Bush to have to fight a war with terrorists, another war with the Democrats, and a third, concurrent war with the media. All three enemies have adopted a ‘take no prisoners’ style, whereas the White House must work within carefully defined rules of engagement.
In the guns and bullets war, there are no prisoners in enemy hands — they are executed on the spot. But the White House fights an ongoing battle with the liberals and the courts concerning the treatment of the thousands of prisoners being housed at the Gitmo Crossbar Hotel in tropical Cuba.
In the political war, the Democrats are giving no quarter, observing no rules [such as building a campaign platform based on Bush’s destruction of an economy already in recession before his taking office and then talking down the economy at every opportunity].
But the White House is hamstrung by having to stick within certain guidelines. The administration must ‘talk up’ the economy to keep things moving, is constrained against mounting too vicious a counter-attack without losing support from its base, and is forced to maintain a working relationship with the opposition to keep the war moving.
Then there is the third war — the one that really counts. The war with the media. Why is this the war that ‘really counts?’
Consider the facts. Without opposition from the media, the administration could fight al-Qaeda on al-Qaeda’s terms. An America unrestrained could crush al-Qaeda and its supporters out of hand. But a lot of innocents would die on the battlefields, while American civil liberties would be shredded in the process.
The main obstacle to prosecuting that kind of war is the media. That’s not to say the media shouldn’t play that role, just demonstrating the power that it has.
With the media on his side, Bush wouldn’t have to worry about anybody believing the economic downturn was his fault. If the media were honest about the economy, it would have to point out that it was during the ‘good old days’ when the market was hovering at 11,000 it was up there because all the corporate accounting tricks that crashed the market when exposed were responsible for the overvaluation in the first place.
It is inconceivable to me that any of the media analysts who blame the current administration for the economy actually believe what they are saying themselves.
In essence, their presentation of the situation is akin to cheering the deceptive accounting practices that the Miracle Clinton Economy was built on, and then condemning the current administration for blowing away the smoke and exposing the deception. (It’s ok if its crooked, as long as its profitable?)
When TIME laid the blame for Enron directly at the feet of the Clinton administration, the story withered and died on the vine for lack of interest. At the same time, the Bush Harken deal and the Cheny Haliburton stock sale story have been resurrected more times than the Broadway musical ‘Oh Dolly’.
Does anybody remember the pressure put on Cheney to divest himself of Haliburton stock to avoid a conflict of interest? The charge was led by the Democrats, supported by the media, and resisted by both Cheney and his lawyers. In the end, Cheney reluctantly sold the stock he is now being publicly pilloried for.
The point isn’t the Democrats, Haliburton, Cheney or Republicans. It’s the gulf between public perception and reality — and why it is so vast — that is at issue here.
The Peter Jennings/Terry Moran ‘Bush Stinks’ Show at ABCNews is becoming a regular feature. A recent example was last week’s coverage of the takeover of the Iraqi Embassy briefly in Berlin.
Jennings solemnly intoned that it was another example of ‘problems’ with the administration concerning Iraq. Jennings called a comment by Canada’s Defense Minister saying that Canada was unlikely to participate in an attack on Iraq a ‘sharp rebuke’.
Nothing personal to Canada, but with something less than sixty thousand active duty personnel, the entire Canadian armed forces amounts to about six times the LAPD. The comments were neither a sharp rebuke nor is Canadian participation likely to influence the outcome of a war with Iraq.
Jennings then seemed to speak for himself as he announced as a fact: Some people are asking today whether or not the White House is losing control of the debate about war with Iraq. Terry Moran helpfully explained: In the past couple of weeks, you ve had top Republican leaders defecting from the pro-war camp, key allies opposing any action against Saddam Hussein, and now this attack in Berlin. The hawks in the administration are on the defensive.
After highlighting the rebuke from Canada, Moran inaccurately portrayed Scott Ritter s opposition as something fresh and newsworthy. Leading into a lengthy soundbite from the man who has been claiming for years that Saddam Hussein has no weapons of mass destruction, Moran trumpeted: Opposition is mounting at home, too. On Capitol Hill, Scott Ritter, the former Chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, said the administration had failed to make the case for war.
Moran concluded with a warning: Recent events have made clear, Peter, that if Mr. Bush wants to move militarily, he and his team will have to do a lot better job shoring up support at home and around the world.
This seems like a lot about a little, but its a much bigger deal than most realize. Moran made the point, and it is well taken. If Bush wants to take on Saddam, he’ll have to convince. . .the MEDIA.
The power of the media — to do good, or to do evil — is enormous. The examples are cited are not cited as being either good or evil; they are examples of the POWER.
Currently that power is, for the most part, benign, but it makes it no less powerful. The Apostle Paul said that the rise of the antichrist would be predicated by a great ‘falling away’ or, a general, global apostasy.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; ” [2Thessalonians 2:3]
Further, Paul warns “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” [2 Thessalonians 2:11-12]
When asked what would be the signs of His coming, the first thing Jesus said was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” [Matthew 24:4]
Deception is the key to the antichrist’s power. It is the key to the enemy’s power. The devil is a liar and the father of liars. But at no time in history has it ever been possible to deceive with the kind of pinpoint precision — and on a global basis until this generation.
No wonder Paul wrote, “This know also. That in the last days, perilous times shall come.” [2 Timothy 3:1]
Editor’s Note: Thank you so much for your prayers. Our pastor has been released from the hospital, having suffered ‘only’ a mild stroke, and is safe at home. Praise God for answered prayers!