Thursday, August 28, 2003

Mission Accomplished?

Tom Bevan at has apparently been taking whining-about-the-media lessons at the foot of the master: George W. Bush. This one still stuns me:

“Remember on our TV screens — I’m not suggesting which network did this — but it said, ‘March to War,’ every day from last summer until the spring — ‘March to War, March to War.’ That’s not a very conducive environment for people to take risk when they hear ‘March to War’ all the time,” he said.

Bevan's recent effort:

Bush & Co. really need to regain the momentum of the debate on Iraq, something they've lost over the first few weeks of August. The blaring headlines in this morning's Washington Post (picked up by scored of other papers around the country, by the way) continues the theme: "U.S. Postwar Deaths Now Equal Iraq War Fatalities." This is one of those media-fabricated milestones that's blown up to signal something that's supposedly important, even though it really doesn't mean anything other than we're still at war.

Okay, the media was complicit in repeating ad nauseum Shrubya's disgusting little stunt in his cod-piece enhanced flight suit, but the "Mission Accomplished" banner was created and hung by this President's administration-- although it was paid for by you the taxpayer.

The president’s image makers, Mr. Bartlett said, work within a budget for White House travel and events allotted by Congress, which for fiscal 2003 was $3.7 million. He said he did not know the specific cost of staging Mr. Bush’s Sept. 11 anniversary speech, or what the White House was charged for the lights. A spokeswoman at the headquarters of Musco Lighting in Oskaloosa, Iowa, said the company did not disclose the prices it charged clients.
The most elaborate, and criticized, White House event so far was Mr. Bush’s speech aboard the Abraham Lincoln announcing the end of major combat in Iraq. White House officials say that a variety of people, including the president, came up with the idea, and that Mr. Sforza embedded himself on the carrier to make preparations days before Mr. Bush’s landing in a flight suit and his early evening speech.

Media strategists noted afterward that Mr. Sforza and his aides had choreographed every aspect of the event, even down to the members of the Lincoln crew arrayed in coordinated shirt colors over Mr. Bush’s right shoulder and the “Mission Accomplished” banner placed to perfectly capture the president and the celebratory two words in a single shot. The speech was specifically timed for what image makers call “magic hour light,” which cast a golden glow on Mr. Bush.

“If you looked at the TV picture, you saw there was flattering light on his left cheek and slight shadowing on his right,” Mr. King said. “It looked great.”

How about this only slightly modified paraphrase, Tom, regarding the "Mission Accomplished" photo op:

"This is one of those White House-fabricated milestones that's blown up to signal something that's supposedly important, even though it really doesn't mean anything other than we're still at war."

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