What the Bush?
Could it be that the transparency touted by Barack Obama during the election is an illusion? Could my hero be resorting to (and I don’t say this lightly,) Goebbels-inspired propaganda techniques polished to a blinding gloss by the Neocons/Republicons? Say it ain’t so, B.
At Wednesday’s virtual Town Hall meeting certain of the press corps cried “foul,” most notably CBS’ Chip Reid and columnist Helen Thomas, who objected to Obama’s format in which he responded to pre-selected questions, a practice that indeed has a deeply disturbing ring to it. It went like this:
WTF, Helen? Are you SERIOUS? “We have never had that in the White House?” While I agree with Thomas et al on principle, let’s get real about this. Look at recent history. The current level of media “obfuscation” fails by any measure to rise to that practiced throughout the Bush administration, in which examples were copious: Armstrong Williams was paid by the GOP to champion “No Child Left Behind,” fake news releases were produced by the White House, fake “press conferences” were given with planted questions from agency insiders, and last but not least, “Jeff Gannon,” a GOP-funded male prostitute blogger to whom the Bush administration gave press credentials, provided access and also took “softball” questions from in White House Press Conferences. Sweet Fancy Moses!
The heinously deceptive acts of one party doesn’t justify government-controlled propaganda aimed at its citizens by another. Saying so would be a typical Republicon response akin to: “You pissed in my yard, so that makes it okay for me to take a dump on your carpet. ”
No. Like Helen, I hold the Obama Administration to a higher standard. But given the low bar we’ve tolerated for the last decade, Obama need not try real hard to clear it. Still, I hope he does. We’re better than that. AND WE DESERVE MORE from our leaders. We must demand more.
The GOP is jumping on this, even though they’re far more vulnerable to such claims than Obama. But Republicons don’t bother themselves with worry about hypocrisy. They also LOVE to project their own weaknesses on opponents.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Obama is more transparent than “George W. Goebbels” and his merry band of thieves. But we must consciously not do anything that allows Republicons to paint us with that brush.