Thursday, February 17, 2005

The All-Spin Zone

It's not easy coming up with this many different headlines all referring to propaganda. Too bad we don't have a president who isn't channeling Orwell. But I digress...

Sidney Blumenthal, former senior advisor to the last great president, Bill Clinton, takes on the Jeff Gannon saga. In it, he too mentions blackmail, by the way, but in a much more responsible manner than I, because unlike Jeff Gannon and myself, Sid is a real journalist. He closes with:

The experiment of inserting an agent directly into the White House press corps was a daring operation. Guckert's "legend," in the language of espionage, was that he was a news director, and his "false flag" was journalism. Until his exposure, this midnight cowboy in the garden of Bush and evil proved marginally useful for the White House. But the affair's longer-run implication is the Republican effort to sideline an independent press and undermine its legitimacy. "Spin" seems too quaint. "In this day and age," said McClellan, waxing philosophical about the Gannon affair, "when you have a changing media, it's not an easy issue to decide or try to pick and choose who is a journalist." The problem is not that the White House press secretary cannot distinguish who is or is not a journalist; it is that there are no journalists, just the gaming of the system for the concentration of power.

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