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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Smoke and Mirrors -- Business as Usual

It's not easy to criticize the Bush White House.
Just ask Richard Clarke, or Paul O'Neill, or Joe Wilson. Look at the . Heck, look at John McCain or Max Cleland.

The Propaganda machine of Bush, Rove, Cheney, the RNC, the Ditto-head radiohosts, and Fox News go into full-on attack mode whenever someone with some knowledge criticizes policies or actions of the Administration. Denials are de-riguer. Ad hominem attacks are a large part of the strategy. Every possible attempt is made to sidestep every answer the claim or argument on its merits.

For years it has seemed that the media has rolled over and played along with this, backing away from agressive pursuit of dissenting views.

Finally, with the Rove/Wilson/Plame affair, it appears they're regaining their spine. While some outlets tried to focus on the journalist efforts to protect confidential sources, many more pushed forward with the actual story, of what did Rove say, and will he be held accountable like McClellan and Bush had promised over the last two years.

They were aggressive during the press briefing a few days ago, continually pressing McClellan about his abrupt change from commenting on the "ongoing investigation" when he was assuring that Rove was involved, or that "that person would no longer be in this administration," to having to repeat over and over that he wouldn't comment on an "ongoing investigation," even in the face of reporters who reminding him that he had no qualms over doing so in the past.

And stories like this one in the Washington Post are not just parroting the Republican talking points, but actually pointing out what the propaganda machine is trying to do.

Republicans mounted an aggressive and coordinated defense of Karl Rove yesterday, contending that the White House's top political adviser did nothing improper or illegal when he discussed a covert CIA official with a reporter.
With a growing number of Democrats calling for Rove's resignation, the Republican National Committee and congressional Republicans sought to discredit Democratic critics and knock down allegations of possible criminal activity.

It's about time.

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