...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
      ( 2:49 PM )
Everything Is Going Great,
They Just Aren't Reporting It

The new WH talking points this week are:

1. There are GOOD THINGS happening in Iraq
2. People don't know about them because the Press isn't reporting them
3. People would be more supportive of the President if they knew how great things really were

It's been repeated so many times in the last few days by pundits that it's obvious they all got the same fax from the White House. The blame is once again being pinned on the messengers because the White House can't find anyone else to throw on the fire to distract news watchers.

The Congressional Republicans are getting in on the act as well.

On returning from a trip to Iraq and
Afghanistan, a group of Senate
Republicans said yesterday that the
Bush administration deserves a lot
more credit for successful reconstruction
efforts in those war-torn nations.


As Congress prepares to vote on the
administration’s $87 billion supplemental
request for Iraq, Republican Sens. Mitch
McConnell (Ky.), Conrad Burns (Mont.)
and Craig Thomas (Wyo.) renewed the
argument that despite critical Democrats
and what the Republicans view as
excessively negative press, significant
progress has been made. They cited the
smiles, claps and thumbs-up gestures of
Iraqi youth among other indications that
the reconstruction process is gathering

But evidently, Democrats aren't allowed to go and see for themselves:

Meanwhile, several Senate Democrats complained
that they were denied access to a plane for a
inspection tour of their own.

“For whatever reason, Sens. [Chris] Dodd [D-Conn.]
and others who requested the opportunity to travel
were prohibited from doing so, and I think that
requires a better explanation that the one I’ve been
given so far,” Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) said.

The new PR plan launced last week by the White House seems to be going forward full-blast. The GOP has joined with its shills in the non-news and is making enemies of the very people ("journalists") who have so far not kicked up a molecule of investigative dust on this presidency. The PR plan isn't so much more speeches to tout the goodness and sweetness of our occupation of Iraq, but more of an attack on those who no longer are falling in line.

Well, Lou, now the White House is on the
offensive about its public relations offensive.
It was just yesterday that President Bush
complained about his story about the progress
in Iraq was not getting out. He also has said
that the Americans are not getting the truth
when it comes to this story. That's why the
White House went around and bypassed what
he called the national media filter to give
exclusive interviews to five reporters of regional
outlets who normally don't cover the White House.

What has happened now, well, it's opened
an active debate whether the blame-the-media
aspect of this White House strategy is going to
be effective. The White House today made no
apologies about it, White House spokesman Scott
McClellan defending the administration, saying
it's absolutely necessary.


KAREN TUMULTY, "TIME": Well, I must say,
I do find it ironic that the White House was
not complaining about the national media
when they were giving glowing coverage of
our actual -- of our progress during the war itself.

The fact is that the White House laid down
some expectations of what this war would
produce. They suggested we would be in and
out of Iraq within three months. They suggested
that the oil revenues would pay to fix the
damage. None of that has happened. And so I
think the media's doing its job, which is measuring
them against what they, themselves, had promised.

Well, while Bush goes on the offensive against a press that really has hardly done him wrong since he got into office, and the press goes on the defensive trying to 'splain that they are just "reporting the facts, ma'am" -- We can be assured that our elected representatives are getting the story straight for us:

Rep. George Nethercutt said yesterday that
Iraq's reconstruction is going better than is
portrayed by the news media, citing his recent
four-day trip to the country.

"The story of what we've done in the postwar
period is remarkable," Nethercutt, R-Wash.,
told an audience of 65 at a noon meeting at the
University of Washington's Daniel J. Evans
School of Public Affairs.

"It is a better and more important story than
losing a couple of soldiers every day

Uh, George? Did you seriously mean that? Because if that's how the White House and Republicans in Congress feel, then I think the voters might have something to say about that.

So, in summary: Several soldiers are getting killed per day in Iraq, we don't even know the number of severely wounded there are, bombs are going off every day, and we are making things better by sending Turkish troops in soon. BUT THAT DOESN'T MATTER because people are happy and smiling and they don't even mind that they don't have jobs or money or food - because EVERYTHING is better when the Americans take over!

Did I get that right, Mr. President?

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