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Sunday, February 20, 2005


So the president will be traveling to Europe this week to do some major league diplo-dancing. But I doubt the act is going to go over very well. It seems the Europeans have a slightly different take on the Bush Administration's view of world than a good portion of the American public has...not to mention the take the Bush Administration has on itself.

Our allies' perception of the world is a little different than ours, it seems. The Iraqi war, health care, terrorism, fiscal policy, the role of government and good old-fashioned neighborly behavior. Yup, they are indeed living in a different world.

Europe and Propagannon

Now how does Bush's trip tie in with the Propagannon story here in America? (BTW, the Europeans are following the story as evidenced by the e-mails I've received pointing out the links in foreign papers to the press releases posted here on dailykos.) The Gannon story really has nothing to do with and everything to do with international diplomacy and foreign policy.

The Republican Media Complex

The strange case of James D. Guckert is only part of much larger story. If we have uncovered anything in our research about this man, it is the fact that the Republican Media Complex is even more organized, well funded and extensive than we ever imagined. Every rock we overturn produces more names, leads and connected relationships than even SusanG's vast army can investigate. They slither away, scrubbing web sites, changing domain names and denying, denying, denying...all the while returning fire by accusing us of practicing the politics of personal destruction and portraying poor little JDG as a victim of the nasty left wing conspiracy.

Have we seen this MO before? It has become so well worn a tactic, that it would be boring in it's predictability, if it weren't so effective. How effective has it become?

As Frank Rich pointed out in his excellent article, The White House Stages It's "Daily Show", the Gannon case is the latest in a string of attempts on the part of this administration to create a Fantasy World in this country by becoming the media and orchestrating the information the public sees, hears, reads and eventually believes. The DHHS-produced faux news reports about the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (I'm not a reporter, I just play one on TV), the Armstrong Williams, et al, payola affair (I'm not an expert, I just play one in print) and now the Talon News/GOPUSA/Bobby Eberle/Jeff Gannon story (we're not a news organization, we just play one in the White House) are all part of the Republican Media Complex's effort to spin awful policy into a vision of utopia. And the sad truth is, the American public is buying least enough to keep the puppeteers in power for another two to fours years. Certainly long enough to create more, well hidden pipelines through which to funnel federal dollars to fund the effort.

This Republican Media Complex, of which JG is a small part, has so dominated the national conversation, so controlled the agenda, so intimated the press that, here in America, we are now living in a reality that exists only in the minds of the policy makers. And here's the crime. Those policy makers are ignoring the people equation in their Fantasy World. To be sure, this is a world crafted for profits and corporate power.

So why is Bush's trip a testament to the power of the Republican Media Complex? You can see it when you watch the Europeans shake their heads in disbelief. They can't understand why we have allowed this to happen.

It seems America is living in one reality and the rest of the world is dwelling in another. The reason for this disconnect is very clear. They haven't been the target of the Republican Media Complex message.

How different are these realities? T.R. Reid, in his book, The United States Of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy, notes how Europe has traveled down a completely different path than the United States. Look at the differences.

  • The Europeans have embraced big government
  • The Europeans have free universal health care for all its citizens, at 50% of the cost
  • The Europeans have embraced a financial policy that celebrates worker's rights
  • The Europeans have strong anti-trust laws that force corporations to be good citizens

These differences are the result of the fact that the EU consists of many countries, many governments, and, most importantly, many different media outlets. Because of this diversity and decentralization, their population isn't as easily spun. There is no single Fantasy World in Europe, because there is no Republican Media Complex machine, and the likelihood of one arising is lessened by both the lessons of history and a strong system of checks and balances.

So, this week, as I watch the President dance like a fool in a vain attempt to convince the Europeans that up is down, black is white and right is wrong, I'm sure, here in America, I'll be forced to listen to the noise of the Republican Media Complex as it broadcasts its message that the Europeans aren't our real friends, they can't really be trusted and that their system is hateful, lazy socialism,

But as I attempt to close my ears to the noise, I'll be wondering what they are thinking. Pondering how crazy we must seem to them. And I'll be a little jealous of their reality. Because, they, unlike us, aren't Republican Media Complex consumers.

They have no Jeff Gannon.

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