A new video from the Media Education Foundation examines how the Bush administration uses the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to manipulate Americans. Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire places the last three years of White House deceptions in a global context, asking questions seldom posed by mainstream corporate media. The hour-long documentary features nearly twenty political observers, including Lt.
"The idea was to grab a location 'that screamed New York.' And said politics," PressThink's Jay Rosen writes of his meeting with Sam Feist, CNN senior executive producer for political programming, at the Tick Tock Diner, a "real" New York City diner catty corner from Madison Square Garden that is being used as a TV set for CNN's convention coverage.
While the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth may have a questionable grasp of the facts, it has been extraordinarily sophisticated in its manipulation of the media," observes the Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk weblog. "To understand why this campaign has been hijacked by a small group of veterans bearing a thirty-year old grudge, it's worth examining the institutional susceptibilities of a campaign press corps that allowed the SBVFT's accusations to take on a life of their own.
"Continuing a twenty-year trend that has seen advertising expenses skyrocket as traditional political party organizing has fallen by the wayside, the total for political ads this election year is estimated by most industry analysts at over $1.5 billion, $400 million of which will be spent by the presidential campaigns," report Sakura Saunders and Ben Clarke. "Over the last 24 years, broadcast TV advertising alone has increased from $90 million to over a $1 billion.
"Over the past few weeks of Presidential WrestleMania MMIV, the Bush campaign has fired off more than a dozen press releases about John Kerry's policies on energy, nuclear-waste storage, forest and water protections, and other environmental issues - a hodgepodge of smears, exaggerations, and obfuscations intended to besmirch Kerry's pro-environment reputation," Grist Magazine's Amanda Griscom writes. Polls indicate that swing-state voters are concerned about things like pollution and wilderness conservation, prompting the Bush campaign to "neutralize" the environment as an election issue.
Iraqi soccer players at the Olympic games in Greece are angered at the Bush campaign for using the Iraqi Olympic team in Bush's latest re-election campaign advertisements. "Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," said Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir. Another player, Ahmed Manajid, had even stronger words: "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" Manajid said. "He has committed so many crimes." Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl interviewed the players.