I've been having some of those same feelings lately, especially this week. Perhaps nobody else noticed, perhaps I just imagined it, but this week was Bush propaganda week almost everywhere I turned. I am not on cable or satellite and only get TV news from two television networks, CBS and PBS, but all week long both of those networks focused on presenting White House propaganda. In fact, the first thing I saw on TV this week was Dan Bartlett being tossed softball questions first thing Monday morning on CBS. Last night, Jim Lehrer offered the same favor to Donald Rumsfeld.
But the thing that has most dominated the propaganda scene all this week has been Secretary of State Condi Rice's whirlwind European tour designed to quell dissent against the US use of torture in the war on terror. How anyone in the media can cover or even just follow that story and not recall the fact that just a few weeks ago the Vice President of the United States was lobbying the US Congress to exempt the CIA from the McCain Amendment banning torture is simply beyond me, but it happened all week long. I was not aware of a single instance where the media reminded us of Cheney's actions. Instead, Cheney himself was allowed to promote the White House propaganda unchallenged.
For awhile, for half a year in fact, the White House seemed to lay low on the Orwellian thing. They seemed to be playing it straight. It was almost impossible to pick out an obvious lie. I had even begun to think that maybe this was the new Bush strategy. Maybe Bush had learned a lesson with the Plamegate thing and the Social Security fiasco and had decided to get through the rest of his term using honesty to win favor with the American public. But rather than winning favor, his poll numbers dropped precipitously up until just recently. This week, his poll numbers made a turnaround. Why? The only reason I can see is because of this media blitz this week promoting the Bush administration. Or is it more sinister than that?
Could it be that what has made the difference is the fact that the Bush administration across the board has decided that what the American people really preferred was to be lied to? And is that what has made the difference this week? Because all week long the whole Bush administration has been lying. They are lying about Iraq. They are lying about prisoner of war torture. And they have been doing it right out in broad daylight where we all can see them doing it. And we are eating it right up and loving it! The old Bush administration is back and winning the hearts of the American people again!
I sure hope I'm wrong about all this, but it sure is bringing back some familiar feelings that I never knew till I read Orwell's 1984.