Hollywood White House action trailers

Reagan came from Hollywood (in fact, he never left it), Bush Senior picked a Hollywood face for a vice-president, Clinton had beds filled with Hollywood chums, but Junior Bush has converted the White House into a movie trailer production company.

See the front page article in the NYTimes today, "Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights," and don't miss the handy slideshow.

George W. Bush's "Top Gun" landing on the deck of the carrier Abraham Lincoln will be remembered as one of the most audacious moments of presidential theater in American history. But it was only the latest example of how the Bush administration, going far beyond the foundations in stagecraft set by the Reagan White House, is using the powers of television and technology to promote a presidency like never before.
Or, for a serious look at the consequences of theatrical artifice in government, read Krugman's column, "Paths Of Glory."
The central dogma of American politics right now is that George W. Bush, whatever his other failings, has been an effective leader in the fight against terrorism. But the more you know about the state of the world, the less you believe that dogma. The Iraq war, in particular, did nothing to make America safer — in fact, it did the terrorists a favor.

. . . .

The administration's antiterror campaign makes me think of the way television studios really look. The fancy set usually sits in the middle of a shabby room, full of cardboard and duct tape. Networks take great care with what viewers see on their TV screens; they spend as little as possible on anything off camera.

If anyone asks for proof of the administration's cynicism and incompetence, look into the story of the looting of Iraqi nuclear waste dumps we didn't bother to secure. Bloggy describes the facts and the links.

See Bloggy again for the story behind the story of "saving Private Lynch," the most outrageous White House stunt to date.

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Published on May 16, 2003 2:02 PM.

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