Friday, February 10, 2006

Musings On The News Cycle

It's Friday which is often the day that news surfaces if it doesn't cast Bush's little-league regime in the best light. Today, there was a whole crop of stories. It seemed as if every major newspaper or media company had it's own major story to tell.

My friend Kat, one of the news editors at the Daily Grail website, certainly noticed. The members at TDG are usually more interested in the X-Files than the West Wing but even so some of those stories were big enough to demand her attention. She mailed me:
I'll just copy some of what I posted today at TDG:

Ex-CIA official, who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year, says flawed intelligence on Iraqi weapons is not what led to the war, and asserts that the Bush administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

Expert on Congress's Power Claims He Was Muzzled for Faulting Bush.

Newly uncovered emails prove the White House knew of the New Orleans levee's failure on the night of the storm.

"Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Chaney, told a federal grand jury that his superiors authorized him to give secret information to reporters as part of the Bush administration's defense of intelligence used to justify invading Iraq. [Note - they mean Cheney. - C]

Contrary to White House denials, in newly-released emails, Jack Abramoff says he met with Bush 'almost a dozen' times, and that Bush even invited him to his ranch.

Prepping us for the Nov. non-elections, election officials fear '06 will be 'season of the glitch'.

With all that, I didn't even bother with the one about the 24-year-old with resume problems that Bush appointed to NASA to tell scientists (in Uncle Vernon's voice, no doubt) ' there's_no_such_thing_as_global_warming_!!!'
My response to Kat was that this has become very much the pattern in the last year or so. It used to be that Friday was the slowest real news day of the week. That has changed. If you want a story to sink without too much of a ripple out there beyond those who breathe politics then you ensure it is released on a Friday - by Sunday when the big TV opinion shows kick in you have your spin nicely in place for your base, the newspapers pick that spin up on Monday and the non-wonks notice the spin rather than the original story. If it's a really damaging story then your counterspin story - a good counterattacking scandal or scare - is ready for the Sunday shows and hey presto, same result.

So on Sunday I am expecting more stories about exploding shoes and terrorists in our midst, following Rove's plan of scaring Americans into voting Republican. (Does it bother anyone else that the sycophants can run a post headlined Treating Democrats the Way He Did Frogs as a Kid" and NOT notice they are happily applauding their Blessed Leader's symptoms of sociopathy?) Maybe a good scandal about Abramoff and the Democrat leadership again too.

Likewise, Thursday has become the best day of the news cycle to ensure the release of stories that give good news or damage opponents. That way, they get their return licks in on Friday when few are looking and you are again ready to do the spin/counterspin trick on Sunday.

That's why the Harry Reid "scandal" and the "Liberty Tower" scare story have legs and will become part of the stuff "everybody knows". Timing.

It doesn't matter if Reid didn't do what Abramoff was trying to get done. (By the way, for the record I am sure many Hill Democrats are corrupt. Most politicians are, at some level. But they didn't try to make it their way of life the way Republicans have.)

It doesn't matter if the shoe-bomb-plot tale doesn't make sense at a basic level and is utterly false, made up, bogus.

Because most will never notice the debunking done on a Friday.

If the media really was just a tool of the liberals then they would have held those damaging stories until Sunday or released them on Thursday for maximum impact. No, what this shows is that the Republicans are firmly in control of the news cycle. They have the tactical advantage and Dems are lagging, always reacting rather than initiating, and doing badly thereby.

I would personally love the Democrats to show they have what it takes, they are the best hope for America and the World right now, but sadly they are at least as incompetent at being an opposition party as the Bush League are at being a government.

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