Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Bush as Media Ringleader

Monday, May 04, 2009

Bush as Media Ringleader

On March 9th of 2003, USA Today's Peter Johnson reported on a news conference that former U.S. President George W. Bush held during prime time. Many local networks and cable stations broadcasted the conference that Bush held in order to answer questions regarding America's stance with Iraq.

After the interview took place, there was a variety in opinions from several journalists who were present at the conference. Some felt as though they were in grammar school once again, by the way the question and answer segment was structured.

" Bush called on reporters from a predetermined list assembled by White House press secretary Ari Fleischer."

Although many questions concerning the war in Iraq may have gone unanswered, the limited contact with Bush, made several journalists feel as though the government was attempting to impose fear and intimidation on the media. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer disagrees with many of the comments made from journalists and said:

"The president just thinks it is actually a more orderly news conference, rather than to have the usual cacophony of everybody screaming, where the person who gets called on is the person who has the loudest voice. ... Reporters were called from all over."

Fleischer makes a valid point in stating that the list enables an orderly news conference, especially because of the nature of what was being addressed at the time. I believe there should be some form of moderation between the distribution of information, along with how far the media should push for information. After learning about what can happen from giving too much or too little of something, (i.e. Vietnam war Coverage, Gulf War Coverage) it is a lot more difficult to find a fine line where both sides can come to an agreement.


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