Today’s Talking Points

1-First providers are noble beings without fault.

2-State and local officials were a "problem."

3-The president tried to take action early but the locals got in the way and were stubborn probably because of the injustice of their "culture."

4-This is not the time for recriminations.  We must do the people’s work.  (Really sounds like Bill)

5-We should study "lessons learned" from this, and not attribute blame. (Important point for FEMA Director Brown, but since he was head of Arabian Horse Association, it has been suggested that he could be a Middle East analyst for cable news.)

6-Congress and the president will investigate this on a bi-cameral, bi-partisan basis reporting next year (when no one remembers anything and just before Mardi Gras).

7-Federal aid is fixing everything in spite of local ineptitude.

I was trained as a propaganda staff officer at one point.  This is a hell of a job.  Congratulations.  Always tell them what they would like to believe and they will "go for it."

Pat Lang

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9 Responses to Today’s Talking Points

  1. Some Guy says:

    I am professor of rhetoric, and I would concur with you colonel. Amazing given what everyone just wtinessed/experienced.
    By the way, one might ask whose behavior is contradictory: the mayor and governor who were focused on the inclement hurricane (and echoing L. Johnson, not to say they are without error), or a president who is briefed on the potential damage, calls to second the mandatory evacuation, who then goes about his regularly scheduled programming?
    Were Bush so utterly consumed with helping, to the point of “pleading” with Nagin and/or Blanco, why did he make no public statement to put pressure on those stupid locals? Why did he not suspend his vacation and blathering about how he is really FDR (he’s holding up well for being dead so long)? Why did he show no sign that something terribly wrong was happening?
    But that is not what people want to hear, it is too distressing. The nice thing about cognitive dissonance for propagandists as that people can labor for quite a long time under with conflicting information in their heads and not face it head on.

  2. bkny says:

    and the horrifying thing is it appears to be working. gallup has a new poll (is a sampling of 268 legitimate?):
    The ratings for Bush are highly related to party affiliation.
    By a margin of 69% to 10%, Republicans give Bush a positive rather than negative rating for his response.
    Democrats give almost a mirror opposite — 66% negative to 10% positive.
    Independents side with the Democrats, giving a more modest margin — 47% negative to 29% positive.
    When asked to identify who was most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane, 38% of Americans said no one was really to blame, while 13% cited Bush, 18% the federal agencies, and 25% state and local officials.

  3. J says:

    Their ‘spin’ a.k.a. ‘propaganda’ reminds one of the way that Goebbels fed pablum to his nation. Are we witnessing Chauchescu melt-down part deux?

  4. Pat Lang says:

    Thanks. I updated this a little.

  5. FastMovingCloud says:

    I know that the locals are not blameless in this, but does no one take into account that they, too, have just survived a major hurricane? Their friends, their homes, their lives just took a major hit. And, yet, they are the ones that are expected to act without assistance. Some of them may have even been knocked out for a while. We have no way to know what they went through. But, we know it’s all their fault.

  6. Some Guy says:

    Also, relative to the locals, there are more and more stories of amazing sacrifice and courage emerging.
    Juxtapose that to FEMA stopping water from coming in.
    HMMMMM. . . .

  7. hfiend says:

    PROPAGANDA! Nahhh… Not this admin.

  8. Tuli says:

    ‘I was trained as a propaganda staff officer at one point. This is a hell of a job. Congratulations. Always tell them what they would like to believe and they will “go for it.”‘
    Dear Col.:
    In my heart I am hoping that the “Spin” doesn’t work this time, however the most recent poll suggests it will.
    Apparently, “Leave No Child Behind” as an educational tool is too little, too late, and a failure as well. The American public is unable to connect the dots. The ability to connect the dots should be the least we can expect from any educational system.
    However, I am comforted that the President will get to the bottom of all of this failure, if his Talking Points and PR campaign fail.

  9. sbj says:

    Now that the media has reverted to their primary entertainment mode, I expect the spin will in fact have a much easier time compromising the awareness of the public.
    “Tragedy TV”, like soap operas, is a very effective vehicle for transmitting all sorts of disinformation camouflaged in the guise of earnestness and compassion. Similarly, just like banning the scenes of death, disaster as entertainment can screen out the worst images and still give people the illusion that they’re somehow participating in giving aid and comfort and compassion when in fact they’re doing nothing of the kind. And to, this kind of “spectacle” programming is always able to portray the victims in whatever way they want, without regard to the truth about who they are and how serious their plight is.

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