Friday, August 05, 2005

New Propaganda: "It's ridiculous."

I've discovered a new technique in PR propaganda from the White House. When pressed to respond about some absurd conduct within the Administration, they simply state that "It's ridiculous!" The quote ends there. But now we can see that this is a strategic choice of terms. Yes, everyone agrees that it is "ridiculous." Thus the White House can rest assured that their quoted statement is just as true as it is effective in stopping the conversation.
The problem, of course, is that it is not the allegations that are ridiculous, but rather the fact that the allegations are true. The White House conduct is ridiculous. Below are two key instances:

1. Here is the White House Spokesperson McClellan in a Sept. 16, 2003 press briefing on the case of Rove outing the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame in order to shut down her husband's revelations of White House lying about Iraq's weapons:

Question: "Now, this is apparently a federal offense, to burn the cover a CIA operative . . . . Did Karl Rove do it?

White House: "I said, it's totally ridiculous."

(OK so it is ridiculous, but it is also true, as we now know. Rove did.)

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

2. Here is President George Bush Jr. on the issue of the US planning a new war on Iran:

Bush: "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table."

The stenography record shows that the press briefing room burst out in laughter! Again, yes it is ridiculous, but then having said that, it is also true. As we now know, or if not, see e.g.:

The moral of the story is that the next time you hear the White House quoted as saying "It's ridiculous" then you know what's happening.


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