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Bush Semiotics: Dies Iovis i Maius MMIII (Repeat) Joseph A. Palermo

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-02-07 11:25 AM
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Bush Semiotics: Dies Iovis i Maius MMIII (Repeat) Joseph A. Palermo /

Karl Rove once said that he ran television campaigns as if the people watching had the sound turned off on their TV monitors. In other words, only the visuals matter. Four years ago, on May 1, 2003, the Bush production company devoured some of America's most powerful national and cultural signifiers, not just for crass political gain, but to inspire and enthrall the populi.

It was a circus without the bread. Here are a few examples:


Naturally, the corporate media swooned over their leader's performance. Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball held forth breathless fawning commentary of the event while the caption shot across the screen: "Why are the Democrats raining on Bush's parade?" Said Matthews: "We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as a president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical . . . Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president." Matthews' comments were consistent with other media commentators' enthusiasm across the board.

The astute political observer, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, referred to Bush as "a great man" a half dozen times during the aircraft carrier stunt. Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams, Bob Schieffer, Joe Klein, David Sanger, and the other dominant voices of the esteemed worlds of mainstream journalism and punditry fell over themselves to honor our hero-leader, Bush the Younger, (Bush the Magnificent!), in his most heroic hour.

I leave you with a quotation from Joe Scarborough that captures the lan of those heady days so long ago when the Iraq war smelled like victory to the mightiest minds of our political discourse. On April 10, 2003, the day after the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Firdos Square, Scarborough remarked: "I'm waiting to hear the words, 'I was wrong,' from some of the world's most elite journalists, politicians and Hollywood types. . . . Maybe disgraced commentators and politicians alike, like Daschle, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich and all those others, will step forward tonight and show the content of their character by simply admitting what we know already: that their wartime predictions were arrogant, they were misguided and they were dead wrong. Maybe, just maybe, these self-anointed critics will learn from their mistakes. But I doubt it. After all, we don't call them 'elitists' for nothing."

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