Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
August 31, 2004

The Convention That Ate The Media

One of the most interesting themes of the Republican Convention is the way the GOP has railroaded the media. (This is in addition to the fact the conventions are hardly available to a wider audience, and the prime time speeches are timed to prevent even a moment of analysis.)

Basically, they Republican’s are pursuing two tracks. First, they continue to reinforce the idea that the press is antagonistic to the President. Rudy Giuliani’s speech, for example, listed the press in a line up of adversaries faced by the Bush Administration. It doesn’t matter what the press does to belittle him, Giuliani told the delegates, the President has stuck to his convictions. The press, he went on to remind, did the same to Reagan.

Nobody does a better job of reinforcing the conception of press bias than the razor-tongued Barbara Bush. Watch this clip from Democracy Now of a meeting this week of “W Stands for Women.” The meeting was attended by female members of the Bush and Cheney family, as well as women delegates and party officials. (The segment makes up the first two-and-a-half minutes.)

barbarabush

Quicktime 128k, 256k

The second part of the strategy involves the appropriation of the media by the party. In the distorted reality of the Bush administration (in which a countervailing fact is recognized as nothing more than a practical inconvenience), the Republicans have taken the next logical step of creating a pretend media for the convention. Labeled video jockeys, the party has drafted a group of attractive young women who rove the convention conducting pretend interviews with delegates and officials that are broadcast within the hall, as well as hosted on the RNC website. If you’ve been watching the C-SPAN coverage, it’s hard not to look at those microphones these women are toting around, with their RNC labels, without being reminded of similar combinations of letters, like NBC or ABC.

vj's

I tried to capture one of the video interviews of the Republican VJ team, but they are mostly in Real Player. Here (above) is a shot of the “correspondents” preparing for the convention, and a link to their page on the GOP Convention site (which features an introductory clip).

(source: Democracy Now)
(source: gopconvention.com)

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