Sunday, August 31, 2008

NPR's Robert Siegel Irresponsible

Hours before Obama spoke, NPR's Robert Siegel interviewed "GOP media strategist" Stuart Stevens for his perspective.

What a pro this man is. With a history of building illusions of decency where there is none. His 2001 book, written after twisting the truth for the 2000 Bush/Cheney campaign, is called The Big Enchilada: Campaign Adventures with a Cockeyed Optimist from Texas who won the Biggest Prize in Politics.

So, with the Democratic Convention providing inspiring, intelligent speeches one right after another, this "spinner" had to play his response carefully.

Stevens started with flattery, calling Michelle Obama's speech "fantastic" - but then moved right into the never-explained criticism of "confusing agenda every night" and "the passion of a Unitarian wedding" - the kind of comments that make listeners question their perceptions, not actually addressing any real issues.

Then Stevens dropped the real and constant RNC weapon - FEAR.

The setup was that this was a convention that wasn't really designed for Obama, but for Hillary, so that's supposed to explain some imaginary discomfort.

See how Stevens slipped a phrase in, as follows (my emphasis):

The Obama campaign really ran as an anti-establishment candidacy, an insurgency candidacy, and a convention by definition is the ultimate establishment event.


He pinned the label "insurgency" on Barack Obama. You know, the enemy, the ones killing our troops, Al Quaeda, 9/11 - and so he planted the seed of terrorism into the ears of NPR listeners.

And Robert Siegel failed to bust him for this atrocious manipulation.

Terry Gross would have caught it. Diane Rehm, too.

That would be the work of a journalist.

There again, a journalist would have known more about the man he was interviewing. On that main page at Amazon for his 2001 paint-Bush-pretty book, under Editorial Reviews, Stevens is said to have as "his primary goal in designing [Bush's] TV spots was to make the Gore campaign "squeal like Ned Beatty in Deliverance.'"

So, this is the guy NPR chooses to talk to? This is a sick man, and this is the kind of media manipulation that has lead to the heartless, immoral crimes of the Bush/Cheney/Rove administration.

Shame on you, Robert.

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