The great downfall of America is not some sort of precipitous moral decline … but rather that the “theatrical presidency” has been uncoupled from any accountability.
How Bush “performs” on television is the criterion by which the media judges him, not how he performs for the people of America. Word and deed have taken two separate paths — and the media may cover deed for a day or two, but is always diverted back to writing reviews about Bush’s dramatic reading of scripts written by Rove and Hughes — or airing visuals of carefully orchestrated photo-ops…
The manner in which the media gobbled up the stage-managed speech from Jackson Square — in which tremendous resources, including emergency generators to light the cathedral, were brought into a city that had no electricity — was as reprehensible as it was revealing about how political “reporters” have now pretty much become theatrical reviewers.
You could have two theories about the disintegration of the ability of the government to protect us and provide us with basic survival services under Bush.
One is that the Bush administration is full of total incompetents — and is such a “spin” operation depending upon the press buying the latest photo-op of Bush and speech written for him — that they simply have no idea nor do they care how they are weakening America.
The other theory is that Rove, Cheney and Rumsfeld are geniuses. This theory holds that they know exactly what they are doing by making government the scapegoat for being ineffective, because that helps them to further privatize services — such as protecting people, rescuing people, policing, health care, social security, etc — that should be efficiently offered by the national government.
— Buzzflash editorial, Sept. 19, 2005