Thursday, February 17, 2005

On The Mark -- Bush Administration's PR Rope a Dope Strategy

As much as I want to do otherwise, it's so difficult to believe anything that comes out of the White House today. The latest fiasco in a long line of falsehoods and propaganda is the pseudo-reporter the White House planted during its briefings. This "reporter's" sole job was to ask softball questions during press conferences and plant stories that can now be seen as nothing other than propaganda. Combine that with Karl Rove's genius in strategic communications, and it's a scary situation.

So, on the face of it, when one sees this headline in a newspaper, "5 Units of Military Reserve Miss Recruiting Goals," accompanied by a photo of the military's top officer and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one would probably think, "that makes sense," and flip the page without another thought.

But, if you're really paying attention, one can't do that anymore. Are they really missing their targets? Or is the administration setting the stage for a future request? Will we see these same two gentlemen in a year's time stating that we need a draft because recruitment is failing?

You see, Rove looks at the big picture, and he's the master of PR Rope a Dope. Take some punches now in order to fool your opponent and then come out swinging while your opponent quickly slides into a daze. It's better to get a thought in everyone's head now so they don't have to waste valuable time convincing everyone when they want to quickly reinstate the draft.

I know this probably sounds like leftwing conspiracy theories. But it's not. I'm in the middle. Throughout all elections I've voted for the person I thought was right for the job -- Blue, Red or Green. I've read Irving Kristol and others as much as I've read liberal authors.

But I know how PR campaigns work. I've been there when hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to establish a medical need or awareness in the months leading up to the introduction of a new drug. It's no different than what the Bush Administration does day in and day out.

And like the pharmaceutical industry, the Bush Administration remedies have side effects.


Chandira said...

I hear you...

Basic advertising strategy. Create a demand, then supply it.

I've seen the medical people do this too. It's more noticeable in the tv ads, as you only get 30 seconds.
Could this heart attack happen to YOU?? You need xxxx. Bullshit.
I know they do it longer term. I'm not thinking you're a conspiracy theorist, I'm thinking you're noticing the world you live in. Unlike the Prozac Posse.

Rich said...

I found this blog on a random search.

I doubt that the Bush Admiistration is trying a rope-a-dope on the draft, if only because Rumsfeld is on the record early on as saying the draftees of Vietnam "Didn't add much value" to the Army back then. Not entirely sure when he said that. That might make a difference.

On The Mark said...

Chandira: Yes, TV ads are the worst, and we should all fear the Prozac Posse. BTW, did you see my comment below yours on our big truck post?

Rich: Thanks for stopping by. I had forgotten about Rumsfeld's comment. However, he did make that a long time ago when he thought we would be in and out of Iraq in a matter of months. He may have a new reality now.