July 03, 2009
More Filth Bubbles Up from the Bush Years

Unknown News put me onto an intriguing story from The Hill that I hadn’t seen elsewhere. Two bits that caught my eye…


Moreover, a public-relations maxim of the Bush White House and its press officers was to shorten the lifespan of any bad press to make sure that it got out as widely as possible to as many major news organizations on the same day. For example, in February of 2006, after learning that The New York Times was going to run a story about an administration program to covertly obtain bank records to track down potential terrorists, the White House briefed reporters from the competing Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times so that they would all be able to publish the story that same night.

The case study of what occurred in that instance became the playbook for how public-relations specialists for the administration handled minimizing the impact of bad news and putting their own spin on it: Get everything out everywhere at once, get it out to authoritative news sources, and get your version out first.

And this:

After [Arizona U.S. Attorney] Charlton’s firing, there was speculation in the media that it may have been due to his pursuit of Renzi. (Charlton himself never publicly suggested that that was the case.) Yet the report into the firings of the U.S. attorneys concluded there was “no evidence” of that.

Charlton was targeted, the report said, because he clashed with Gonzales over a death penalty case. Charlton wanted the Justice Department to foot the bill for recovering a murder victim from a landfill to make absolutely sure the forensic evidence supported the conviction. Gonzales refused. “I didn’t want to be left to wonder a year later, or 10 years later, or 20 years later whether a life might have been taken unjustly just to appease some political paradigm,” Charlton said.

The first excerpt came as a surprise to me, although I spent a good many years as a press officer for a U.S. Embassy, the Carter campaign, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Silly me, I never thought of (or heard of) diluting the news value of a reporter’s story by leaking it immediately to the competition.

As to the second, no great news there, I guess. Just another example, no more ripe than a hundred others, of the schweinerei that Bush and Rove made of the United States Justice Department. Who would have expected the ineffable Alberto Gonzales to spend the taxpayers’ money just to find out if a condemned man was really guilty?



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 03, 2009 09:11 AM
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):


What the hell was the body of a murder victim doing in a landfill? Something (still) smells.

Is that sculpture a tribute to George Orwell's Animal Farm"

Posted by: Ten Bears on July 3, 2009 9:37 AM

yes, tell about the sculpture

Posted by: Katherine Hunter on July 3, 2009 7:11 PM

That looks like one of the Adelaide pigs.


Posted by: Jim on July 3, 2009 7:39 PM

I just found the photo on Google Image, where there was no indication of where it came from. Now that Jim has given us the name and location, I find that it's Oliver, all right. One of four famous bronze pig statues on Rundle Mall, in Adelaide. Look them up the next time you're Down Under.

Posted by: Jerry Doolittle on July 3, 2009 10:23 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?