Misadventures In Political Propaganda

In the past I’ve briefly touched base on the propaganda and slander used by the Bush Administration to further their political agenda. Below is the latest example of White House approval and encouragement of doing and saying anything to avoid taking responsibility for their greedy, illegal and incompetent actions, including slandering innocent children (first a 12-year-old and now a 2-year-old).

Paul Krugman of The New York Times wrote an article titled ‘Sliming Graeme Frost’ detailing what he described as a teaching moment regarding the Bush Administration’s response to a radio address held by Democrats that was delivered by 12-year-old Graeme Frost after the president vetoed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill — a bipartisan bill that would have expanded the program that covers millions of children who would otherwise be uninsured. Congress is supposed to vote on a veto override this week.

12-year-old Graeme Frost is 12-year-old beneficiary of SCHIP. Graeme and his sister received severe brain injuries in a 2004 car crash and continues to need physical therapy. SCHIP was intended to help working Americans who can’t afford private health insurance.

The Frost family is the exact type of family SCHIP is defined for: the parents (and their four children) have a combined income of about $45,000 and don’t receive health insurance from employers. Before the accident in 2004, buying medical insurance would have cost them about $1,200 a month — virtually impossible on their combined income. After the accident when the kids needed expensive medical care, they couldn’t get insurance at any price.

Fortunately they received help from Maryland’s SCHIP program: the state’s restrictive rules for eligibility requires children to come from families with incomes 200 percent under the poverty line. For families with four children, that’s $55,220. The Frosts had no problem qualifying for aid under Maryland’s SCHIP program and Graeme is exactly the kind of child the program is intended to help.

The Smear Campaigns Begin

The White House has a bad habit of using falsified propaganda spread through select news outlets and a large following of ‘right-wing’ bloggers that love to spread vicious rumors and lies. You’ll find a small sampling of more examples below.

Shortly after the Democratic radio address these bloggers began insisting that the Frosts must be affluent since Graeme and his sister attend private schools (they’re on scholarships), because they have a house in a neighborhood where some are now expensive (in 1990 …. yes, 17 years ago … in a rundown and dangerous neighborhood, the Frosts bought their house for $55,000) and because in 1999 Mr. Frost owned a business (that has since dissolved).

It’s true that some bloggers make ridiculous unfounded accusations all the time. This round of lies was led by Michelle Malkin, who according to Technorati has the highest-trafficked right-wing’ blog on the internet as well as a nationally syndicated column, writes for National Review and frequently guest stars on FOX News. As you’ll see a few examples of below, FOX news is one of Bush’s largest propaganda pushers.

Also part of the FOX follies propaganda machine is Rush Limbaugh, who is so credible he’s had multiple exclusive interviews with Vice President Dick Cheney, which alone in itself tells you how reliable and truthful his credibility is. Limbaugh picked up the attack and began spreading more lies and deceptions about it. Bill O’reilly also has a selectively twisted show on FOX that feeds useless made-up lies and deceptions.

As noted by The New York Times: “All in all, the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate. If service members oppose a Republican war, they’re “phony soldiers”; if Michael J. Fox opposes Bush policy on stem cells, he’s faking his Parkinson’s symptoms; if an injured 12-year-old child makes the case for a government health insurance program, he’s a fraud.” The lies go on and on.

Bloggers and Blowhards Have Friends in High Places

The White House and some Republicans in Congress seemed eager to join in spreading the lies and deceptions.

Redstate is one of the right-wing blogs involved in the smear campaign. Redstate reportedly features some vitriolic comments about the Frost story such as the two below:

“If federal funds were required they could die for all I care. Let the parents get second jobs, let their state foot the bill or let them seek help from private charities…”

“I would hire a team of PIs and find out exactly how much their parents made and where they spent every nickel. Then I’d do everything possible to destroy their lives with that info.”

The White House reportedly decided to embrace that blog and rewarded it with an official White House posting on their web site. As reported by Think Progress, in a post entitled “Democrats’ SCHIP Budget Gimmick,” Nicholas Thompson, a staffer in the White House’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, rallied the conservative troops around Bush’s hard-line stance, reminding them that “we are less than one week” from Congress’ veto override vote.

Some Republicans in Congress were also eager to join in the smear. Before the New York Times reported that Republicans in Congress “were gearing up to use Graeme as evidence that Democrats have overexpanded the health program to include families wealthy enough to afford private insurance” but backed off as the case fell apart.

The Republicans had already started the process: an e-mail message from the office of Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority leader, sent to reporters was obtained by the web site Think Progress that repeated the smears against the Frosts and asked: “Could the Dems really have done that bad of a job vetting this family?”

All political BS aside, as the author noted, is how the Graeme Frost case demonstrates just how bad our health care crisis has become (not to mention more proof of the Bush administration’s loathing and treatment of the middle class working family): Every other advanced country has universal health insurance. In America insurance is far out of reach for many hard-working families with middle-class incomes.

Over looked by many and disregarded by the smear campaign is the fact that this case has nothing to do with the Frost parents. It’s about Graeme Frost and his sister. More examples of baseless political smear campaigns employed by his highness and the pocketed, dirty brown-nosing misfits who spread whatever propaganda or blatant lie is needed to fit the circumstances can be found below.

Links to more information

Links to the above and more can be found below:

Sliming Graeme Frost article from The New York Times

White House Embraces Right-Wing Blog That Called For ‘Destroying’ Graeme Frost article from Think Progress

The White House today decided to embrace RedState and reward the blog with an official White House posting

Author Naomi Klein: America is succumbing ot fascism article from Raw Story

Bill Maher: Show me a man wearing an American flag pin, I’ll show you an asshole article and video from Raw Story

Frost family draws ire of conservatives article from The Baltimore Sun

The ‘Truth Police’ and Jimmy Carter article from FOXNews and Bill O’Reilly:

“Well, somehow President Carter and Wolf Blister — Blitzer must have missed Al Qaeda blowing up two of our embassies, attacking the USS Cole, and gaining enough strength in Afghanistan to kill 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Somebody remind Wolf and Jimmy those things happened under President Clinton.”

9/11 happened under President Clinton? Stepped in what? Bush was president on 9/11/01 — Just one of many examples of lies and deceptions used by Bush Administration ‘news’ stations who get paid to promote the lies and deceitful propaganda used by the administration. A few more examples of FOX News and other presidential butt-kissers can be found below.

News Hounds: We watch FOX so you don’t have to – documentation on all kinds of misinformation from one of the White House’s biggest propaganda ‘news’ sources aids

OreillySucks.com – The Real No Spin Zone – more corrections of the misinformation from the White House propaganda ‘news’ source FOX Noise..er, News

No Quarter: FOX News, Crazy Right Wing Propaganda article:

“Thanks to DMAC we now know that Jurassicpork over at Pottersville (http://welcome-to-pottersville.blogspot.com/2007/03/fox-news-at-its-finest.html) created the following masterpiece. If you had any lingering doubt about the propaganda and disinformation that spews forth regularly from the demon child fathered by Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, just take a look. These are not isolated, out of context, screen shots. These are reflective of a mindset and standard of practice that is truly evil.

As a former Fox News analyst I have some first hand experience of dealing with the beast and have the satisfcation of knowing that Rupert Murdoch had me removed from Fox air for daring to suggest that invading Iraq would be a diversion in the war on terrorism.

The time has come that every thoughtful, informed person should refuse to watch Fox, appear on Fox, or support the advertisers who enable this group of nuts.”

The Fox of war article from Salon – The Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq may have been riddled with unreliable claims, but that didn’t stop White House-friendly Fox News from pumping it into America’s living rooms

TvNewsLies.org – Corporate News Media, there is blood on your hands article – LOTS of interesting information

Fox News Channel controversies information from Wikipedia

The Lies They Tell: How to Stop the Fox Propaganda Machine article from AlterNet

Dems To Let NSA Spy in U.S., But Spooks Will Hate the Fine Print article from Wired.com

Navy veteran questions why six nuclear missiles were flown on combat aircraft to staging area for Middle East article from Raw Story

Leading Americans Ask U.S. Military to Refuse Orders to Attack Iran article (some excellent references about breaking military law attacking Iran)

Talking Points Memo – Democratic Group Accuses Rudy Of Money-Laundering Around California Initiative article from TPMmuckraker:

“This is interesting: A Democratic group in California has filed complaints with the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission alleging that the Rudy campaign has engaged in money laundering and violating campaign finance laws surrounding the now-dead California ballot initiative.

The complaint alleges that Rudy established a “front” group through billionaire friend Paul Singer, a Rudy friend and campaign adviser who was also the sole donor to a group devoted to overturning California election laws in a way that would help the Republican nominee.

The group filing the complaints, called Californians for Fair Election Reform, appears real: It’s got well-known political consultant Chris Lehane as its chief spokesman.”

George W. Bush information from Issuepedia

The White House Mafia Blog: Corruption

Billions over Baghdad: Politics and Power from Vanity Fair (about the missing 9 billion dollars) article

Federal agencies flunk their audits article from Yahoo! News

DemocracyRising.US – the Bush Family’s War Profiteering article

Watchdog asks: Why is Bush’s kid brother getting federal bucks? article from Raw Story

Keith Olbermann’s Top 9/11 Story: The Promotion Of Failure in Bush Admistration article from Crooks and Liars

Bush Regime article from SourceWatch – characterized by blatant disregard for fact, willful deception even of themselves, and a fierce determination to impost their rule, globally and nationally, without regard to law, the U.S. Constitution or the principles contained therein

Was the 2004 Election Stolen? article from Rolling Stone – Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted — enough to have put John Kerry in the White House

Was the 2004 Election Stolen? Sources, commentary and documentation from Rolling Stone

Buried 60 minute interview video detailing Bush’s desire to invade Iraq from Youtube

Murdoch Confesses To Propaganda On Iraq article and video from News Corpse Blog

Content analysis of O’Reilly’s rhetoric finds spin to be a ‘factor’ article from Indiana University

Fox News Changes Wikipedia To Smear Rivals with the comprehensive list of changes article from Geeks are Sexy

CNN founder Ted Turner calls Fox News Bush’s propaganda machine article from Wikinews

Iran: The Nuclear Threat – Fox News Channel War Lies article from WhatReallyHappened.com

Fox News Propaganda: Blogs, Photos, Videos and more on Technorati – Everything in the known universe about Fox News Propaganda

Ron Paul on Bill O’Reilly, Fox shows the propaganda touch again article and video from Pursue Liberty

White House News Forgeries Widespread – Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged Television News article from Truthout.org:

“Thank you, Bush. Thank you, U.S.A.,” a jubilant Iraqi-American told a camera crew in Kansas City for a segment about reaction to the fall of Baghdad. A second report told of “another success” in the Bush administration’s “drive to strengthen aviation security”; the reporter called it “one of the most remarkable campaigns in aviation history.” A third segment, broadcast in January, described the administration’s determination to open markets for American farmers.

To a viewer, each report looked like any other 90-second segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government produced all three. The report from Kansas City was made by the State Department. The “reporter” covering airport safety was actually a public relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration. The farming segment was done by the Agriculture Department’s office of communications.

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government’s role in their production.”

William “The Bloody” Kristol Proves He Has No Soul: Bush’s “Heartless Assault” On Kids “A Good Thing” article and video from Crooks and Liars

Neocons seek to justify action against Tehran article from the Telegraph UK

Handy Tips To Defend Yourself Against The Falafel Guy Fatwa article and video from Crooks and Liars:

“Bill O’Reilly has vowed revenge against all the “far-left kooks” who have been so insolent as to hold his own words up for scrutiny, thankfully stopping just short of murder.  As a public service, Keith Olbermann offers this handy guide to dealing with those pesky producer-stalkers that Loofah Boy has sicced on others before.”

O’Reilly threatened radio show caller with “a little visit” from “Fox security” for mentioning Olbermann’s name on the air article and audio clip from Media Matters

You never know when Fox Security will show up at your door.”

The War on Terror’s professional witness article from The Register

Ex-Investigator Details Iraqi Corruption article from The Washington Post

Are they terrorists or ‘naive losers’? article from The Los Angeles Times:

“Liberty City Seven” planned to take over the world, prosecutors say. Defense claims they are victims of election-year political ploy.

MIAMI — At the opening Tuesday of a federal trial of seven terrorism suspects, jurors were asked to settle a question that has dogged the case since its disclosure 16 months ago:

Did the FBI foil a 2006 plot to bomb Chicago’s Sears Tower, or did it finance a fictitious plot to serve as an election-year victory in the war on terrorism?

The seven men from Miami’s poorest neighborhood who have been dubbed the Liberty City Seven stand accused of conspiracy to levy war against the United States and to provide material support to Al Qaeda, charges that could send them to prison for 70 years.”

Son of fallen Bush aide suspected in Washington gay-bash article from Raw Story

Bill Moyers’ Journal Looks At Fraud In Iraq article from Crooks and Liars

Here’s a major oxymoron:

White House Calls For Fair Elections in Russia article from Yahoo! News and Reuters

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