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Hullabaloo


Monday, August 20, 2007

 
Catapulting the Puppies and Horsies

by digby


Yesterday I wrote that I thought the press would barely mention that amazing op-ed by the non-coms about the situation in Iraq. Greg Sargent followed up this morning with a post showing the stark difference between the giddy reception of the O'Pollack dog and pony report and that op-ed.

Guess what was the big story this afternoon on Blitzer:

BLITZER: Two influential U.S. senators are home from Iraq, and they're throwing themselves back into the red-hot debate over the war and when to bring the troops home. They're the current and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committees. That would be Democrat Carl Levin and Republican John Warner. Their progress report today is both mixed and provocative to a certain degree.

Let's go to our congressional correspondent, Dana Bash.

What are Levin and Warner saying, Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, what they're saying is actually pretty surprising, considering the fact that these are two men who oppose sending more troops to go to Iraq.

What they are saying coming back from this trip to Iraq is that on the military side, the president's strategy is actually having some progress. He said -- they are saying that there is some -- there are some positive results that they actually witnessed on the ground in Iraq.

However, and there is a big "but" here, they are still saying that they're pretty pessimistic on the progress on the political front. And in their joint statement, senators Warner and Levin said, "While we believe that the surge is having measurable results and has provided a degree of breathing space for Iraqi politicians to make the political compromise," they said, "we are not optimistic about the prospects for those compromises."


That story was being run all afternoon on CNN.

In the comments yesterday there was some discussion about why I was bitching since, you know, the op-ed had appeared in the pages of the NY Times and all. Atrios said something very important about this today that I don't think I've ever seen put into quite these words before:

I think people often miss, there's the "news" and then there's the "talking about the news." The latter is how most people ultimately get their information, how conventional wisdom and subsequent coverage is generated, etc. No matter what the circulation of the New York Times, if an op-ed lands on its pages and Wolf Blitzer doesn't hear about it one cannot conclude that it made a sound.


Today, Carl Levin made some news by calling for the "removal" of Maliki. But that wasn't what led the news on CNN -- it was that he and Warner, "war critics," said the surge was working. They'd been on a dog and pony adventure in Iraq and came back with the same news everyone whose been on the same dog and pony adventure has said ever since Bagdad Bergner and Steve Schmidt went over there and taught the military a thing or two about catapulting the propaganda.

They are getting their word out, the press sensing a new narrative is playing along (yea we're winning!) and dissent once more gets drowned out. This is a huge problem for the left and one that we'd better learn how to deal with. It's not censorship --- it's "news management," which gets them to the same end.



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