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Sunday, February 05, 2006

That's Show Biz 

A want ad for liars, from Variety (courtesy of Zemblan patriot J.D.):
If you can construct believable stories with enough truth in them to smear somebody royally, boy, is there a pot of gold waiting for you in D.C. . . . .

Records show that media consulting firm Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm was paid $276,000 for the Swift Boat campaign, and Creative Concepts, a Virginia firm, was paid $165,000 for repping both the Swift vets and the conservative book company Regnery Publishing, which issued a tome about Kerry's military service, "Unfit for Command" . . . .

"Modern communication isn't about truth, it's about a resonant narrative," says Eric Dezenhall, a former Reagan administration aide and now president of his own crisis management firm. "The myth of PR is that you will educate and inform people. No. The public wants to be told in a story who to like and who to hate."

Already suspected by blue-collar America as an elite and effete New Englander, Kerry -- one of the handful of Ivy Leaguers who volunteered to go to Vietnam -- was red meat for the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" ad that cast him as a Yale snot who'd come back from Vietnam to trash his largely working-class troops.

If that sounds audacious, it's because, as Dezenhall says, "We're living in an age of audacity," another fact GOP spinmeisters understand and exploit superbly.

"George Bush communicates in terms of audacity," Dezenhall says. Bush's response to questions about the wiretapping was to say that he's just trying to catch terrorists. Bold motivation, easily understood.

"Democrats communicate in terms of complexity," Dezenhall says, referring to their windy explications of a need to pursue enemies within the rule of law as spelled out in various court ... (snorrrrrrrrrrre).

Hence the lack of public outrage against a possible blatant violation of the Constitution, and the reason why Democrats, yet again, look like feckless pedants on national security.

There's no way to measure the money that's spent on political PR attacks, but Dezenhall estimates the market is at least "in the hundreds of millions" . . . .

Media analyst MAGNA Global predicts that total political ad spending for the 2006 national elections will hit a record high of just under $3 billion. Spinmeisters possessing modern PR's most important and essential skill -- "the capacity to tell a story," as Dezenhall says -- will rake in most of those bucks as the mud flies.

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