Every morning, a group of old friends have a nice chat. ABC's George Stephanopoulos, CNN's James Carville, CNN commentator Paul Begala, and Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have a wide ranging conference call, usually starting just before dawn. Democrat Pollster Stan Greenberg is a frequent participant. They examine current events and how they fit into the new administrations policies. They determine how to best get their message to the public. Wahzgoanawn?" is a typically mumbled salutation from James Carville, translated from his strong accent into "What's going on?"
Apparently they talk sports also.
When they next appear on various programs as interviewers or interviewees, their comments do not conflict with each other. They have coordinated the broad themes and the topics, and after that early morning phone call they coordinate with their personal networks and associates, influencing and coaxing the comment and reportage on specific issues nationwide.
In January Politico had a puff piece on this relationship entitled; ‘Power, politics, gossip on daily call' filled with happy quotes from the gang about the long running friendship, painting it as a sort of good buddy telephone tradition.
"And in any given news cycle, it is quite likely that Washington's prevailing political and media interpretation -- at least on the Democratic side -- is being hatched on these calls. The process happens not by design but as the byproduct of pre-dawn badinage -- a smart-set take on the world that gets amplified by the prominent platforms all of them hold and by the dozens of later calls and lunches and rants that they will carry on with others throughout the day. "
From an information consumer's standpoint it is disturbing that several main networks are so tuned into White House message shaping. How can the citizen expect accurate analysis and reportage when the "journalists" that present it are so tied into the party in power? Obviously they cannot, as we have so clearly seen in the blatant bias and advocacy of last year's campaign media coverage. The "prevailing political and media interpretation" is a nice way to say "political message."
What this gang of good-buddies is doing is shaping the information environment, a standard Democrat practice. In the military this is called information warfare. It happens at every level in the Democrat party, from congress to cabinet offices to strategists and talking heads. Compare the messages from different networks and Democrat personalities on any given day; they are very, very close. Key phrases, easily remembered and suitable for limited time slots are identifiable. Remember "Bush lied, people died?" Now we have "Rush runs the Republican Party." It's a coordinated message.
Sympathetic editorials and commentary soon follow, putting a clear message into the public psyche. These messages are further reinforced by think tanks, non-profits, academics, and private sector allies in a web of influence and alliances that is as Machiavellian as a crime family and as ideologically fanatic as a cult. Regardless of truth or context millions are programmed with these messages, dreamed up by these influential leftist buddies in a morning teleconference.
They understand that if they can sufficiently influence what the public sees they have a better chance of keeping their approval levels high. Barring that, they can distract the public from their blunders by creating false issues, exploiting a crisis or exaggerating minor blips on the political radar.
When asked by Kerry Picket, of Newsbusters, if he had conference calls as reported by Politico, Mr. Stephanopoulos flatly denied it. Perhaps the cozy media-talking head-administration relationship was attracting too much attention.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There are no strategy sessions at the White House. None at all. Never had one. Not once.
PICKET: So you haven't called up Mr. Emanuel or Mr. Begala?
STEPHANOPOULOS: No conference calls never--not once...ever.
But Stephanopoulos is quoted in the Politico article, saying: "We are all good friends," he said. "We just like talking to each other, and I learn a lot from it ... and that's why we have been doing it for so long." Perhaps the question from Kerry Picket was unclear. Or perhaps, as is most likely the case, the good-buddies have decided to deny it for purely pragmatic political reasons, knowing it will blow over. Can't have citizens see how they are manipulated by their betters.
Obama successfully disguised his socialist agenda from millions of Americans. The good-buddies were central to that win; shaping and communicating the messages that the campaign needed inserted into the national view. We are all seeing the disastrous results of that deceit. Barely two months into his Presidency, Obama is wreaking havoc, crippling the nation, oblivious to consequences and monumentally arrogant, believing the timbre of his voice and the manipulation of the media will win public confidence until the socialist utopia he believe in comes to fruition. Who knows how bad it will be in a year, let alone four?
The good-buddies will be in the middle of it, spinning the loss of freedoms, increased taxes, and massive spending as good for the country. They will choose distracters to keep voter attention off the real problems and issues. Their media fraternity will help them.
But every so often, without meaning to, the left let's slip a glimpse of who they really are.
"Still, the line between journalism and politics is not always bright. Begala said he often can't remember the originator of any particular insight: "We talk so much - was this my idea that James changed, or was this George's observation that Rahm tweaked?"
Al Hunt, the Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News, said he talks with Carville almost every day -- one of a roster of Washington reporters in that category. There is no parallel, he said, to a group of friends who has remained so central to the daily shaping of Washington conversation as these Clinton-era comrades."