November 27, 2013
These “analysts” are just amazing, aren’t they? Here is a column by Dana Milbank claiming and objecting to the fact that the Obama administration is now using its own photographers to snap pictures, and not using or allowing the press’ own photographers to shoot these pictures. OK. Sounds a little paranoid to me.
But then Milbank goes on to argue that this policy “smacks of propaganda.” Again, I have no objection to this argument but wonder: Has Milbank not noticed that propaganda surrounds the presidency? I mean “Hail to the Chief”. What is that, if not propaganda? The White House: What is that if not propaganda? The “State of the Union” address: What is that if not propaganda?
Moreover, what is even more interesting is that Milbank has no idea or displays no knowledge of the fact that what is called “the modern presidency” has always needed propaganda to function properly. This was recognized by those who helped create the modern presidency, the progressives and even by their opponents or those who claimed to be their opponents. Woodrow Wilson argued that statesmanship was, by and large, a matter of rhetoric, that is, of propagandizing for the sake of national unity. He knew such unity was, for the most part and certainly absent of war, artificial, the creation of a mind, no, a visionary using the tools available to make this one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
And Milbank is worried about some photographs? OK. But contained herein is what strikes me as humorous about Milbank’s column. He complains that the picture[s] of Obama and others the night/day bin Laden was assassinated were doctored, apparently to remove some stuff visible in front of Hillary. So, let me get this straight, Mr. Milbank: You are complaining about these photos being doctored because that is “propaganda,” but you are not complaining about the picture[s] themselves or what they represent: Our president and other high officials taking pleasure in their assassination of bin Laden as if they were watching Jack Bauer take him out! OK. I got it. You just can’t make shit like this up.