Sunday, December 18, 2005

Media help Rove and Bush distort reality

Media help Rove and Bush distort reality
Posted on Sunday, December 18 @ 09:45:20 EST
David Rossie
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin was an 18th century Russian soldier and statesman, and one of Catherine the Great's many lovers. He served with distinction in Russia's war with Turkey, 1768-74, and later became governor general of what is now Ukraine. But he is best remembered for his villages.

In what would be called urban development today, Potemkin set about colonizing "New Russia," as it was called.

Work did not proceed as rapidly or as well as he'd hoped, so when he took Catherine on a tour of the new colony he arranged for the construction of some fake villages, little more than facades, that the empress could admire as they rode by. That's how Potemkin villages became part of the language, synonymous with fakery and deception.

Granted, mass communications more than two centuries ago weren't what they are today, but given the fact that he's managed to hoodwink an entire country, including most of its news media, not just some oversexed empress, shouldn't Karl Rove replace Potemkin as the ultimate deceiver?

With his political genius and a considerable amount of help from Dick Cheney, Rove has managed to persuade a goodly number of Americans that they are being ably led by a man who in fact lacks the acumen to run a sidewalk hot dog stand. But he could not have done it without the cooperation of an acquiescent press corps....