On Mother’s Day the New York Times Magazine will publish a 10,000 word profile of Obama Administration foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes. The piece contains many startling revelations including, how Rhodes plays the ventriloquist to the puppet MSM reporters (including Jeff Goldberg), how Rhodes led the administration in misrepresenting the truth to sell the Iran deal; Hillary Clinton’s lack of involvement in foreign policy, and Leon Panetta’s lack of involvement and mistrust of Obama’s intentions.
The four diverse revelations are too important to cover them all in one post. Therefore, we will handle them in 2-3 different posts–beginning with Rhodes explaining how he controls what comes out of the media’s mouths.
Claims that some in the press being in bed with the Obama Administration are usually scoffed at by the mainstream media as well as his progressive Democratic Party colleagues. That is no longer possible because in this piece Rhodes explains over and over again how he “ventriloquizes” the media, and he is happy about the accomplishment.
You may remember on the day Obama was to deliver his 2016 State of The Union address Iran captured and briefly held U.S. Sailors. Rhodes explained how he managed the story by exploiting his “well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters”
Rhodes quickly does the political math on the breaking Iran story. “Now they’ll show scary pictures of people praying to the supreme leader,” he predicts, looking at the screen. Three beats more, and his brain has spun a story line to stanch the bleeding. He turns to Price [his deputy], “We’re resolving this, because we have relationships,” he says.
Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.” I watch the message bounce from Rhodes’s brain to Price’s keyboard to the three big briefing podiums — the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon — and across the Twitterverse, where it springs to life in dozens of insta-stories, which over the next five hours don formal dress for mainstream outlets. It’s a tutorial in the making of a digital news microclimate — a storm that is easy to mistake these days for a fact of nature, but whose author is sitting next to me right now.
(…) The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years
Rhodes is not bragging about being a master of political spin, he is bragging about being a ventriloquist for the media. What he writes comes out of the mouths of “the columnists and reporters.”
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