The dog is being wagged…. again. During last week’s White House tailspin, Karl Rove knew he had to regain control of the media and turn the discussion away from 2,000 dead soldiers, Miers, Libby and Rove himself.
Today's nomination of Judge Samuel Alito is another well-timed volley in Rove's five-year effort to turn the mainstream media agenda to Bush's favor. Now, obedient newsrooms are following Alito's trail. The Libby indictments have been largely wiped from the agenda. The Rove White House is “The final, squalid perfection of the Permanent Campaign: a White House where almost every move is tactical, a matter of momentary politics, even decisions that involve life and death and war,” said TIME Magazine's Joe Klein this week.
Rove has refined this tactic to an art. No further proof is needed than a cursory scan of the lead stories at the websites of the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. It's all Alito all the time, relegating the "Plamegate" story to the backbench.
Rove is the best West Wing spin doctor ever, and the 8 AM Monday Alito nomination is but a small move in a much larger, well coordinated campaign to eliminate dissenting voices from the US Media. He is carefully ensuring the dominance of giant media conglomerates that minimize investigative journalism and whose owners are ideologically aligned with the Right.
Beneath the static of Alito coverage lurk other stories of, perhaps, greater importance: the FCC will approve two massive media mergers: SBC's purchase of AT&T and Verizon's acquisition of MCI; board members at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will attempt to bury a scathing Inspector General that shows extensive right-wing interference in public broadcasting programming; and the Department of Justice will continue to ignore a GAO report that found the White House repeatedly violated laws against “covert propaganda” and other fake news.
Once again, the dog has been waved with the flick of Rove’s wrist.