Sunday, October 31, 2004

Returned as undeliverable

I used to think Republicans had a communication problem. But more and more I think the problem isn't that Republicans can't articulate their message, it's that their message is being filtered and stifled by the media at large.

The evidence for this is the conventions: John Kerry got no bounce out of his, but Bush got a huge bounce from his. Why? Because people have been able to hear Kerry's message all along; the media actively, reflexively promote it 24-7, so Kerry's convention was just another harmonic in the media chorus. But the convention was the first time anyone heard the Republican message without Dan Rather there to immediately contradict it, so Bush got a huge bounce out of his. That's also why the Swift Vets had a disproportionate impact in September when they started to advertise; they held news conferences in May but were ignored by the media. When they started to be heard, it was new.

Here's a question to ponder: if 254 of Bush's fellow Guard soldiers held a news conference to say he was unfit for duty based on their experience with him, do you think the media would have ignored it? (Hint: forged memos were enough for Dan Rather.)

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