The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina

The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina

Frank Rich

Language: English

Pages: 0

ISBN: 014305905X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


New York Times columnist Frank Rich reviews the trajectory of fictions spun by the Bush administration from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina, revealing the most brilliant spin campaign ever conducted.

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propagandists who come to ruin: they fell for their own scam. But that last-ditch defense is hard to make, given that the lying about WMDs continued even after the war and even after the Saddam WMDs were debunked. When Bush said “We found the weapons of mass destruction” to a Polish reporter on May 29, 2003, he already knew that the “mobile biological laboratories” he was referring to were nothing of the kind. As The Washington Post reported in 2006, two days before Bush made his claim, a secret

component to TV news, that packaging was now omnipresent, shaping the coverage of stories from Washington scandals to Wall Street bubbles to child abductions to war—and around the clock, not just on the evening news, the morning shows, and the occasional network newsmagazine. In this new mediathon environment, drama counted more than judicious journalism; clear-cut “evildoers” and patriots were prized over ambiguous characters who didn’t wear either black or white hats. Once-definable

official” cited in the previous day’s Washington Post story, writing that: while Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet may not have told Mr. Bush that the Niger documents were forged, lower C.I.A. officials did tell both the vice president’s office and National Security Council staff members. Moreover, I hear from another source that the C.I.A.’s operations side and its counterterrorism center undertook their own investigations of the documents, poking around in Italy and Africa, and

complained angrily that their tour of duty had been extended yet again just a week after Rumsfeld had told them they were going home. One soldier told Kofman on camera that he’d like to ask the defense secretary “why we’re still here, ’cause I don’t, I don’t have any clue as to why we’re still in Iraq.” (“I’d ask him for his resignation,” said another.) As if on cue, an administration-friendly Web site, The Drudge Report, posted a story saying that Kofman was gay (and, worse, Canadian). Matt

his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.” Letson claimed that Kerry’s wound was merely a self-inflicted scratch. But Letson’s name did not appear on any of Kerry’s medical records, where another, now-deceased doctor was listed as the “person administering treatment.” Some of the other Kerry attackers were, if possible, even more shameless in their dishonesty. Veterans who had in the past publicly saluted Kerry as “among the finest of those Swift Boat drivers” or an exemplar

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