The State Of The Media Address
Exclusive: The State Of The Media Address February 09, 2005 By Danny Schechter
(Disclosure: Mediachanel.org obtained this document from usually unimpeachable sources. We cannot verify it. One document expert we consulted opined that its font style and syntax bears an uncanny resemblance to work written on the G 4 Mac Powerbook used by News Dissector Danny Schechter. The Dissector was covering a hurricane in Texas and could not verify it either. Readers will have to judge it for themselves in terms of what they know or suspect.)
MEMO TO THE PRESIDENT
To: GWB From: Karl Rove Re: Remarks For the Confidential Media Mogul Appreciation Breakfast
Here is the advance draft of the remarks my office has prepared for your use at the "Media Mogul" breakfast we are having on the morning of the State of the Union address.
Let's call it the State of the Media.
Our friends will be seated in the room, strategically as usual, and will be provided with questions. I will give you the order in which they will be asked for questions and small photos so you know who's who. Please do not call on anyone else!
Tomorrow, I will be able to read the speech aloud to you and mark up the key message points for emphasis the way we usually do.
As you know, we have been taking a bit of flak on that growing Armstrong Williams problem, so we need to keep these media moguls on the reservation. (Aside: These liberals are such hypocrites: Clinton didn't need to subsidize reporters because he had them in his back pocket, at least before Monicagate. Hah. Hah!)
Here's our expected guest list:
l. Rupert--we can always count on him. (Roger Ailes may not make it because he's on another diet and says he needs to preserve the appearance of that Fair and Balanced thing they have going. We talk all the time.)
2. Sumner-I wish he hadn't said Viacom would be better off with a Republican Administration. It was too obvious. We do better when some of these Viacom guys appear from time to time to be attacking us because it makes their support seem more sincere and credible. I already passed on your thanks to Les Moonves at CBS for the way he handled that Rather mess. Didn't you just love that "document" drama and the way it shifted attention away from you? Wink. Wink. Also, Dickie Thornburgh has come through for us again on that "independent" investigation. Make sure you drop him a personal note. Your dad already has.
3. Bob Wright of NBC/GE will be there and, as always, can be trusted. Ask Bob how GE's reconstruction work is going in Iraq. We took care of them.
4, Reverend Moon can't come personally for obvious reasons but will send a key member of his team. He's a very generous man in more ways than one. Don't refer to him as "Dear Father"--that's only for his people!
5. Dick Parsons, CEO of TimeWarner is a definite. Be sure to thank him for the $250,000 corporate contribution he made towards the inauguration. He's been a Republican for years. He's did well in dumping Ted Turner. don't you think? (He will be the only black guy there. He doesn't like rap so don't tell him how much you like 50 Cents.)
6, The Washington Post company will be there--no journalists of course, but a top management player. They gave $100,000 to the inauguration. Make eye contact this time when you express your appreciation.
7, Pat Robertson will represent the religious Broadcasting community. I asked Falwell and Dobson to miss this one because they tend to have loose lips. I told them they can serve the Lord more effectively by being more discrete.
8. Our friends at Sinclair Broadcasting and Clear Channel will be represented. They have been great although you might pull Clear Channel aside and ask them why they are letting that Air America network used their stations?
9. I have bypassed Disney this time but I have already thanked Michael Einser on your behalf for refusing to distribute that Fahrenheit 911 hate-umentary.
10. Film director Jerry Bruckenheimer sends regrets. Hes on location making a new action movie celebrating the war on terror. He's a genius.
11. I asked Dick Cheney to stay away. You may not recall but he dropped in at a Washington Correspondents dinner after the Iraq invasion and thanked them all for a "job well done." But many felt he was too abrupt and could have said more. Media people find him too gruff even when he praises them.
Needless to say, there are hundreds of others in the industry who would want to join us but as we learned in the campaign, massaging the egos of fat cats is always best achieved in small exclusive groups. These guys like to be in the "in-crowd" and on the top VIP guest lists. They like face time with the President. It makes them feel more important.
By the way, Rummy is leaking some details of an old intelligence operation to Sy Hersh to distract him and keep him far, far away. I hope to get some "documents" to him later. Helen Thomas will be far away also having a pre-scheduled visit with Laura at a library opening .
The rest of the White House press corps can be handled as we know.
FYI: We are calling this event an off the record invitation only "Tsunami Relief Thank You gathering" for public consumption.
As you see, with the right staff preparation, this type of thing doesn't have to be that "hard." These media execs like candor. They are friends. You can level with them.
Karl PS. Please shred after reading. Paper is dangerous.
DRAFT---CONFIDENTIAL STATE OF THE MEDIA 2005
Later tonight, I will be delivering the State of the Union Address. We have been rehearsing and I expect it will go well thanks to those fancy new teleprompters.
As you know sometime my English is not the best. (Laugh Line)
Remember how the State of the Union in 2001 turned public opinion around? A great phrase like "Axis of Evil" is sometimes all you need. As you know from your businesses, "branding" and repeating the right message points keep ratings high.
We all win when we stay on message.
As Karl keeps reminding me, perception is what matters. It has to be well managed. PM is more important than PR, (Laugh Line)
By the way, Karl will drop by later with some of the key language we need to reinforce our policies this time around. Try avoiding words like privatization and instead stress "personal security accounts" when talking about social security. Sometimes people don't know what's good for them. To get through to them, we have to make it personal.
I don't have to tell you why more money in the stock market is good for all of us.
But before the public sees me talk about our nation tonight --and its state is good by the way--let me say a few things about our media. We need you. Our country relies on you.
I am sure you know that when some our more enthusiastic supporters knock the "liberal media," they are not talking about you.
We know who are friends are--and that's why you are here.
Remember, that in his war plan, Tommy Franks renamed your fourth estate, the "Fourth Front." That?s how we regard you.
Without your support, our Administration could never accomplish all it has.
So I'm here to thank you, for keeping election coverage on a positive note and standing by our service members in Iraq and other fronts in the war on terror.
(SINCERE) If you don't keep the flag flying, who will?
We need the country to stand behind our soldiers. I know you have to report our casualties but please keep the focus on the terrorists or insurgents or whatever we call them. That has been helpful. A little bit of fear is as good for politics as it is for the box office.
Thank you for your focus on the threats we face. More personal stories from the front line always fosters audience identification.
People don't want to hear nay-sayers. They want to believe in America.
Thank you for your patriotism. And your understanding when things don't always go right. I am sure all of you have backed TV programs that fizzled. It's the same way with laws and wars. We all have our lemons. Practice makes perfect.
You don't go around apologizing everywhere. Neither do I.
The only apology I would make to you has to do with the FCC. As you know Michael Powell and his dad are leaving. Sometimes, both went off message. Like father, Like Son.
As a result we lost those FCC rule changes that you all were counting on. We hope to do something about that once we have someone more trustworthy running the Commission.
Also I want you to know that I personally did not approve all the big so-called obscenity fines that the former Chairman levied on your companies. I mean that Rupert. He overdid it...and as you notice, he's no longer here. We will make it up to you all.
Media matters to this administration. It matters a lot. This is one thing Laura agrees with me on.
We also want you to be successful in business and....
(At this point the document end. Our efforts to find the rest of the speech were unsuccessful. Again, we do not vouch for its contents.)
News Dissector Danny Schechter is the "blogger in chief" at Mediachannel.org. His new film WMD (Weapons of Mass Deception) opens this Friday in New York, Portland and Buffalo New York. See www.wmdthefilm.com