How President Cheney can Shut Down the Press

Okay, so it’s getting pretty obvious that Pres. Cheney wants to recreate the Ford administration, and to bring back an era when the press and the public are regarded as the chief enemies of the White House. (Poindexter’s new appointment, Kissinger’s role as an ‘investigator’, increasing secrecy, and court rulings that Cheney need not reveal the process through which the energy industry developed our energy policy, are all part of this trend.) (Incidentally, did you all see Saddam Hussein’s 15,000-page report to the UN? It’s a play straight out of the Reagan/Baker playbook: overwhelm them with data so they have no time to ask questions about anything else.)

I think the press – or at least some of the press – will, eventually, decide that there’s more to be gained by attacking this administration than continuing to praise it.

Rather than continuing to spend its money on secrecy, I think the administration should simply pay us all off. Whenever there’s a pesky journalist getting too close to the truth, like Cockburn, or say Mark Crispin Miller, just give him some money.

Don’t do it directly, though! No – just make the journalist’s life better. Pay his employer to give him a raise, a promotion to “Department Chair” or “Editorial Director.” And then bury him in administration work, if necessary. Or get him laid.

Make all the journalists rich and happy. Then they’ll think that the economy has gotten better. Hell, they’ll think everything has gotten better. And they’ll report it this way to the public.