Preempting Pravda & Interpreting Izvestia

Vladimir Bukovsky, the great anti-Soviet dissident, once reproved me for quoting the old joke about the two main official Soviet newspapers: “There’s no truth in Pravda [Truth] and no news in Izvestia [News.]” He pointed out that you could learn a great deal of truthful news from both papers if you read them with proper care.

In particular, they often denounced “anti-Soviet lies.” These lies had never previously been reported by them. Nor were they lies. And their exposure as such was the first that readers had been told of them. By reading the denunciation carefully, however, intelligent readers could decipher what the original story must have been. It was a roundabout way of getting information — but it worked.

John O’Sullivan wrote that in his article, The Song of the Kerry Boatmen, in National Review in the fall of 2004, a few months before the presidential election. (…Ah, good times, good times).

Bukovsky’s words offer insight to us as the Obamachination of the news ramps up to hype the “First 100 Days”.

From Politico: 100 days: What Obama wants you to read

In working on their own “100 days” story they report:

For that story, we spoke to top White House officials. So it’s with some authority that we can offer this user’s guide to 100 days stories.

Here are seven things the White House wants reporters to write:

Obama is a promise keeper

[Hmm…don’t read Jim Geraghty much, eh?, author of the Obama Axiom!]

Obama is a game changer

[I think they mean that in a positive way.]

Obama is the decider

[The Chicago Way v. Mr. Present]

Obama’s not in the bubble

[Wagyu steak, anyone?]

Obama is not FDR

[redefining expectations]

Obama is FDR


Obama is one cool cucumber

[the tabloid president comes to your local grocery store]

Politico also gives their observations on how well each talking points is going over with the media.

Most of the press is living in Looking Glass land.

It remains to be seen how many of these Six Seven Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast will go over with the public.

Fisk away, my friends, fisk away!

Crossposted to BeJohnGalt and J‘s Cafe Nette.