Listening to some pundits fill time just before Rumsfeld's testimony today, it caught my attention when one of them mentioned how this "story" has "taken on a life of its own," or become a "media frenzy" depending on how you want to look at it.

It made me realize how these media frenzies actually make a small impact on Bush's behavior. For example, Condoleeza Rice changed her plans about the conditions of her speaking in front of the 9-11 Commission because of public outcry (or at least media outcry).

Contrast this with Bush's comment about the Feb 15 protests before the war started, supposedly 15 million protesters around the world on that day, to which Bush later responded that he doesn't pay attention to focus groups. Apparently if the focus group includes the right pundits, then he'll pay attention. If it only includes the largest number of people ever assembled to protest before a war, then it's beneath him.

PS - While listening to Rumsfeld or any of these other patsies talking about the Iraq prison abuse scandal, notice how many of them emphasize that the real problem is how it can lead to lower morale of US troops, or bad world opinion. It's not so much that killing and torturing people is inherently bad, but more of a PR problem, or something that could cost American lives. Got that? The main thing to worry about in Iraq is American lives, how torturing and killing Iraqis without the proper clearance could cost American lives.

Once again, we see that these people have a PR department where their consciences should be.


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