by Scoobie Davis
Robert Parry on the right's media infrastructure:
America’s top political analysts are now mining Election 2004 for lessons learned: A front-page story in the Washington Post marveled at how effective the Swift boat smears were against John Kerry for the bargain price of $546,000. Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. observes that “the sheer negative genius of the Bush campaign is worthy of close study.”
While both points may be true, they obscure a larger reality: The reason that negative attacks could work so well for the Bush campaign was the preexistence of a vast conservative media infrastructure that serves as both an echo chamber for Republican messages and a way to protect George W. Bush and other Republicans from attack.
Indeed, the conservative investment of tens of billions of dollars in media over the past quarter century may be the biggest – and least reported – money-in-politics story of modern American history. The conservatives’ ability to saturate the airwaves with their version of reality has changed how millions of Americans understand the world.