Making My Point

Here’s a news story about a Bush visit to a factory that demonstrates my point in my previous post:

“As he entered, a half-dozen workers were steadily polishing windows, as if Bush had walked into an ordinary shift on President’s Day. News cameras snapped away as Bush picked up a caulking gun and hugged workers.

Five minutes after Bush and his entourage of journalists left, the factory floor was deserted, and there was no sign later in the day that production had resumed.”

Here’s something the Reagan people knew: only the pictures matter. Once Michael Deaver, one of Reagan’s marketing wizards, was asked about a news story that showed pictures of Reagan at photo-ops, while the voice-over talked about how Reagan was misleading people by using these photo-ops to give impressions that were actually the opposite of Reagan’s policies. Deaver thanked them for showing the pictures (just spell my name right) and said the voice-over and the facts don’t matter — what mattered were the pictures people saw because that is what formed their impression of events.

Here we have Bush touring a supposedly busy factory. Five minutes after he left the factory was deserted. You and I, the informed news junkies will scoff at how this proves what we have been saying. (Like the time Bush appeared in front of boxes that had “Made in China” covered up. Remember? Regular people don’t.) But the Bush people understand that most of the public will see Bush visiting a busy factory and hugging employees and this means that Bush is a caring guy who has revived the economy.