News Release

* That’s (Political) Entertainment! * That’s (Dubious) “Iraq Stabilization”

NANCY SNOW
Snow is author of Propaganda, Inc. and assistant professor of communications at California State University at Fullerton. She said today: “What made Arnold the insta-media darling that decided this election? Psychological warfare. His political bombshell on ‘The Tonight Show’ was not unlike the cerebral style Arnold displayed in the 1977 documentary ‘Pumping Iron,’ which made him a household name and launched his movie career. The bodybuilder showed his prowess for brains as much as brawn in psyching out competitors like Lou ‘The Hulk’ Ferrigno in his successful bid for a sixth straight Mr. Olympia title. One reviewer called Arnold’s approach to his competition ‘ruthless and mesmerizing.’ Whoa to those who were fooled then by the bulging muscles and robotic acting style…. The best mass persuasion move for Arnold to make was to withhold details about his plans for actually governing the state.”
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NORMAN SOLOMON
Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, writes in a syndicated column: “After decades as a media creature of entertainment, this fall Arnold Schwarzenegger easily made the transition to being a media creature of politics.” Before the election, Solomon wrote a piece for the San Francisco Chronicle (Sept. 28) that commented: “The recall grew from genuine grass roots but germinated on political Astroturf…. In political arenas, the broadness of populist sentiment is its strength and weakness: The rage is unmistakable, but the proclaimed solutions with the highest media decibels tend to be vague and simplistic…. The fact that anti-elitist rhetoric is often useful to elites for their avaricious schemes is no reason to be cynical about the potential value of idealistic activism at the grass roots….” [Note: Solomon is scheduled to appear on CNN this Saturday (Oct. 11) in a live debate about Iraq for a few minutes starting around 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.] More Information
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DAVID ENDERS
Enders is editor of Baghdad Bulletin and has spent most of the last several months in Iraq. He said today: “The creation of the Iraq Stabilization Group, whether it is intended to circumvent the Pentagon’s role in post-invasion Iraq or simply to give other nations the impression that the Bush administration has things ‘under control,’ really does something else: It decreases Congressional and other oversight in Iraq as the administration closes ranks.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167