DOES PERINO REALLY WANT TO GO THERE?…. Fox News personality Dana Perino, best known for her work as the fourth press secretary for the Bush White House, has a habit of saying some unintentionally amusing things.
But this week, Perino complained on the air about a video the Obama White House released on the signing of the Travel Promotion Act.
“[T]here was an incident today where the President signed the Travel Promotion Act — not a huge bill by any stretch of the imagination. But usually, that is something that the White House press corps would get to cover. They didn’t today. And then later on in the day, the White House decided through its own media — they have a robust new media shop and they’re creating their own news and they’re posting it, and all the networks said that they’re not going to show it.
“But creating your own news is something that happens in repressive regimes. And a democracy is — it is critical to have a good, strong free press in a democracy.”
Now, I don’t know what transpired with the signing of the Travel Promotion Act this week. Maybe there was a reason the White House released its own video; I haven’t the foggiest idea. It doesn’t seem especially important.
But if Perino wants to characterize U.S. administrations that “create their own news” as being undemocratic and reminiscent of “repressive regimes,” she’s going to have to overlook the jaw-dropping work of her own former colleagues in the Bush administration.
The Bush/Cheney gang, after all, invested heavily in creating fake-news segments — literally, illegal government propaganda — with taxpayer money, to be aired on news stations across the country. The Bush administration also had a bad habit of paying political pundits — again, with our money — to push the party line in the media, without disclosure.
Tell us again, Dana, about the importance of a free press and the free flow of information in a democracy.