A month or so ago this site was rife with criticism of Republican Senators, specifically Senators McCain and Graham, for challenging the prospective nomination of Susan Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. The Senators were accused of “knee-jerk” Republican obstruction to any action taken by the president. They were roundly criiticized for making the horrible murder of our ambassador to Libya into a political football by using it as rationale for objecting to Rice.
Since then we have seen a series of artricles written by various journalists repeated in this site which steadily picked away at Rice as a candidate for Secretary of State. Using such phrases as “doesn’t deserve,” “persoanlity disorder,” and friend of “African Despots,” the various journalists left the public with an image of Ms Rice being totally unsuitable for the job. In short it took over a month of steady journalistic attacks to lead the public to the same conclusion reached by those Republican senators early on.
I was once a “spin doctor” when I ran the Turkish operation of America’s original public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton. I got the job not because of my background in or knowlege of public relations but because I know how to sell to Turks. But during my tenure as head of the company I learned alot about the PR business and its ability to change public opinion by “spinning the news.” I offer this tortured effort to “walk back” a news story, i.e. “Republican senate zealots oppose Obama candidate with no reason,” and end up with the “zealots” initial reactions confirmed, as an excellent example of how “spin” works.