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Posts Tagged ‘1990’s

Die MSM, Die – A blast from their lying past

Anybody who has followed US politics over the last few decades will remember a minor kerfuffle that occurred during the 1992 Presidential election.

Earlier that year the GOP primaries were happening and while not as exciting as the Democrat ones, because the incumbent President usually has no real challengers, people did pay some attention.

While conducting one of the usual election campaign photo opportunities President Bush dropped by a National Grocers Association convention in Orlando. One of the exhibits Bush visited was a demonstration of NCR’s checkout scanning technology, and he’s seen here at that point.

Following the triumph of Desert Storm, Bush was still riding reasonably high in the polls, even if they had declined a bit as a shallow recession appeared in late 1991 and pushed on into early 1992. But like most incumbent Presidents he was expected to win, so much so that several Democrat heavy hitters decided not to run that year, leaving the field to unknowns like some guy from Arkansas called Bill Clinton.

Still, the recession was seen as Bush’s weak spot and the Democrats began to chew away on this, along with their faithful lackey, The New York Times. The chosen narrative was that Bush didn’t really care about ordinary people, which was why he wasn’t doing anything to end the recession, so the idea was to produce endless articles showing how he was “out of touch” with the average American after decades in Washington D.C.

As you can see from the MSM coverage today of the current POTUS, an even more long-term incumbent of Washington D.C., narratives can be turned 180 degrees when the political and ideological need arises.

So when this photo and story appeared it was a gift to the NYT, and one of their lead reporters jumped all over it:

Today, for instance, [Bush] emerged from 11 years in Washington’s choicest executive mansions to confront the modern supermarket.Visiting the exhibition hall of the National Grocers Association convention here, Mr. Bush lingered at the mock-up of a checkout lane. He signed his name on an electronic pad used to detect check forgeries.

“If some guy came in and spelled George Bush differently, could you catch it?” the President asked. “Yes,” he was told, and he shook his head in wonder.

Some grocery stores began using electronic scanners as early as 1976, and the devices have been in general use in American supermarkets for a decade.

Because the NYT was regarded as the lead on any story, this one gave other editorial writers the chance to pile on and amplify the narrative (always an essential part of a propaganda campaign), like the Boston Globe

President Bush, according to reporters who followed him around Tuesday at the National Grocers Association convention in Orlando, Fla., had never before seen a supermarket cash register on which the name of the item and its price flashed on a screen when the item was dragged across an electronic scanner.

The scanner was introduced at supermarket checkouts in 1980, the year Bush was elected vice president, and is just one of the many aspects of everyday life from which a president (or vice president) is shielded in the private life of public office.

As opposed to this cool guy and his trumpet saxophone.

Then a small piece of truth emerged:

Andrew Rosenthal of The New York Times hadn’t even been present at the grocers’ convention. He based his article on a two-paragraph report filed by the lone pool newspaperman allowed to cover the event, Gregg McDonald of the Houston Chronicle, who merely wrote that Bush had a “look of wonder” on his face and didn’t find the event significant enough to mention in his own story.

Moreover, Bush had good reason to express wonder: He wasn’t being shown then-standard scanner technology, but a new type of scanner that could weigh groceries and read mangled and torn bar codes.


Bob Graham of NCR, who demonstrated the scanner technology for President Bush, said, “It’s foolish to think the president doesn’t know anything about grocery stores. He knew exactly what I was talking about.”

But by the time this truth leaked out it didn’t matter because it was buried on the back pages with one-time printing and then forgotten. To be fair there were some other MSM sources in the day that were more honest and less partisan than the Globe, NYT and others:

Newsweek screened the same tape and reported: “Bush acts curious and polite, but hardly amazed.” Michael Duffy of Time magazine called the whole thing “completely insignificant as a news event. It was prosaic, polite talk, and Bush is expert at that. If anything, he was bored.” 

Those semi-balanced days seem even longer ago than 1992.

But despite the likes of Time and Newsweek, The Narrative had multiple front-pages and therefore stuck – which was the intention of the NYT and other Democrat-supporting MSM sources. In fact it stuck so well that it’s still repeated, as it was with an ordinary 2009 NYT story about the history of the bar code scanner:

They even played a role in the 1992 presidential race, when then-PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush, at a campaign stop, seemed surprised by what had already become a technological staple of everyday life.

Also with a scathing NYT attack on John McCain about his supposed ludditism in 2008:

She even does my boarding passes – people can do that now,” Mr. McCain marveled. “When we go to the movies, she gets the tickets ahead of time. It’s incredible.”

Mr. McCain’s sense of wonder evoked the episode in the early 1990s when George H.W. Bush became overly impressed upon seeing a price scanner at a supermarket check-out counter.

As opposed to this cool guy and his Blackberry.

Yes, you’re seeing yet another standard pattern in the MSM, all the way to Cool Britannia and our own “Youth Adjacent” PM.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 18, 2021 at 12:47 pm

If Frasier was still in Seattle

My PhotoFrasier was a TV sitcom that ran in the 1990’s and through to 2004 in the US and around the world. It was a spinoff of the hugely successful 1980’s TV sitcom, Cheers, set in a Boston bar of that name.

The character of Frasier Crane had been introduced in an early season of Cheers: a minor role as a snobby psychiatrist with a Doctorate from Harvard who is helping the owner of Cheers recover from an alcoholic relapse. But the actor, Kelsey Grammar, so impressed the producers that they kept him on permanently until the series ended in 1993.

Most long-running, successful sitcoms produce spinoffs and most of them fail. Frasier was one of the exceptions and in many respects it outshone its progenitor, gaining enormous critical acclaim, large audiences and a huge swag of awards over its eleven seasons. With brilliantly scripted storylines, witty, clever dialog and an outstanding cast with chemistry between all of them, it is regarded by critics as one of the greatest ever sitcoms. It’s certainly one of my all-time favourites that I can watch repeatedly, still making me laugh.

To make sure it was a complete break from Cheers they threw Frasier across the country to his childhood home city of Seattle and gave him a new job: at a talk radio station where he provides on-air psychiatric help to callers with problems, while also providing listeners with entertainment.

And with that, here’s a cleverly edited version of just one scene, where someone from the new CHAZ settlement in Seattle calls in with a whole bunch of problems for Frasier to help with. Love the little Antifa touch on the classic opening.

 

Written by Tom Hunter

June 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm