Tuesday, October 19, 2004

"as you know"

Ken Mehlman is slick. We should all marvel at how slick he and his fellow propagandists are. Mr. Subliminal has nothing on these guys. It is truly amazing how powerful three little words can be.

"As you know."

I've noticed this trick before, but never really consciously connected the dots to see how perfect a ploy it is.

This time, it went like this. While talking to Leslie Blitzer on CNN about various and sundry reasons why George Bush deserved election, the topic of Kerry's support for expanding funding on embryonic stem-cell research came up. Before hitting his talking points, Ken took a moment to drop an almost imperceptible line of viral code into Leslie's operating system. "As you know, Wolf, George Bush was the first president to fund stem-cell research." Rather than pointing out the obvious, that the reason that Bush was the first president to fund it was that there had been developments in research techniques in the past few years during his presidency that made it an issue on his watch for the first time, Leslie liked the tacit statement that he knew something and he quickly agreed, saying something knowing like "yes, of course he did, but..." and dropped that line of discussion to continue on another tangent. Instead of being called on his omission of an important factor, Mehlman managed to make the covert assertion that George was prescient enough to pull up this esoteric subject for review and approval because of his governance skills simply by using a three-word introduction to a sentence, distracting an obviously intelligent person with the most subtle appeal to his basic vanity. And Leslie Blitzer? He lighted up with the implicit flattery of the words "as you know, Wolf" and apparently got his cognitive processes short-circuited or detoured with ease.

Later on in the day, different guest, the topic came up of medical research, and Leslie Blitzer himself made a reference to the "as you know" fact that little w. was the first president to fund stem-cell research.

Like Pavlov and the pups, only faster and with greater ease, three little words programmed an allegedly world-class journalist into repeating a simple Republican talking point pretty much verbatim as though it were a relevant fact in and of itself, all the while beaming smugly secure in the knowledge that he will continue to be perceived as one who knows.

"As you know."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other phrase that I see used in much the same way is "You must agree...". Now I hear this same phrase coming out of the mouths of people I know. Not only do I not have to agree to anything, I am offended by those who would insist that I do.

6:56 PM  

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