Republican Propaganda Strategy: Razzle Dazzle ‘Em!

| April 10, 2010 | 1 Comment

Republican PR/propaganda strategy revealed in musical hit “Chicago”: Razzle Dazzle ‘Em! GOP Puppets and Media Manipulation

Republican Puppets

Republican Puppets

I’ve long used the words “razzle dazzle” in reference to the musical Chicago when describing Republicans’ media manipulations. Chicago is scathing satire of the collaboration between show business, legal proceedings and the media. It won Movie of the Year in 2002 and starred Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere. While googling the lines “they both reached for the gun”, I came across a Frank Rich article from years back that is a must-read:

That scene is a press conference in 1920′s Chicago. A star defense attorney, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), wants to browbeat a mob of reporters into believing that his client, Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger), did not murder her lover when in fact she did. Now remember,” Billy coaches Roxie, “we can only sell them one idea at a time.” The idea: Roxie acted in self-defense. “We both reached for the gun,” Roxie sings to the reporters, who obediently turn her lie into a rousing chorus, repeating it over and over in a production number that portrays them as marionettes, bowing and scraping to the tug of Billy’s strings and spin.

For history’s sake, this spectacle should be paired on the DVD with George W. Bush’s fateful White House press conference of March 6, 2003. This was the president’s first prime-time faceoff with reporters since a month after 9/11 and certain to be his last in what remained of peacetime. The former Andover cheerleader had failed to convince America’s friends to come aboard. The economy was tanking. But the journalists at hand were so limply deferential to the president’s boilerplate script that the subsequent, good-natured “Saturday Night Live” parody couldn’t match the gallows humor of the actual event.

One reporter, April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, asked, “Mr. President, as the nation is at odds over war, how is your faith guiding you?” — a God-given cue for Mr. Bush to once more cloak his moral arrogance in the verbal vestments of humble religiosity. “My faith sustains me because I pray daily,” came the president’s reply. “I pray for peace, April, I pray for peace.” Far be it from Ms. Ryan to ask a follow-up question about why virtually every religious denomination in the country, including Mr. Bush’s own, opposes the war. She might as well have been Mary Sunshine (Christine Baranski), the sob sister reporter in “Chicago,” who tosses Roxie an image-burnishing softball at her press conference by asking, “Do you have any advice for young girls seeking to avoid a life of jazz and drink?””

Watch how they get us to buy one lie at a time, while they razzle dazzle us with fear, accusations, and dramatic narratives. This is how they sold us WMD. One lie at a time. And it’s how they’re selling the country on “Socialism” , Sarah Palin as a viable candidate for anything other than WalMart greeter and Party Cheerleader, and George W Bush.

One lie at a time. Terror alert levels manipulated around election times. The Patriot Act as something to protect us. No Child Left Behind as a program to benefit all children. Etc.

The noise generated by the right is deafening. The Tea Partiers took over the media with their scant numbers, wining the war in sound bites and video that grabs eyeballs. Palin’s healthcare lies dominated the media, never questioned or fact-checked until it became embarrassingly clear that in fact the internet would fact check for the reporters.

Even now, as the Republicans implode, they are selling us something. They’re selling us that Americans are angry (they are, but they’re angry at Bush) (lie number one) and that since they are just displaying this anger now, it’s about the “direction” Obama is taking the country (lie number two). From there, they sell the country on the need for reform and change, getting back to simple “ideas” like “common sense conservatism” (lie number three). The only way the country can have this is by electing one of their puppets from “Real America” (this is the big Lie).

The show (the accusations, the whining, the threats) are all meant to distract us from the real issue. The Republicans have no ideas and no concept of how to govern effectively. They are not interested in governing. They are interested in power.

Keep you eye on the prize, people. Remember George W Bush.


Mr. Flynn, his honor is here

Thank you. Just a moment.
You ready?

Oh Billy, I’m really scared.

Roxie, you got nothing to worry about.
It’s all a circus, kid. A three ring circus.
These trials- the wholeworld- all show business.
But kid, you’re working with a star, the biggest!

Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle ‘em
Give ‘em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give ‘em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather ‘em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you’re just disgusting?

Razzle dazzle ‘em
And they;ll never catch wise!

Give ‘em the old Razzle Dazzle

Razzle dazzle ‘em
Give ‘em a show that’s so splendiferous

Row after row will crow vociferous

Give ‘em the old flim flam flummox
Fool and fracture ‘em

How can they hear the truth above the roar?

Roar, roar, roar!

Throw ‘em a fake and a finagle
They’ll never know you’re just a bagel,

Razzle dazzle ‘em
And they’ll beg you for more!

Give ‘em the old double whammy
Daze and dizzy ‘em
Back since the days of old Methuselah
Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler

Give ‘em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger ‘em
When you’re in trouble, go into your dance

Though you are stiffer than a girder
They’ll let you get away with murder
Razzle dazzle ‘em
And you’ve got a romance

COMPANY(The same time as BILLY’s)
Give ‘em the old
Razzle Dazzle

Give ‘em the old Razzle Dazzle
Razzle dazzle ‘em
Show ‘em the first rate sorceror you are
Long as you keep ‘em way off balance
How can they spot you’ve got no talent
Razzle Dazzle ‘em

Razzle Dazzle ‘em
Razzle Dazzle ‘em

And they’ll make you a star!

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Category: GOP, Media, Republican PR strategy, Sarah Jones, tea party

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