Just earlier, I made the assertion that the GOP (and allies of that party) had developed and implemented a strategy of placing friendly voices in the op ed pages of as many newspapers as they could manage (actually, the strategy also involves buying up media outlets, but that’s another aspect of the story).
Today, we find that the Philadelphia Inquirer, owned by Brian Tierney, an advertising man aligned with the GOP and past GOP administrations) has taken on, as op ed columnist, none other than John Yoo of torture memo fame as their new op ed columnist.
This is, as I’ve written about earlier, an old intelligence/propaganda technique (carried forward in modern marketing strategies) of placing multiple voices in multiple media outlets all speaking the same narrative or “talking point” (eg “the Russians are beating us in weapons development”). The reason this strategy is used is because it is effective. It is effective because it fosters the perception that there is a consensus (“more doctors prescribe Salem cigarettes”). And where actual reality is difficult to ascertain, consensus does just fine in convincing people that reality is somewhere nearbye.
If you’ve wondered why the right has been raising loud and scary alarums regarding changes in media legislation, it is precisely because they’re acutely aware of the advantages that can accrue from effective control and manipulation of information flows. It was not for no reason that, a month ago, a Republican businessman and party supporter speaking at a conference recommended that the party pick up another TV network. Besides Fox, obviously.