The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
The Morning Mendacity
Friday, June 17th, 2005
The Nossiter Net is cast  to snare some of  the riper rascalities of the day.  Comments?
The atmosphere was gloomy in the subterranean White House office known to intimates as CACA, officially the Command and Control Administration.  Orin G. Ina, Director of CACA, wore a ferocious scowl as he addressed his staff.

“You’ve seen today’s poll?  The boss has a 42% approval rating.  Reagan had a 59% rating at this point in his second term.  Christ, Clinton had 60%.*  For six years this office has shaped, controlled, and manipulated the news in support of our boss.  For six years we’ve intimidated reporters into following the party line, defusing scandals, ignoring the bad and emphasizing (or making up when necessary) the good.  And now look at us.  No longer controlling the message.  No longer dominating the news cycle with our version of events.  The lead story in the New York Times, and it’s a big negative for our side.  Ideas, quick.”

Assistant Director Svenn Upp, a relentlessly optimistic Minnesotan, raised his hand.  “Let’s prepare a document detailing these poll results, but make it an obvious fraud.  When we circulate it to the media, the NYT/CBS poll will be discredited.”

Director Ina shook his head.  “We pulled that stunt already. Dan Rather, the boss’s National Guard records?  Somebody else now, pronto.”

Dr. Pedro Pepe, staff expert in image manipulation, gestured to the photographs on the walls.  “Here we see the boss in front of Mt. Rushmore, on an aircraft carrier, etc.  Let’s do it again, only more so.  I can, for example, prepare an image of the boss planting a flag on top of Mt. Everest, or landing on the moon.  Think of the good publicity we’d get from that!  We’d drive everything else off the front page.”

Cokie Cole, CACA’s resident wordsmith, shook her head.  “The carrier job blew up in our faces.  The press may be dumb, but they’re wise to that stunt.  Can’t go there again.  I’ll write a series of reports on how great everything is going for the boss, domestic policy, foreign policy, the economy, the works.  But they won’t go out under my name, see?  We pay some sympathetic journalists to run them under their bylines instead.  That’ll reverse some of this bad pub, I guarantee it.”

Ina’s scowl got deeper.  “Been there, done that.  Armstrong Williams, anyone?  Jeff Gannon?  We’re still hearing about them, for chrissakes.  Doesn’t anyone have any new ideas for diverting attention from the boss’s performance?”

General Ginger Ailes, resident military advisor, thrust his square jaw forward.  “Problem:  need for a blinding diversion. Strategy:  create a diversion.  Tactic:  start a nice little war.”

General Ailes folded his arms across his broad chest, his smile of satisfaction vanishing under the glare of his colleagues’ visible contempt.  “I didn’t mean Iraq” he babbled.  “I was thinking more like Panama, or Grenada…”

“Shut up, Ailes.” Director Ina glared across the table at the one staff member who hadn’t yet spoken.  “Well?  You plan on drawing a salary this month, or do you prefer to remain silent?”

The Reverend Phil Turdwasser polished his horn rims thoughtfully before replacing them on his nose.  “Seems to me like we need a little miracle, don’t y’all agree?  Now, I been thinking this over, and it occurs to me that the boss had the right idea with Terry Schiavo -- .”

Turdwasser held up his hand to silence his colleagues’ groans.  “Now hear me out, hear me out.  Sure that one didn’t go so well, and for why?  ‘Cause the facts got in the way of a hell of a story.  Now just suppose that instead of lettin’ that judge order the plug pulled, Ms. Schiavo had been put back on the feedin’ tube and resurrected.  No autopsy, just the plain, er, fact that Ms. S was still among the living.  Sensation!  The boss brings back the dead.  Don’t need me to tell you what other historical figure done do that.  Now, my idea is for the boss to resurrect a great American patriot and preeminent Republican, recently deceased, that nobody would notice if he were brain dead or not.”

Ina’s scowl lifted.  “You don’t mean –“

Turdwasser beamed.  “I surely do.  Former First Lady Nancy’s already workin’ on it with her crystal ball and oija board.”


©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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