George W. Bush isn’t one to engage in debate. Indeed, he much prefers talking to slavish followers, Republican hacks and media cheerleaders. He recently toured the US promoting his plan to privatise social security. He conducted fake town hall meetings where nobody spoke out of line and everybody congratulated their President. Why? Republican media strategist Frank Luntz explains: “A real town hall can be very dangerous if it gets out of control. A town hall where the speaker cannot command the respect and the control of the audience can look very bad on television. … To me the most important component of a successful town hall is the visual, is the backdrop.” And, Luntz forgot to add, a lack of real debate. The Bush administration is getting pretty proficient at selling itself and many news organisations are either oblivious or happy to go along for the ride.
Watch this exclusive report to prepare yourself for the onslaught of fake news coming soon to a TV near you.