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A Book Review
by Joy Renee

 

The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder
By Mark Crispin Miller
W. W. Norton & Co
© 2001
276 p

Subject: Media coverage of the George W. Bush Presidency; Media coverage of Iraq War II

Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media ecology at NYU and in this book he takes material which, if handled by those with different agendas, could be just another irreverent Bush bashing extravaganza or a collection of belly laughs that jiggle the page so bad you can’t see to keep reading. To less discerning readers it may, at first glance, seem to be nothing but a collection of the proliferating verbal gaffes of our 42nd President. It is much more. A careful reading of the opening 76 pages and the Afterward will put the select compendium of quotes in a context which gives the reader back the power of discernment over the facts which the major media have been appropriating and then willfully distorting for decades. Blame it on the medium which has evolved a style which both panders to and helps create and sustain short attention spans, which solves the perceived need to compete with entertainment venues by styling the information venues as a slick blending of the two known as infotainment. Or blame it on the mega media corporations and their hidden agendas which dictate what does and does not get deemed newsworthy. Miller analyses the uses of propaganda by the current administration and wonders just how bamboozled the media moguls themselves are by the blitz of tailored information they are fed by the various administration departments or if they are willfully complicit in the creation and dissemination of the daily GOP ‘message’ entrees. How else to explain how a man who can not speak a whole sentence of grammatical English, if his life depended on it, got elected to our highest office, a man whose attention span is so short, he can’t remember the opening phrase of a complex sentence long enough to get the following phrases out so that they agree in person, tense, number or even in sense when he uses the opposite of the word he means or a word with similar syllables but no relation in meaning to the word he meant--”cufflink” for “handcuff”, “hostile” for “hostage”.

Well, whoever was to blame for putting this gaffer over on the American people four years ago and keeping the majority of them oblivious to the extensive damage his administration is doing to our institutions, our reputation around the globe, our freedoms, our environment…whoever was to blame last time, with books like this one available, if we let it happen again in 2004, we have nobody to blame but ourselves and our willful ignorance. Especially with access to the facts presented in context now available on a number of web sites run by dedicated people with allegiance only to truth and no hidden agendas:

www.tompaine.com

www.commondreams.com

www.publicintegrity.org

www.alternet.org

www.bushwatch.com

www.opensecrets.org

www.fair.org

www.mediachannel.org

www.markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/
Mark Crispin Miller’s blog

© 2004 by Joy Renee Davis

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