Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Rest Of The Abu Ghraib Photos To Be Released Friday

George W. and Karl Rove thought they were pretty smart moving up the announcement of John G. Roberts to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court by two weeks to steer the media away from covering Rovegate.

The theory is that the mainstream media is completely incapable of covering more than one major story at a time. The theory is largely accurate. For the past week and a half, the media has been breathlessly covering every nook, cranny, and leak it can get its hands on regarding the Plame case. But once rumors started to spread from the White House that Chimpy was going to announce O'Connor's replacement, the mainstream media moved away from the Rove story and started a feeding frenzy around the Supreme Court story.

Mission accomplished for Bush and Rove, right? They got the media away from Rovegate and got them to concentrate on a story much more beneficial to Bush and his poll numbers.

Well, maybe. But maybe not. The strategy has definitely worked for a couple of days, but there's some more bad news coming down the road for the Bushies that's going to return the media's attention to an Iraq story that is harmful to Bush - more Abu Ghraib photos!!! Here's the scoop from Talkleft:

"Abu Ghraib Photos and Videos to be Released Friday

As part of the ongoing FOIA litigation on behalf of the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, a whole slew of the unreleased photographs and videos from Abu Ghraib are set to be released on Friday. These are the photographs and videos that were shown to the closed session of Congress, which reportedly include videos and photographs of the rape of detainees, including the rape of a male minor being held at the facility."

Oh, well, at least Bush and Rove got three days of positive coverage. That's about to change, however, if these Abu Ghraib photos see really do see the light of day on Friday. You should expect them to be dumped late in the day, well after the networks sign off their evening news broadcasts. But my guess is, these photos will be pretty brutal and the administration's strategy of killing a harmful news story by releasing it late on a Friday night won't work here. Surely the newspapers will lead with the photos on Saturday, the day of the week with the lowest circulation. But I bet we'll still be seeing these photos on the cover of Sunday's newspapers and hearing about the photos on the Sunday morning talk shows. And I bet Scotty's going to be hearing about them at the Monday gaggle, which also means hearing about them on Monday's evening news broadcasts.

No, the administration won't be able to kill the Abu Ghraib photo story if these pictures are as bad as they are rumored to be. The good news for Bush is, at least the media won't be able to focus on Rovegate anymore. The bad news is, I don't think Abu Ghraib is going to help his "honesty" numbers in the next Gallup poll any.

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