November 25, 2006

"The central principle of spin: However bad the trouble you're in, you can generally make the other side look worse."

From a description of Christopher Buckley's book "Thank You for Smoking," from a list of the 5 best books about PR.


Anonymous said...

Clearly a flawed principle.

If it were true, then why hasn't the Bush Administration been able to tar the Iranians and Syrians as the deeply evil SOBs that they are.

Lack of will, perhaps.

Ann Althouse said...

Two obvious responses:

1. They aren't spinning.

2. Buckley said "generally."

Anonymous said...

Some people just aren't that good at it.

Aakash said...

You know, I think I might want to see the movie, for this book... I was intrigued, after seeing a preview of it, on one of those shows (perhaps ET?), and I thought that this may be a pro-conservative or pro-libertarian flick, as opposed to all the other films that Hollywood has been churning out, many of which are anti-business, and pro-state.

So, I looked up some info on the web (it's amazing how today, unlike the past, so much is so readily available...), and I came across a piece - I think it may have been this one, by Kevin Drum - mentioning that ironically, the book, written by a conservative (who is WFB's brother), takes the more "liberal" position about the tobacco lobby, while the movie, written by a liberal, takes the more "conservative" approach, to this debate.

Then again, as one commenter there pointed out, conservatives are divided on this issue... something that many of us have been witnessing, as these issues are debated, in communities across the country.

I had actually not thought of this central principle of spin... I don't know if it is accurate, to major political situations and scandals, as george alluded to. If it were, there would be a lot more people out of trouble... Then again, come to think of it, isn't this how President Clinton and his people operated, to deflect attention off of his behavior, and attack Kenneth Starr and the Republicans, to save himself from his countless scandals and crimes?

And it seemed to have worked.

But that was not the case this year, for the much less-serious misdeeds of the Bush administration, which have been having a negative impact on our party.

I guess a large factor in whether this "central principle of spin" rings true, is whether or not you have the major media on your side.

Anonymous said...

aakash: Forget the politics and enjoy the book (or the movie). It is a very good read, although God is my Broker (written with John Tierney) had me laughing out loud longer and more often.

BTW, it was refreshing to finally see a published list that I had already read almost everything on it. (I draw the line on reading Matalin & Carville, however.)