it’s still the old “bread and circuses”

Over at Pressthink, Jan Rosen reports:
Bush will speak from a theatre in the round, addressing the nation by standing among citizens. It’s a switch to a more vertical image of authority. CNN announced a similar move. They will speak from a diner. MSNBC will come to us from Herald Square. Why?
I’ll tell you why. It’s just more manipulation of the public with show rather than substance. I can’t help thinking of the circus barker, out there working the crowd. Theater-in-the-round is tricky. It’s a lot harder to pull off than the traditional “up there on the stage” approach. The GOP is using it as a metaphor, and it is a good metaphor for speaking “with” an audience instead of “to” it, of getting on the same level with the people you want to reach with your words. It can also distract from the words — make the audience focus on show rather than substance. I have a feeling that not only is Bush going to affirm his lack of talents as a facile extemporaneous showman; he’s going to wind up showing, from all sides this time, just how lacking in substantial truth his words really are.

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