Following American politics really helps to enjoy BoogieMan: Lee Atwater, King of Dirty Tricks on CBC Newsworld The Passionate Eye Sunday November 2nd 2008 at 10 P.M. Lee Atwater is the man responsible for George Bush, Karl Rove, and George Junior. No wonder the tags BoogieMan and King of Dirty Tricks are attached to this documentary.
If you are not a follower of American politics, this documentary may lose a bit of its interest until you see how Lee Atwater’s dirty playbook is being used line for line by the McCain / Palin campaign. It is the Republican storm troopers who are always saying Hussein Obama. King of Dirty Tricks shows without a doubt how the Republican party is also not afraid to play the race card time and time again: Reagan’s “welfare queen” and the Willie Horton ad.
BoogieMan makes you realize how Lee Atwater is directly responsible for the kind of politics, political tactics, and direct media manipulation that created Bush America and are not being used in this country and others.
Atwater took a losing George H.W. Bush candidacy burdened by allegations of illegal actions in the Iran-Contra scandal and made it into a winner simply by having the media spread falsehoods first about Bob Dole and then about Michael Dukakis.
As constantly shown in this CBC Newsworld documentary, Atwater was the first person in American politics to understand all the media cares about is being first with the story. Fact checking and following up on the story is not important anymore. Not only is it not important, it is not even done.
A great example of that is how Atwater had some minor Republican congressman say he had heard from someone else Kitty Dukakis had burned the American flag during a protest in the sixties and he had heard there were pictures. Kitty Dukakis had done no such thing so there never were any pictures but once the story was out, the genie was out of the bottle too.
Atwater did not create dirty politics. At the beginning of the century an American politician accused his opponent of being a practicing heterosexual and his wife of being a thespian. That politician won.
What the Passionate Eye documentary shows is how Lee Atwater refined and updated the playbook to change Lincoln’s line to “You can fool all the people all the time.” Atwater understood if you sling enough mud at the opponent some of it will eventually stick in people’s mind. The fact there is no mud is not the point.
Lee Atwater would have used an opponent having cancer as a way to demonize him. Atwater died of cancer.
BoogieMan: Lee Atwater, King of Dirty Tricks is a documentary that should be shown in every single poli-sci class. It should also be sent to the American Democratic Party so they finally see the light at the end of the tunnel that ends up running over them.