I was wrong, it’s not

I was wrong, it’s not China’s Interent that’s been so slow lately, just my apartment building’s Internet. I’m in the office now and there’s no problem. (Well, there’s one problem: I’m not supposed to be doing this in the office.)

Where’s the Outrage? Our Office of Homeland Security is Pure Farce

Maureen Dowd, who has become such a bratty, gossipy bitch that I often skip her columns, made some really sharp observations yesterday about the idiocies of our Office of Homeland Security. Being part of the marketing/pr industry, I found her insights especially biting. E.g.:

Last week, the head of Homeland Insecurity unveiled the big strategy he’s been working on for nearly a year: a $1.2 million “ready campaign,” a p.r. concoction complete with a “D’oh!” Web site. There are TV ads starring cute New York City firemen telling people to store water and get flashlights, and close-ups of Mr. Ridge spouting simple-minded axioms like “Have a good communications plan for your family.”

The new campaign was developed with the help of focus groups convened by the Advertising Council.

George Bush has always mocked Washington’s dependence on focus groups. Only last week, he derided mass European protests against the war, saying listening to the marchers would be like relying on focus groups to set foreign policy. (Millions of people marching in the streets of world capitals is not a sampling of opinion; it is opinion.)

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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