Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Projecting an Image: Tony Snow’s latest initiative to address the Bush administration’s image problem is to redecorate the White House briefing room.

The new press room will likely have “a video wall that could display everything from ‘flags waving in the breeze [to] detailed charts and graphs,’ according to a senior White House official working on the project. For TV viewers, the video feed could be the sole on-screen image, or could share the space with the speaker.”

The video wall will supplement the White House PR team’s ability to provide the appropriate visuals for any news story. President Bush won’t have to visit an aircraft carrier to declare “mission accomplished” any more. He can do it against a backdrop of an aircraft carrier from the safety of the White House.

“Putting a video wall in the White House allows any administration to shape almost any story much more directly,” Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN foreign-affairs reporter and now a professor of communications at the University of Delaware, told the Wall Street Journal. It’s “an extension of the idea that the government wants to speak directly to the public with a voice that’s very carefully crafted, without room for the analysis or critiques or amalgamations of fact that reporters routinely bring.”


  • At 8:54 AM, Blogger Edward O'Meara said…

    A pre-emptive, quick-draw approach to the VNR, simulcast with announcements, enabling some news organizations to lazily not do their own reporting...very clever.

    Yes, I agree it will prove tempting for some news organizations, but I'd expect it will encourge even more gadflys and experts, like our professor-friend, to dissect the intents of the administration than not. Funny how that works.

  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yikes, more window dressing. Next thing you know we'll be landing men on the moon.


  • At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Perhaps the regime could call on its friends to be a little more careful when dropping bombs on neighbouring countries, this might improve its image somewhat.


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