Anatomy of a meme: Cheney '94 "quagmire" video

Track this one:

1. Dick Cheney gives an interview in 1994 about why the US didn't go into Baghdad in the first Gulf War, saying that to do so, alone, would've landed us in a "quagmire" and wouldn't have been worth the potential loss of human lives.

2. C-Span revives the footage in 2007 on its website and in broadcasts. The world fails to pay attention.

3. Then YouTube user GrandTheftCountry posts it, it gets more than 430,000 hits, and...

4. Now CNN is covering it.

The local angle: Steve Perry, former editor of City Pages, picked up on Cheney's now-and-then contradiction in a 2003 blog post. He found an earlier speech -- at the Soref Symposium in 1991 -- in which Cheney said White House discussions about invading Baghdad were met with a "resounding 'no'." He said that it "would have been a mistake for us to get bogged down in the quagmire inside Iraq" and asked, "How many casualties should the United States accept in that effort to create clarity and stability in a situation that is inherently unstable?" (Download the speech here.)

The GrandTheftCountry video:

CNN's coverage of it:

There's something to be said here about citizen media's power in shaping the media landscape.

1 comment:

Taylor said...

Man, that Abbi Tatton is a total fox.