Controlling The Narrative

In a New York Times piece published back in May of 2016 by David Samuels regarding former President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, Americans were given a rare glimpse into the inner workings of how the past administration operated in controlling the media by creating fictitious narratives in order to propagate their agenda.

The title of the piece itself, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” should have raised serious concerns given that Rhodes was the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from Obama himself. Yet, as we’ve become accustom to, it didn’t raise any red flags from the cowards within our media. As Samuel’s explains in his expose, Rhodes’ credentials consisted of having no military or diplomatic service, nor even a masters degree in international relations. The singular reason Rhodes became Obama’s deputy national security adviser is because of his background in creative writing as his skills consisted in being an extremely gifted and cynical political operative whose job it was to shape, create, and retail Obama’s foreign-policy narratives. Facts be damned.

Samuels elaborates, “Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategies across the White House.” Moreover, “Rhodes strategized and ran the successful [and deceitful] Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches… On the largest and smallest questions alike, the voice in which America speaks to the world is that of Ben Rhodes.”

The implications of having an “aspiring novelist” with literally no real-world experience responsible for our foreign policy can be seen from the collapse of Iraq via our withdrawal which led to the growth of the largest terrorist organization in history with the Islamic State, to the collapse of Libya and Afghanistan as well as Russian expansion in places like Syria and Ukraine as well as Chinese expansion in the much contested South China Sea. Yet, all pales in comparison when judged to the previous administrations relations with Iran, whom, thanks to Rhodes deceiving of American citizens, lawmakers and our allies under the guise of the “nuclear deal”, has given Iran access to over $150 Billion in funds as well as the ability to continue to enrich uranium with little to no oversight. The consequences being that the prior administration helped Iran pave the way for the development of a nuclear bomb.

While plenty can be said and has been said about the blatant and treacherous way in which the Iran-deal was formulated, what was equally disturbing from the New York Times piece was the much larger vision the Obama administration had in store for the American people. “The narratives he [Rhodes] frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points,” writes Samuels, “are the only dots of color” in this much larger vision. Samuels then asks John Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he, Rhodes or the president have ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, to which Favreau replies, “we saw that as our entire job.”

It is from this response, as well as the examples laid out in Samuels twenty-eight page piece in which the most damning conclusion can be reached. That conclusion being that actual policies, facts, and even reality itself were of little value to the prior administration as creating and controlling the narrative took precedence over all that actually mattered. For instance, in the hours leading up to Obama’s final State of the Union Address, Rhodes became “frustrated” as he couldn’t suppress the breaking story about Iran having just kidnapped ten American sailors, so Rhodes jumps into action by directing his deputy Ned Price to create and disseminate the White House narrative as explained by Samuels:

“Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from ‘senior White House officials’ and ‘spokespeople.’ I watch the message bounce from Rhodes’s brain to Price’s keyboard to the three big briefing podiums — the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon — and across the Twitterverse, where it springs to life in dozens of insta-stories, which over the next five hours don formal dress for mainstream outlets.”

The takeaway from that statement is but a mere reflection of how the prior administration has conducted not only it’s foreign policy, but virtually every policy both here and abroad. They were masters of getting “in-front” of both real and deliberately fabricated issues by creating a narrative while waging digital disinformation campaigns against the American people using their “echo-chamber” of propagandists within the mainstream media. As Rhodes admits:

“It’s not that hard to shape the narrative. All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus. Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

It should come as no surprise then to see that the original creator of “fake news” was non other than Ben Rhodes himself as his fabricated narratives continue to permeate today throughout our “news” media as those very same “reporters” continue to propagate the false narratives that were fed to them via the Obama “echo-chamber”. In 2017 the repercussions of this can been seen with the fact that in America today we literally have no actual journalists or reporters working within the mainstream news media. For when the media allowed themselves to be ventriloquized by the Obama administration for eight years, the American people are ultimately the ones who are the victims, deliberately left in the dark questioning not only what is real and what is fake, but objective truth and reality itself.