Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves…
And they’ve been coming hot and heavy since Governor Pence announced his “news” bureau. Some of the best have been transmitted through twitter feeds with hashtags like “Just_IN_News” and “PencePravda.” Representative tweets: “Today’s top stories include a profile on Governor Pence’s barber, and a new study showing that in 2014, IEDC created all the jobs” and “@GovChristie you should start a state – run wire service too. I’ve already got a name for it: News Jersey.”
Matt Tully had some fun, too, suggesting how the Governor’s new “news bureau” might have covered past activities:
Take the governor’s mind-boggling decision in October to turn his back on an all-but guaranteed $80 million federal grant that could have funded preschool programs for thousands of low-income Indiana children. The likely Pence Propaganda Service headline: “Governor generously steers $80 million federal grant to the children of Iowa.”
On a more serious note, we might take this as yet another outpost on the unexplored frontier we all inhabit following the departure of most real journalism. Think of it as a new way station on the road to a brave new age of propaganda. Or, as an email blast from the Indiana Democratic party put it, just another manifestation of authoritarianism from the party of “limited” government:
From the party that tells you who to love, how to worship, and that science is bad, Governor Pence now wants to tell you what is and is not news.
This brazen attempt to fill the growing void of credible reporting with manufactured “news” is jaw dropping. Until this, I really thought Faux News was as low as we could go….
The one bright spot in this exercise has been the public’s reaction, which has been–how shall I put it?– less than positive. The blowback has now caused Pence to protest (unconvincingly) that the whole thing has been a big misunderstanding. To which a wag onTwitter responded:
“Gov Pence today trademarked the phrase “understandable misunderstanding”. T-shirts & mugs with the slogan soon for sale at #JustIN store.”