Barbara Biesecker At the same time that the Bush Administration's declaration of the so-called war on terror and intervention in Iraq exacerbated tensions between its long-standing allies as well as enemies on the international front, it miraculously delivered the American people back to itself. Suddenly a whole host of high-profile domestic conflicts on whose outcome the very viability of the nation was said heretofore to depend were neutralized as the administration, with the help of the mass media, launched what many on the left might call its "shock and awe" campaign on the cultural home front. Most notably, perhaps, immediately after the attacks Republicans and Democrats gathered together for a robust round of "God Bless America" on the steps of the Capitol. As Tim Russert reported on that evening's NBC special news hour, "an extraordinary scene here in Washington. Twenty-four hours ago rancor, partisanship, not tonight. National unity, indeed a new tone in Washington" ("Attack" 2001). Shortly thereafter, conservatives openly censured Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson--two leading spokesmen of the right-wing's cultural revolution of the 1990s--for attributing the tragedy to Americans' own hedonistic lifestyles, and for months to come prime time public service announcements (the "I am an
Philosophy and Rhetoric – Penn State University Press
Published: Apr 16, 2007
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