Monday, March 03, 2008
ODM’s Deadly International Media Spin Machine
Go to Google or any search engine and do any search you wish to on the disputed general elections of last year. You will quickly note that the International media seems to be very ODM-friendly. I can assure you that that is no accident. Somebody worked very hard to make that happen.
Now let us not be naïve to start jumping to conclusions here. It is true that the December 2007 general elections were stolen. Ask most 3 or 4 year old Kenyan children and they will tell you so. We all saw it happening live on Television. However the International community didn’t, not really. Many of them were not really paying attention and at least one super power that has since done a 180 degree turn, assisted in that rigging exercise that horribly went wrong. Actually most of the world’s attention at that time was focused on Pakistan where former Prime Minister Mrs Bhutto had just been assassinated.
So when trouble broke out in Kenya, they wanted to know what really happened. The reality in this harsh media dominated world we live in today is that reality is not as important as perception (although the two are related as we shall see later in this post). So it is terribly important that your story is told. And that is the work of spin experts. I personally prefer to call them spin artistes.
The difference between reputable spin artists like ODM’s Salim Lone and a spin quack like Dr Alfred Mutua is one very simple thing. There are those who believe that they can spin anything and there are those who know that to be successful in the long term, it is important that you spin only the truth. You remember the famous president John F. Kennedy quote that ends with; you can’t fool all the people all the time? In fact fake spin doctors like Dr Mutua have always ended up being a liability to their employers.
The other difference is that reputable PR experts (if you prefer to call them that) are noble and will not hesitate to make personal sacrifices. Salim Lone’s life was threatened by somebody a few weeks ago and he would have given the world his story and attracted all the limelight and media attention to himself. But at what price? The attention would have effectively been shifted away from his client. So, because he was able to deal with the problem of his personal security, he was determined that the attention of the media remains focused on ODM at a very crucial time leading up to the signing of the historic peace deal last Thursday. It is this kind of character trait that wins the trust of journalists who are crucial allies in any spin effort. In sharp contrast police commissioner Maj Gen Hussein Ali is of the view that...
Posted by Chris at 10:12 PM