"Spin" The news footage you were not supposed to see...

Spin is a documentary produced by a guy named Brian Springer. Most of it appears to have been produced during the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns.

What Mr. Springer did was watch and tape over 500 hours of raw satellite feeds. That means the things that go on before a candidate goes on the air, the things that a reporter says before they go on “real” TV, and things said when the rest of us are looking at commercials.

It is a fairly damning, if not suprising, slam on the media and campaigners. You get to see them trying to spin the news in real time, consulting offscreen advisors often for a bit of coaching while the little red light is not on their camera.

Larry King looks like a self absobed putz, kissing whoever’s ass happens to be in his guest seat. It is really nauseating.

Clinton and Gore, and their team, appear manipulative but savvy.

George H.W. Bush looks like he was just ready to go back to Kennebunk.

Pat Robertson looks like a mean, small man who has a passing knowledge of the teachings of Jesus, at best.

It is very interesting and well done. It does run close to an hour, and I watched it over the course of two nights. If you are interested in spin, or just politics in general, this is a great behind the scenes look at an aspect of the media and politics we rarely get to see.

Thanks for posting that link, newcrasher. Spin is a very interesting, and sometimes horrifying, look at how broadcasting companies shape what information the public gets as news.


I think a lot of people will read this and watch the hour long video later, so I think it deserves one little bump to keep it on the front page for a while./

Thanks for the link, that was pretty interesting. Pat Robertson’s candid comments in particular were pretty bad.

That’s exactly how he looks on his show. I wouldn’t call it a revelation.

I’m watching a little of this now, although I’m sure I won’t get to finish it yet.

But the parts where he tells the candidates (each one, on different shows) how great the candidate is, then expresses his amazement at the fact the are on sixty gillion countries and they are changing the world.

Then, in an aside to Bill Clinton, “Mr. Turner really thinks a lot of you. He would…serve you…if you know what I mean…”

I felt like I needed a shower.

Eh, I don’t know, I didn’t find it that earthshaking. Yeah, all the talking heads have people who coach them and give them advice on how to weasel their way out of difficult questions. Big deal. And yeah, political campaigns do their best to keep their candidate looking good (hiding the picture that looked like the one of GHWB throwing up) - so what? And yeah, the media didn’t show the footage of Bush throwing up. Did we need to see it? No.

The only thing that seemed vaguely ominous at first was the narrator’s accusation that the media somehow suppressed the candidacy of Larry Agran, but after watching that whole segment, come on. That man had all the charisma of wilted shrubbery, he had held only local office, and came across as rather whiny. The media definitely was in the wrong, but I’m not going to get that worked up about it.

Living outside of the States for a while, and getting most of my news from the New York Times and the Washington Post, online, I find my perception completely different than people who get it from TV.

I also see the Japanese media’s spin on their news. It’s an interesting look at how media helps shape the common perceptions.