Tuesday, February 5, 2008
A Brief History of the "America" Brand
I really enjoyed the recent Media Matters video on Fox News' attempted branding of Rudy Giuliani as "America's mayor" (it's at the bottom of this post).
This is hardly surprising. Fox News' chief operative Roger Ailes was a campaign consultant for Ronald Reagan's 1984 reelection campaign (Reagan declared the GOP "America's party" in his convention speech). Others followed suit; Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times refers to itself "America's newspaper," despite the owner's view of America as "Satan's harvest" and his desire to destroy American democracy (they even went as far as to buy the domain name "americasnewspaper.com").
I suspect that Ailes got the idea after Ted Turner began using his cable station WTBS to dub the Atlanta Braves "America's team" in the early 1980's (or perhaps after the "America's team" meme was first applied to the Dallas Cowboys). In any case, it remains one of Ailes' favorite devices in his rhetorical toolbox; Ailes has even named two of the Fox News channel's shows "America's Newsroom" and "America's Pulse."