Bush to Hold Sham Economic Forum
. At least, so claims the Democratic National Committee. I find it amusing when politicians start accusing each other of shams and staging events, since modern politics has become all about manipulating appearances and posing for photo ops anyway. Though in this case I'm inclined to agree with the DNC. The economic forum does appear to be what the historian Daniel Boorstin would describe as a "pseudo-event." Boorstin offered 3 criteria for identifying a pseudo-event: 1)
It is not spontaneous; 2)
Its success is measured by how widely it is reported; 3)
Its relation to the underlying reality of the situation is ambiguous.
This checklist comes from Boorstin's book THE IMAGE: A GUIDE TO PSEUDO-EVENTS IN AMERICA
. First published back in 1961, but still relevant reading today.