The 2004 election did not take place: Bush, spectacle, and the media nonevent

Kevin Glynn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


It is arguable that the George W. Bush regime has made a more systematically intensive strategic effort to mobilize the management and control of media images as a primary mode of governance than any other U.S. presidency we have yet seen. This article explores the Bush White House's media imagineering and draws on notions of media spectacle, along with Baudrillard's widely misunderstood analysis of the 1991 Gulf War and often overlooked theory of media nonevents, to examine the 2004 U.S. presidential election in particular. It also identifies and draws on what we might see as image insurgencies emerging from the internet, the alternative press, and the mainstream media to raise the prospect that the more fully a regime of power seeks to exert control over and through images, the more vulnerable it becomes to the generation of counterimages, counternarratives, and counterspectacles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-245
Number of pages30
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number2
Early online date7 Oct 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


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