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Propaganda: Because the Weak Aren’t Going to Make up Their Own Mind

April 14, 2011

A recent study by Public Policy Polling found that 46% of Republican voters in the state of Mississippi have a favorable view of the government having the ability/authority to make interracial marriage legal/illegal. A liberal television show host tweeted “46% of GOP voters in Mississippi say govt should make interracial marriage illegal…” Which is not, in fact, what the data shows. Misinformation used to manipulate people is propaganda.

Propaganda is a form of communication  aimed at influencing the attitude of a community towards a cause or position, so as to benefit oneself. Over the course of history we’ve seen powerful propaganda from a multitude of sources. From Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, propaganda designed to show the meteoric rise in popularity of the Nazi’s Third Reich; and to implant a positive and patriotic image of the Nazi’s mission into the citizens of Germany to Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, a “documentary” that attempts to prove the direct correlation between the conservative presidency of George W. Bush and the attacks on America on September 11th the entertainment world is filled with propaganda. Propaganda is everywhere, however it isn’t always nefarious. Propaganda engenders patriotism, ethnocentrism, encourages individuals to become part of a group and can even boost the economy with the sale of war bonds.

However, recently it is becoming more and more of a trend for “news networks” such as fox, msnbc, cnn, etc.; to fill their time-slots with what can be termed propaganda. Hosts will utilize the mass media devices known as framing, slanting and agenda setting to target a particular group of people for their own personal profit. Glenn Beck is a textbook example, using propaganda to target millions of conservative Americans and profiting from his restoring sanity rally and book deals, etc. Beck isn’t the only popular contemporary figure on a “news network” that engages in propaganda, not by a long shot; please don’t think I’m positing that.

There is a damming trend, however, in America where people are taking as gospel truth everything being said by these propaganda slingers. It’s particularly evident when individuals quote fallacies from their favorite television or radio pundit in arguments and discussions.” Rachel Maddow said this…” “well, I heard on Keith Olbermann that…” “Glenn Beck says if we don’t do this then the liberals will win, and there’s nothing worse than liberals winning…” These are all examples of people succumbing to propaganda.

America, we’re better than this; we all have access to the same research these pundits have, I suggest checking out the original research the pundits quote before believing everything they say.

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