Growing the propaganda model
The propaganda model of the media mentions 'flak', where information
becomes accepted truth through repetition.
'Flak' is definitely there (WMDs
and Iraq, Saddam
and 9/11), but I think 'partial pictures', 'double-talk', 'inversion'
and 'pre-emption' are also areas you might consider from my own notion
of the propaganda model.
'Partial pictures' is frequently used in PR/law to make a client appear
far less culpable for a
crime than they perhaps are.
'Double talk' is one way of explaining a course of action which has
a very different resonance depending
on whether you are 'in the know' or part of the general public which has
been sold an official line. The word "modernisation", is much
used by politicians. Replacing old with new sounds appealing doesn't it...until
it is your job that is being axed to make way for the automated customer
answering service. 'Progress'
and 'the international community' are other much abused words and phrases
used in double talk.
is when a spokesman simply states a political intention to be the exact
opposite of what it really is,
because the truth would be unpalatable.
'Pre-emption' is the possibility that what can be seriously debated
on sites like 'comment
is free' is in fact already shaped by the articles that are posted
on the site in the first place and WHEN.
I was, for example, frustrated that there was little opportunity to
discuss the explosion in Billingham last Friday which was on that morning's
Today programme. This seems significant to me considering it comes shortly
after explosions at Rough and Buncefield. I went back to an old nuclear
energy article to pose my query.
When I came back in the evening I couldn't get on the 'commentisfree'
site. I just got the following error message ...
'You don't have permission to access /index.html on this server. Additionally,
a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument
to handle the request.'
If I was of a more cynical mind, I might think that someone somewhere
was trying to pre-empt any debate on the subject I'd raised. A Guardian
article was written about the explosion, but did not appear on the
website homepage that night - it seems to have been pushed straight to
the margins (see my above post) -
Now the moment is passed to raise our collective awareness about the
possible reasons and repercussions of this sequence
Are they completely insignificant?
Are we being enlightened in the mainstream press?
Or are we being treated with kid gloves by a political class which
knows what is best for public consumption and debate?
Ends | 8 Aug 06 | The Leg
Joseph Goebbels Quotes:
“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
eventually come to believe it.
“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success
unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must
confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”
The Big Lie:
According to Wikepedia,
the phrase "the Big Lie" was also used in a report prepared
during the war by the United States Office of Strategic Services in describing
Hitler's psychological profile...
'His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never
admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your
enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate
on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people
will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it
frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it. - OSS report
'Reagan also grasped the antihistorical nature of TV reality, its nowness.
He was very aggressive in his attempts to create historical truth. He
understood that when a population is confined to a single information
source, especially one that speaks imagery directly into the brain, that
source has unprecedented power as a tool to control human minds. As in
1984, real and unreal, truth and fiction, become equally arbitrary, for
there is no way to clarify or check what TV asserts. And so Reagan could
call his invasion of Grenada a "rescue" of students who were
never in danger. He could assert that the Soviets knew that Korean
Air flight 007 was a passenger plane before they shot it down, though
subsequent stories suggested that Reagan knew that the Soviets
did not know. (The initial image stuck, and the event is still
understood in those terms today)...
Ronald Reagan called MX missiles "peacekeepers." He said that
lowering taxes on the wealthy benefited the poor, and he unabashedly claimed
that massive rearming was the way to disarm. A few years later, George
Bush said "the last best chance for peace" was to declare war
against Iraq, and then said "the goal of war is peace." All
these statements qualify as advanced "doublespeak."
Reagan and Bush also understood the important Orwellian lesson in focusing
public hatred on the repeated images of the enemy. Orwell had used the
loathsome TV visage of Goldstein in "Two Minutes Hate" periods
throughout the day. Reagan used Khomeni, then Khadafy, then Ortega. Bush
continued the tendency, focusing American hatread on images of Willie
Horton, then Manuel Noriega, then Saddam Hussein.'
the Absence of The Sacred by Jerry Mander, p92