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.

'Inversion' 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 of explosions.

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

post a comment | back to top | thoughts

Essential Reading:
Was 9/11 the ultimate pseudo-event?
Art of Deception Presentation

Related Articles:
Survey shows how far UK public opinion is misled
When think tanks do 'educational' PR for rightwing ultra-rich
Partial picture - The Times response to NoW phone hacking
Purpose of dodgy Iraq dossier was to make case for war
Julian Assange (11.03) "Our No1 enemy is ignorance"
Partial - White House understates seriousness of BP oil spill
The corollary of "the big society" is the smaller state
RAF's propaganda leaflet drop kills Afghan girl
Who do we trust? (2008 UK survey of standards in public life)
Our media have become producers of mass distortion
Making simple expressions dangerous
Prime Minister had a hotline to Murdoch
Pentagon gears up for new media war
70% of Americans led to believe Saddam involved in 9/11

Joseph Goebbels Quotes:

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

“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 page 51'


'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.'

From In the Absence of The Sacred by Jerry Mander, p92


ablemesh logo
Save money on bills Improve Home Comfort Help protect the environment