The Problem With Propaganda
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2019-11-02 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 130 references Ignore this thread
The Problem With Propaganda
[Comments enabled]

There are a lot of people running around with their hair on fire screaming that Facesucker, Twatter and others' censorship and propaganda bias is somehow new, extraordinary, or "emerging."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I've written several times in the context of marijuana prohibition on the propaganda run by the Hearst paper empire -- which was largely responsible for marijuana being made illegal in the first place.  Why?  Their empire was threatened by the invention of a "de-corticating" device, which made the production of paper from hemp viable.  The Hearst paper empire was vertically-integrated, from forest to printing press, and obviously a cheaper source of the fiber used to make newspaper would have decimated their monopoly.

During Hoover's administration the airwaves were weaponized following the 1929 stock market crash.  FDR took it to an entirely different level, creating the FCC in 1934 which, among other things, resulted in a shortening of license renewal "reviews" to six months.  It was made clear that any criticism of the administration over the airwaves would lead to license revocation, and essentially all dissent disappeared from the public airwaves.

Then came WWII, of course, and it got even more-overt, as tends to happen during wars.

There was always short wave radio, of course, and thus there was dissent.  But it certainly wasn't on your commercial radio or TV station.  That didn't end with WWII either; during Vietnam we had an outright intentional false series of reports out of Cronkite where he portrayed the US forces as baby-killing, murderous thugs and the Vietcong as poor, oppressed cannon fodder.  The Tet Offensive "reporting" was particularly outrageous in that it was claimed the war was "unwinnable" and we had effectively "lost."

The truth was the Vietcong were literally out of fighting men; they hadn't gained a single yard of territory in that offensive and were throwing untrained children at our troops -- basically if you could pick up a rifle you were being pressed into service as a soldier.  The NVA initiated that attack and lost nearly 40,000 men over the space of two weeks, while our casualties were about one tenth that number.

Yet our media portrayed us as not only murderous thugs but taking enormous losses we could not sustain.  This, when we were hit by surprise with little warning and, by any military standard we slaughtered them.

Yet that wasn't how our media put it forward to the American people; quite the opposite.  Public opinion turned, Johnson didn't run for re-election and we turned our tail and left, although it took another five years for us to actually leave.

We didn't lose in Vietnam -- we quit and the media's lies are why we quit.

Anyone who refuses to recognize history and the corruption of the so-called "fourth estate" both by the government and those opposed to its current policies are either partisan hacks, insane -- or most-likely both.

If anything it's much harder to shut someone up nowdays than it was previously.  When the only choices were print publications of some sort or FCC-licensed transmissions and the other options were all fringe channels such as Ham radio that reached a tiny fraction of a percent of the population near-complete control of information dissemination was pretty easy to accomplish.

Today it is a lot harder.  While there are certainly some people who have been reasonably-effectively "de-platformed" it's by no means as simple or easy to hide as it used to be.  The Internet has made this virtually impossible in that almost everyone can easily circumvent any sort of censorship attempt, at least in the Western world.  Only China, with its "great firewall" has somewhat-effective blocking still in place, and even that is able to be circumvented -- albeit at a reasonable risk of detection and, since they're rank Communists, they may well cut your liver out (with you still alive!) if they catch you too.

Does this mean we should sit back and simply chortle at such censorship?  Absolutely not!  Indeed there has never been a time in the human experience where the lawful means of destroying those who present such slanted viewpoints on a corporate basis for the purpose of political or financial gain have been more vulnerable. It is now trivially easy to identify not only that it's going on but who their advertisers are and to take punitive, even retributive yet lawful actions in response.

If the media wishes to promote, stoke and attempt to profit from dividing the nation let them see if they like reducing their prospective customer base by half, because that's exactly what they -- and any firm that advertises on or with same -- ought to get as the result.

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