Tag Archives | Propaganda
Grassroots pressure has forced President Obama to seek approval from Congress for an attack on Syria. But Obama is hell-bent on ordering a missile assault on that country, and he has two very important aces in the hole.
The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a wide range of U.S. media. And as a fallback, the president is reserving the option of attacking Syria no matter what Congress does.
Until Obama’s surprise announcement Saturday that he will formally ask Congress for authorization of military action against Syria, the impassioned pitches from top U.S. officials in late August seemed to be closing arguments before cruise missiles would hit Syrian targets. But the pre-bombing hyper spin has just gotten started.
The official appeals for making war on yet another country will be ferocious. Virtually all the stops will be pulled out; all kinds of media will be targeted; every kind of convoluted argument will be employed.… Read the rest
On the latest edition of Media Roots Radio, Abby and Robbie Martin discuss how a new war against Syria seems all but inevitable.
They talk about the eerily similar establishment rhetoric between the Iraq war buildup and today’s Syria war mongering – specifically the potential unilateral US military action in defiance of the UN, the ‘humanitarian’ justification and the scare tactics of ‘chemical weapons’. A recent speech by Secretary of State, John Kerry, marked a distinct turning point in the ferocity of the Syria rhetoric, which is dissected by Robbie and Abby in its entirety.
The Washington Post on the new propaganda distribution model:
Israel is looking to hire university students to post pro-Israel messages on social media networks — without needing to identify themselves as government-linked, officials said Wednesday.
The Israeli prime minister’s office said in a statement that students on Israeli university campuses would receive full or partial scholarships to combat anti-Semitism and calls to boycott Israel online. It said students’ messages would parallel statements by government officials.
“This is a groundbreaking project aimed at strengthening Israeli national diplomacy and adapting it to changes in information consumption,” the statement said.
Israel isn’t the only country to set up such a system. In China, members of the so-called “fifty cent army” sprinkle positive, pro-government messages across the web and social media.
A group of biotech seed companies have launched an online forum to rebuff disapproval of genetically modified foods across the world. Activists and consumer groups are skeptical, saying the industry has a ‘track record of being anything but transparent’.
The website is said to be partly backed by the biotech US giant Monsanto, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences, according to Reuters.
Founders of www.GMOAnswers.com say the website was created “to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs.” Its launch is part of the biotech industry’s campaign to respond to concerns for GMO food labeling and tighter regulation in the US.
“This… is an effort to increase the dialogue. That is all we want,” Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer told Reuters. “Dialogue is good. Over time I think we’ll come to a common understanding.”
Rosa Brooks writes in the unabashedly establishment journal Foreign Policy that American propaganda is the best. Well the inventor of propaganda, Edward Bernays, was American, after all…
My fellow Americans, you’re a pretty weird bunch of people.
I say this with love. But really, what’s up with your attitude toward government?
On both the left and the right, Americans oscillate between a peculiar, irrational deference toward the government and an equally peculiar, irrational suspicion of it. On the left, a touching faith in the federal government’s ability to solve domestic social problems (poverty, ill health, etc.) by spending money is generally coupled with an absolute conviction that when it comes to foreign policy and national security, everything emanating from the federal government is a tissue of lies, probably for the purpose of covering up a sinister imperialist conspiracy and/or destroying domestic civil liberties. Meanwhile, on the right, a touching faith in the absolute rightness and virtue of the military and the absolute need to pour additional tax dollars into national security is usually coupled with an equally deep conviction that when it comes to federal spending on domestic programs, the government is a) lying, b) incompetent, and c) determined to subvert our freedoms.
Peter Hart writes at F.A.I.R.:
It’d be nice if newspapers covered policy fights as if reality mattered. But corporate media generally prefers to cover politics as a form of public relations–which involves the creation of a reality that you think will help your side win.
For Republicans, this means discussing Barack Obama’s environmental policies as a “war on coal.” And in today’s New York Times (7/2/13), reporter Trip Gabriel covers that story not as someone trying to explain reality to readers, but as someone helping to make the Republican case.
“GOP Sees Opportunity for Election Gains in Obama’s Climate Change Policy” is the headline, and Gabriel explains that after Obama’s recent climate speech, green groups “rejoiced.” But, wouldn’t you know it, “many Republicans were just as gleeful.” Why? Because they believe that this will cost Democrats some support in the next election cycle:
Elected officials and political analysts said the president’s crackdown on coal, the leading source of industrial greenhouse gases, could have consequences for Senate seats being vacated by retiring Democrats in West Virginia and South Dakota, for shaky Democratic incumbents like Mary L.
When the National Security Agency visited the University of Wisconsin last week to recruit language students to be the next generation of intelligence workers, events didn’t go smoothly as planned.
Journalist Madiha Tahir, currently taking a language course at the university, posted an audio recording of the NSA officials’ presentation to the student body going off the rails, as she and others tear the presenters to pieces with questions about Edward Snowden, the legality and ethics of their work, and if being a good liar is an asset for getting a job at the NSA. She has also posted a rough transcript on her blog.
Her comment that sums up the whole debacle: “I’m just surprised that for language analysts, you’re incredibly imprecise with your language. And it just doesn’t seem to be clear.”
In celebration of July 4, a classic PSA for every American:
Get ready, UK residents: Your government wants you to take a fresh look at GMO farming:
via New Scientist
Shifting opinions on genetically modified crops in Europe will require more than government-led conversation, says policy communication researcher Matthew Nisbet
In a carefully crafted speech, UK environment minister Owen Paterson announced that the government would be leading “a more informed discussion” on genetically modified (GM) crops and that he was “conscious of the views of those who have concerns and who need reassurance on this matter”.
His remarks signal that the UK wants to build support for GM crops despite there being an effective moratorium on their use in Europe. But no matter how well framed the messages might be from political leaders, other engagement strategies and voices are needed if it is to succeed.
A recent British Science Association survey suggests that when prompted to consider the benefits to human health and the environment, a strong majority of the British public are supportive of GM crops.