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"We All Lament the Difficulty We Have Persuading Americans"

"Believing they are losing the messaging war with progressives, a group of prominent conservatives in Washington—including the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner — has been meeting privately since early this year to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for "a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation," according to documents obtained by [David Corn and] Mother Jones." Photo Gallery: Meet Groundswell's Major Players. Also: Groundswell's Secret Crusade to Crush Karl Rove // (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 26, 2013 - 75 comments

A Fieldguide for Female Interrogators

"10. Mild Non-Injurous Physical Contact: (i.e.,“a little bit of smacky face“) Unlike other forms of contact that lead to physical injury, sexual contact is unlikely to leave scars and is more likely to induce guilt that can be taken advantage of by a good interrogator." (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Jul 18, 2013 - 15 comments

"I want to encourage mainstream journalists to speak up when they discover their companies are misleading the people, doing PR for corporations and governments and disguising it as journalism."

Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon is speaking out against the network after it decided for "editorial reasons" not to air its documentary iRevolution on CNN International. Lyon worked on a 13-minute segment interviewing democratic activists in Bahrain, who risked their own safety to be heard. Glenn Greenwald reveals that at the same time, CNN was being paid by the Bahrain Economic Development Board to produce pro-state coverage as part of its "Eye On" series. A senior producer complained to Lyon about the nature of her coverage: "We are dealing with blowback from Bahrain govt on how we violated our mission, etc."
posted by mek on Sep 5, 2012 - 21 comments

LOVE ME

Artist Bas Van Oerle presents a series of propaganda posters for the 2012 Republican presidential contenders. Ron Paul For The Youth Vote. Fields of Santorum. Love Me Romney. Join The Cosmonewts.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Mar 25, 2012 - 36 comments

"Pure Cinema"

Человек с киноаппаратом ("Man with a Movie Camera") is a classic experimental documentary film that was released in 1929. Directed by pioneer Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, this classic, silent documentary film has no story and no actors, and is actually three documentaries in one. Ostensibly it documents 24 hours of life in a single city in the Soviet Union. But it is also a documentary of the filming of that documentary and a depiction of an audience watching that documentary and their responses. "We see the cameraman and the editing of the film, but what we don't see is any of the film itself." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 13, 2012 - 26 comments

March of Time

From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeingforeign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 comments

"With television you just sit, watch, listen. The thinking is done for you."

Gawker's John Cook yesterday published an exclusive report on a trove of documents from the Nixon Presidential Library tracing the development of Fox News to a 1970 internal memo annotated by then-consultant Roger Ailes. Part of a 318-page cache of similar documents, the memo -- "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" -- called for the creation of a strongly pro-Nixon news outlet operated from the White House which would disseminate partisan news packages free of charge to local affiliates across the country. By coordinating release of these targeted reports with allied politicians and duping opponents into hostile interviews, Ailes hoped to bypass the "prejudices of network news" -- a desire which led him to advocate for some unexpected political policies at the time, from campaign finance reform to anti-poverty efforts. The report comes as Fox is waging an aggressive two-front PR war with perceived ideological enemies -- calling on viewers to file IRS complaints against Media Matters' tax-exempt status for their dogged fact-checking of the network, while on-air hosts launched a campaign to label Jon Stewart "racist" after he called out their record of falsehoods following a critical interview with Chris Wallace (previously).
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 1, 2011 - 92 comments

Short Films Against Global and Social Injustice

In 2009, Ctrl.Alt.Shift, the "youth initiative of Christian Aid," held a national competition in the UK for aspiring filmmakers aged 18 to 25. Their mission: create a short film treatment based around three key issues: "War + Peace," "Gender + Power" and "HIV + Stigma." The results were then screened to an audience at the 2009 Raindance Film Festival. The films: 1000 Voices, HIV: The Musical, Man Made, No Way Through and War School. (All YouTube links. Vimeo links and descriptions of each film are inside this post.) These films deal with adult subject matter and may be disturbing for some viewers. Some may also be nsfw. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 24, 2011 - 3 comments

These astroturf libertarians are the real threat to internet democracy

Right Wing astroturfing A non-scientific analysis of the patterns in forum board discussions on a variety of topics. The gist: discussions of issues in which there's money at stake (like climate change, public health and corporate tax avoidance) are often characterised by amazing levels of abuse and disruption by rightwing libertarians who are pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-regulation. Discussions of issues in which there's little money at stake tend to be a lot more civilised than debates about issues where companies stand to lose or gain billions.
posted by novenator on Dec 20, 2010 - 79 comments

"Black Genocide"

In the US, the conservative movement’s latest rallying cry against abortion claims pro-choice groups are conducting a systematic eugenics campaign to turn African Americans into an "endangered species." The idea is finding renewed traction and condemnation in Black communities. Several bloggers at RHRealityCheck are offering counter-arguments. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 2, 2010 - 151 comments

Objectivity Killed the News Star

"The symbiotic relationship between the press and the power elite worked for nearly a century. It worked as long as our power elite, no matter how ruthless or insensitive, was competent. But once our power elite became incompetent and morally bankrupt, the press, along with the power elite, lost its final vestige of credibility." "The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News" by Chris Hedges.
posted by AugieAugustus on Feb 2, 2010 - 51 comments

Trusting the FOX

Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States, according to a new poll [.pdf] of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling (a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)). The pollsters conclude: “A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
posted by washburn on Jan 26, 2010 - 126 comments

It is available through churches and at Wal-Marts....

“They are brands that may not be considered cool by the often elitist and self-absorbed standards of New York media,” she said. She had taken a car from Manhattan that morning, and wore a pink wool shirt-dress, patent leather Manolo Blahnik heels, and diamond hoop earrings.

Reader's Digest jumps the shark. (NYT)
posted by squalor on Jun 19, 2009 - 177 comments

100 Days of Obama: the Flickr Potustream

After one hundred days, the wait is over: Pete Souza's Gargantuan Presidential High-Definition Executive Flickrdump is here. Warning: If you put it on fullscreen you won't get anything else done for a while.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 28, 2009 - 45 comments

Bollywood Agitprop

Bhay ho phir bhi jai ho! Be afraid, and then be victorious! Jai Ho, the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire song, was adopted by the reigning Indian National Congress Party as it's theme song. In response, this parody was released by supporters of the violently Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. And you thought the Pussycat Dolls' version was bad.
posted by Methylviolet on Mar 29, 2009 - 15 comments

Kiki and Bubu

Kiki and Bubu! Austrian art collective monochrom presents the adventures of two sock puppets. Part One: Kiki and Bubu and The Shift. "Bubu wants to know why his dad is busy all the time. And Kiki explains him why... because of the neoliberal shift." Part Two: Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege. "Bubu ran into a bunch of liberals and they gave him a book. They said if he doesn't read it, they're going to beat him up. But Bubu can't read! And so Kiki helps..." [Via BB]
posted by homunculus on Jun 7, 2008 - 6 comments

The Saddam Sessions

Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2008 - 24 comments

Myth-busters have the odds against them

Persistence of Myths Could Alter Public Policy Approach. "The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies (PDFs) show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths." [Via Firedoglake, more at MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2007 - 53 comments

Rally Squads ORLY? RLY.

Presidential Advance Manual [pdf] has been leaked, apparently. WaPo reporter Peter Baker discusses the "rally squads" to be set up by the advance team, whose job is to drown out potential protesters with chants of "USA! USA!" Slate's Dahlia Lithwick opines as well, and relates the document to the recent payment of 80,000 dollars to two people who had the unmitigated gall to wear anti-Bush T-shirts at a public event.
posted by bardic on Aug 22, 2007 - 38 comments

>>>>>PASS THIS ON! (emails from the right)

My Right Wing Dad is a new-ish and rather informal blog that aims to provide "a chance for folks to examine the unrestrained rhetoric that is quietly passed from in-box to in-box in America," by hosting a collection of the emails that form an often untraceable and unacknowledged part of public discourse in the U.S., especially on the Right. Tagged by category (for example: God, college, flag, liberal, and World War II), the amateur archive presents a range of colorful opinion, not all of it strikingly accurate, and some of it offensive. In efforts to understand liberal and conservative habits of communication, it may be worth considering the role of forwarded email in the electoral process, and the reasons that the forwarding of email is popular among some people, and whether this behavior tends to correlate with particular political opinions. The emails hosted on MyRightWingDad may in any case be enlightening, unless you're already on the forward list of someone in the know.
posted by washburn on Aug 15, 2007 - 105 comments

"50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers"

The "same people who attacked us on 9/11"? It may be the very latest talking point from the Administration, but it's actually true--altho it's not Al Qaeda in Iraq, but Saudis. Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia ... A historical note: 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis.
posted by amberglow on Jul 16, 2007 - 84 comments

Darth Cheney Strikes Back

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 6, 2007 - 65 comments

It's like they saw the future

1 DEPLOY GUNS AND BADGES. Josh Bolten's Five Point Plan is in full effect. "It'll be more guys with guns and badges," said a proponent of the plan. "Think of the visuals. The President can go down and meet with the new recruits. He can go down to the border and meet with a bunch of guys and go ride around on an ATV."
posted by scalefree on May 18, 2006 - 42 comments

A Brief History Of The Clenched Fist

A Brief History Of The Clenched Fist. With illustrations.
posted by jack_mo on May 3, 2006 - 18 comments

It's like a preview of what our media will look like once we finally rid ourselves of the extremist element within our borders.

CENTCOM trolls for a blogger to help with the propaganda--but he picks Jesus' General --I am a Public Affairs Officer writing from US Central Command. I would like to inquire about the possibility of you posting a link to our web site. I see that you are covering a lot of different types of stories in a lot of countries. I would like to get some of the stories out that are happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. ... Gen. JC Christian, patriot, of course responds with an even better idea, and cc:s Pat Robertson.
posted by amberglow on Aug 25, 2005 - 20 comments

Chinese Propaganda Posters

You'll love the chubby babies and thrill to the Heroes and Villains. You'll like the heroines as well. The rest of Stefan Landsberg's Chinese Propaganda Poster site is fairly nifty as well. There are more here, and here. The Taschen volume is always on the table chez nous. (Note : I posted the site link the day before yesterday on the inside, and someone suggested that it should go on the front page, so here it is).
posted by TimothyMason on May 6, 2005 - 12 comments

hey cheerleaders!

What I Heard about Iraq --from 1992 until today. head-spinning.
posted by amberglow on Feb 1, 2005 - 84 comments

Integrity 1, Sinclair Broadcasting 0

Sinclair Fires DC Bureau Chief for Speaking out Against Airing "Stolen Honor" (Baltimore Sun link, reg. req)
Sinclair Broadcasting, as has been discussed before, wants to air "Stolen Honor" (quite the appropriate title in regards to Jon Leiberman, the DC bureau chief) during primetime in a bold faced move to sway the election to Bush's favor.
Says Mr. Leiberman, "It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election."
The Washington Post and NY Times (both reg.req.) are also running the story.

First brought to my attention via our own Oliver Willis.
posted by fenriq on Oct 19, 2004 - 26 comments

What barry says

What Barry Says. (mirror of the quicktime video) Though it may stray towards the tinfoil hat in places, you can't dispute that a small group of neocons really is actually trying to reform the world in their vision. But are they doing it merely for profit on the part of their closely related weapons companies? Even if you don't agree with its provacative message, it's a damn fine looking piece of type, design, and film all rolled into one 2 minute short [via randomfoo].
posted by mathowie on Oct 6, 2004 - 18 comments

The Noise Machine

The Republican propaganda mill, a brief history It's bigger than Bush vs. Kerry. It's about billionaire funded thinktanks (AEI, Heritage) paying columnists to sit around and make stuff up or legitimize crackpot theories (blacks are genetically stupid, japanese internment was okay). Furthermore its about radio, internet, blogs, tv news and publishing houses working in concert to pummel memes onto the American public. When this stuff infects your culture and is no longer the domain of the loons but now as mainstream as apple pie and Wal-Mart, what do you do?
posted by owillis on Sep 6, 2004 - 74 comments

Bush blows cover of al-Qaeda insider

"After his capture he admitted being an al Qaeda member and agreed to send e-mails to his contacts," a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters. "He sent encoded e-mails and received encoded replies. He's a great hacker and even the U.S. agents said he was a computer whiz." In its haste to get a scary headline the weekend after the Democratic Convention, did the Bush Administration deliberately blow the cover of one of its best informants within al-Qaeda?
posted by lagado on Aug 8, 2004 - 35 comments

Right Wing Pundits, and the Billions that Support Them

Michelle Malkin and the Big Hustle Matt Stoller does a good job explaining the right-wing noise machine backing up author Michelle Malkin, whose new book promotes the virtue of Japanese internment camps and racial profiling. Eric Muller, UNC law school professor also does a pretty good job ripping up her arguments. As Stoller says: "Right-wing institutional support, with places to house people to create ideas, outlets to distribute and promote them, and the tactics and relationships to turn these ideas into the mainstream, is breathtaking".
posted by owillis on Aug 7, 2004 - 65 comments

Is it real or infoganda?

Fake news. How is it legal to present a commercial as real news, without any indication that it is a commercial? And when did it become legal to use government money (i.e. *my taxes*) to push partisan issues, as well as try to influence election politics?
posted by rich on Mar 18, 2004 - 12 comments

F**king USA!!!

Why does North Korea hate America? Warning: Quicktime video, and NSFW to boot. Anti-American propaganda video made by North Koreans, for North Koreans. Unintentionally funny, or sheer genius? You be the judge.
posted by moonbiter on Oct 13, 2003 - 51 comments

Politics & Science

Politics & Science. A recent report (PDF) commissioned by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) of the House Government Reform Committee "finds numerous instances where the Administration has manipulated the scientific process and distorted or suppressed scientific findings." This White House, it says, has interfered with the objectivity of federal scientists – by stacking committees, ignoring or suppressing information, and interfering with research - to an "unprecedented" degree, on topics ranging from breast cancer and food safety to agricultural pollution and wetlands protection.
posted by gottabefunky on Oct 2, 2003 - 6 comments

1957 atomic revolution comic book!

1957 atomic revolution comic book. Quite a find for 1950s atomic memorabilia enthusiasts. Creepy and educational. Has anyone here ever heard of M.Philip Copp?
posted by Peter H on May 19, 2003 - 10 comments

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon Ok Israeli intelligence so I assume some will dismiss this as propaganda, though clearly US knows of this and works along with Israeli intelligence. And Syria occupies Lebanon with thousands of troops and thus runs the country. Meanwhile, we will (or will not) busy ourselves with Iraq.
posted by Postroad on Sep 2, 2002 - 17 comments

Propaganda analysis:

Propaganda analysis: A very interesting page on how to recognize and avoid emotionally-charged propaganda and political rhetoric. A broader question would be, how do you go about analyzing competing truth-claims made by environmentalists and anti-environmentalists, pro- and anti-gun control activists, Moonies, socialists, libertarians and capitalists? Are there any hard and fast rules you use to choose who and what to believe in a world of name calling and information glut?
posted by hanseugene on Jan 17, 2002 - 5 comments

Infinite Justice is out, Enduring Freedom is in.

Infinite Justice is out, Enduring Freedom is in. "The change was made after the initial name -- 'Operation Infinite Justice' -- last week ran into objections from some Islamic scholars on grounds that only God, or Allah, could mete out infinite justice in their view."
posted by swerve on Sep 26, 2001 - 24 comments

Taiwan's ruling party receives some very controversial assistance. 'The commercial opens with a 10-second clip from a Nazi propaganda film, showing Hitler raising his arms and putting his hands on his chest.'

"Hitler was chosen as one of the four leaders because he dared to speak his own mind,'' Juan said. Among former Taiwanese president, Castro & JFK are featured in the commercial. AP notes that Taiwanese lack a deep understanding of the Holocaust and at the same time are suprised to that Mao Tse-Tung is used as a pop symbol in the West... Is this a case that warrants cultural relativism ?
posted by noom on Jul 12, 2001 - 13 comments


Clandestine Radio.

Clandestine Radio. Rebels, guerrillas, opposition groups, separatists, nationalists, regionalists, propaganda. You name it, it's on the air. [Via NASWeblog]
posted by Mo Nickels on Oct 8, 2000 - 0 comments

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