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?
"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month"
(PDF, 112k) "The Covert News Network", on Project MOCKINGBIRD - "Watergate muckraker Carl Bernstein uncovered a list of over 400 reporters and a coterie of publishers and media moguls who had basically been rubber-stamping CIA propaganda since the 1950s." Alex Constantine
on Mockingbird. "Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD have been flabbergasted to discover FOIA documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country. "
( from Geoff Metcalf
on Mockingbird). Cheryl Seal on Mockingbird
, with additional links. Enjoy the election!
Rumors of rape fan anti-American flames "They are raping our women!"
- This is the eternal tribalistic cry
, often all too true
but also often used as a baseless or exaggerated claim for war propaganda, to incite to hatred of a "barbaric" enemy who commits unspeakable acts ( see The "Rape of Kuwait"
). The history of Rape in Warfare
and may be instinctually driven
, at least in part.
Now, mass rumors
spreading through Turkey - which seem to have inspired a recent indigenous Turkish terrorist car bombing - allege mass rapes of Iraqi women by American troops. "There are more than 4000 rape events on the record"
claimed the Turkish journal Yeni Safak
, on October 22, "citing" (though the purported supporting citation contains nothing about such atrocities) internet sex therapist Dr. Susan Block's piece on the metaphorical "Rape of Iraq"
[ Warning : preceding link is NSFW
! Here's the work-safe CounterPunch
version]. Having more or less invented modern PR and propaganda techniques
(see Ed. Bernays
, Ivy Lee
) - handy during both war
- Americans are now on the receiving end of Propaganda's use of the shameless lie
. (identification of "mystery meat" links inside)
"Want to get arrested? Walk home with me."
It's LawForKids, the site devoted to giving the kids the education they need about drinking and other kewl stuff through the aid of really
crappy cartoons. Plus, enjoy the intellectual and grammar-rich discussion
on hard knocks in Juvie, plus Flash games
about being a good citizen. Not sure about discouraging kids from crime, but I sure as hell want to stay away from a life of web design now.
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.
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
"Given the choice, it's better to be viewed as a foot soldier for Bush than a spokeswoman for al-Qaeda."
This quote, captured in a USA Today article, came from Fox News spokeswoman Irena Briganti in response to allegations that CNN "was intimidated" by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship."
Leni Riefenstahl, dead at 101
In response to her film making for the Nazi regime, she said "It reflects the truth as it was then, in 1934. It is a documentary, not propaganda."
U.S. Army Used Media Cover in Iraq for Own Ends
which sounds like a big old bowl of yellow journalism but isn't really, at least I don't think so. It was more to refute the Iraqi Minister of Lies talking about the whooping the Iraqi war machine was delivering to the coalition forces.
The main issue that the reporters had was that they were only getting the one side of the story and not the Iraqi perspective.
But it raises some questions about the supposed objectivity of the media. Is this a proper use of them? To help achieve military goals? Or to try to avoid more unnecessary deaths?
«Clearly, one of the most critical questions
of the twenty-first century concerns why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not prevented. As I outline below, there are numerous aspects regarding the official stories about September 11th which do not fit with known facts, which contradict each other, which defy common sense, and which indicate a pattern of misinformation and coverup. The reports coming out of Washington do very little to alleviate these concerns.»
22 questions to chose from and decide which ones are nightmares of a conspiracy theorist and which ones must be answered.
The U.S. government launches Hi
, a new Arabic-language lifestyle magazine
targeted at 18-35 year olds in Middle Eastern countries. Story ideas
for the first issue.
The CBS News American Idol Power Hour.
Viacom, owner of networks CBS and MTV among many others, is aggresively pushing lucrative
offers for Private Jessica Lynch to get her on CBS News, including the possibility of her own video-hosting program on MTV and special editions of TRL. Corporate consolidation the way it is, are we in an era where synergy allows news-media-owning companies to offer not just material profit but flat-out media iconization in exchange for a good story? To put it another way: have we gone beyond using the news to promote entertainment owned by the same company to using entertainment as the currency to flat-out buy the news?
Bush "will reveal the truth".
But what truth is that? Where he says freedom, he means curtailing
press freedoms. When he talks about restoring the dignity of a great nation, he means handpicking
Iraq's new government. When he mentions WMD, he could be referring to two trailers lacking
any biological agent inside and show no
signs that they had been used to produce biological weapons, or alternatively, a swimming pool, a drinks distillery and a factory making car license plates
Curiously enough, it's not him but his pals
who find themselves
in awkward positions
. Then again, maybe it is them who are bringing it onto themselves
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?
Ask the White House
The Republicans seem to be turning on one another
over the budget-minded restraint of such moderates as Senators George Voinovich (R-OH) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who don't support George Bush's sweeping tax cuts.
The funny thing? They're pictured over French flags,
the new symbol of evil.
Revoke the Oscar.
Should "Bowling For Columbine" be considered non-fiction if it manipulated scenes and knowingly left out key information? Would a new category be better, like say adjusted documentary or propaganda? Or is it impossible
to make a documentary without some point of view?
Many know about the WWII propaganda films made by Warner Bros
But few know of the CIAs efforts to produce Cold War propaganda films. Like this take on George Orwells, Animal Farm.
Dealing With Saddam
What's in the cards for the missing members of the Iraqi high command?
According to Reuters AlertNet
"The United States will soon deliver Iraq's deposed president Saddam Hussein and his inner circle into the hands of its own troops -- as a deck of playing cards...Brigadier General Vincent Brooks held up one of the first examples of the card packs at a Central Command briefing on Friday, explaining that each card depicted a character the United States wanted pursued, killed or captured."
Checking the deck
quite predictably we find that Saddam is portrayed as the Ace of Spades, and his strong-arm younger son Qusay
is tricked out as Ace of Clubs. Ironically, elder-psychopathic progeny Uday, who is said to favor the use of rape
as a weapon of torture
, is imaged as the Ace of Hearts.
An Adobe Acrobat PDF image of the full deck is available at Defense Link.
Is this the the new US military card game, Poke-Iman? "Hey, soldiers...gotta catch 'em all!"
Section VIII Double Standards in International Field of Human Rights
to the annual report by the US state department critical of China’s current human rights record, China slings back with a report of its
own, this time critical of the US
for its human rights record.
Is this the superpower propagandist equivalent of schoolyard name calling, or does the Chinese report make some salient points, ones better left unsaid in the conquest of International Pax Americana
Though you won’t hear about them
, there are dozens of Pentagon P.R. officers embedded with reporters in Iraq.
“This is tragic,” one senior planner said bitterly. “American lives are being lost.” The former intelligence official told me, “They all said, ‘We can do it with air power.’ They believed their own propaganda.”
The Information War:
"Every few minutes, another burst of satellite imagery and Internet information impacts among an interactive global audience. Ambushed by info, U.S. military commanders confident in their overwhelming firepower are increasingly expressing concern that the 'velocity of information' is spinning out of their control." [more inside]
Battlefield 1942 Propaganda Posters
are very handy for the times when you need to call someone a smacktard
The return of the Movietone? "We fell on this idea of recreating films that looked like and were the length of the old Movietone forms of the 1940s," said Marine Lt. Col. Jim Kuhn, military producer for the undertaking called the Movietone Newsreel Project. Kuhn says the objective is to put together a short film that combines the commentary of real-life soldiers with the kind of footage civilian journalists would be unable to get. (more inside)
Saigon Poster Art
. "A Growing Collection of Pictures"
Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
The CIA's Freedom Fighter's Manual
is chock full of helpful hints like how to be lazy
and how to screw things up at work!
For more government comic hijinks, check out the FBI's Black Panther Coloring Book
. Find out more information here
via Social Design Notes.
Propaganda - Disinformation: The Masters of the Lie What if the U.S. projected a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad urging the Iraqi people and Army to rise up against Saddam, a senior Air Force officer asked in 1990?
The hubris and racism of American Psyops, who knows what the military is plotting now?
Priming the Pump of War
is what this is called. It may or may not be scary or true but it looks like it is worth keeping in mind.
The virtuous image of the Bertelsmann media empire
has been destroyed by a devastating historical study into the company's Nazi links that exposes its post-war success as built on a lie. The report, published this week, not only details the company's role in the Nazi propaganda machinery, but provides evidence of the company's use of forced labour during the war.
The Russian Avant-Garde Book
is an online version of the MoMA exhibit, featuring 112 books originally published in Russia during the intensely creative period between 1910 and 1934, before Stalin outlawed any style but social realism. The site is separated into three chronological themes and includes examples of futurist works, constructivist graphic design, children's books, propaganda, photography and photomontage, revolutionary imagery, architecture and industry, war themes, folk art and judaica...
Poetry or propaganda?
Gov. James E. McGreevey [of New Jersey] has called for the resignation of the state's poet laureate, citing a poem critical of Israel that Amiri Baraka read at a festival earlier this month.
"Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed," read a line from the poem, which was cited by the Jewish Standard weekly newspaper. "Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home that day? Why did Sharon stay away?"
Read the poem in question here
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.
Iraq's Aziz Says U.S. Attack Would Fail
This is a news story? What is the Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz supposed to say? "W. has been right all along, Saddam is a tyrant. We need to get him out. Even Saddam agrees he has gone to far." or "Now that you mention it, our military is a mess, the stuff we have bought is junk and your tanks will rip it to shreds."
Gallery of anti-war propaganda posters remixed from old wartime posters.
Some are perhaps over the top, but its very thought provoking work. Some of these posters really drive the point home that we are not that far removed from from the grisly battles of that past regardless of the government spin and all the high-tech military toys. This one is especially moving.
Kinder, gentler minders
in Kabul? President Hamid Karzai has re-opened the Department of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice
. Department head Mohammad Wazir Razi Kabuli promises no beatings or jailings for violating Islamic tenets, as was common under the Taliban Ministry of Virtue and Vice
. Instead, "propaganda" will be used influence the people of Afghanistan. However, when asked what would happen if, for example, a woman was caught wearing makeup in public, Kabuli said "It's too early to talk about that."
White House acts to shed arrogant image. The White House will set up a new office to try to salvage America's plummeting image abroad, it was announced yesterday as an independent taskforce reported that even the country's allies saw the US as "arrogant", "hypocritical" and "self-absorbed".
This autumn, an office of global communications will take over the job of selling "Brand America" from the state department, which the White House believes has failed to do the job effectively.
Propaganda to garner support for an invasion in Iraq, genuine desire to promote the image of the country, or a meaningless facade that's a waste of money? You make the call.
Wars and propaganda in gaming: you've all heard of America's Army
by now, but what about Under Ash
where you can fight the IDF (no civilians targets here) as a palestinian rambo? Perhaps you'd prefer a more spiritual route, and want to convert heathens
? Or the truly repulsive Ethnic Cleansing
game? Artists are getting into too with the likes of Cultural Revolution Doom
, and some politicians considered doing it the direct way
. Clearly, folks with an agenda have realized that games are a way to get their message out, and maybe noticed the success of "realistic"
but largely apolitical shooters.
Fortunately for gaming peaceniks (kill pixels not people!), the games mostly suck.
"This trend of creating mass media to distribute propaganda methods is particularly frightening
-- usually the government agencies don't participate directly in mainstream media. It's the difference between using commercial airtime to broadcast anti-drug messages and having a nationwide government-run cable channel that runs programs devoted to the subject."
The government in question? The American one
. The Game? America's Army
Unsubstantiated fear of terrorism headlines
like this are an incitement to panic for no good reason. I awoke this morning to this one in the Indianapolis Star. Are all medium-sized American cities this reactionary, or is that honor reserved for The Crossroads of America?
has taken some heat lately
for being too P.C., even here on MetaFilter
. Well, here's their chance to redeem the network. Sunday evening, 9:00 - 10:00 PM Eastern/Pacific, ToonHeads Goes To War
, including four rarely-seen wartime cartoons in their entirety: "Blitz Wolf"
where the three little pigs face off against a treaty-breaking, German-speaking wolf; "Scrap Happy Daffy"
featuring Daffy promoting the recycling of scrap metal and butting heads with a goat that bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler; "Herr Meets Hare,"
where Bugs Bunny tangles with Nazi minister Hermann Goering; and in "Russian Rhapsody"
, a plane full of "gremlins from the Kremlin" attack a bomber piloted by the Nazi leader himself.
Jenin 'massacre' reduced to death toll of 56.
Propoganda over, it's now official. I guess people will always believe what they want, but this comes straight from the Palestinian Authority.
I'm curious to know if this makes anyone in here feel the slightest bit regretful for jumping to conclusions (since we all know what happens when one assumes...).
Once again, in the U.S. we reap what we sow.
Now, I tend to be cynical when it comes to the activities of our government, but even I was shocked by the first two paragraphs of this article...
Art Fights Back
— an exhibit of poster art at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa — displays images dedicated to the memory of September 11 and support of the Unites States and its troops. Seems like a typical thing to do around war time, right?
Take a close look at the actual poster design
. Don't they seem rather non-American
in their artistic style? In fact, they recall an era of poster design for a dramatically different context
than what was typically thought of as U.S. patriotism.
Chomsky says arrest me too.
A Turkish publisher accused of disseminating separatist propaganda was acquitted yesterday after one of his authors -the celebrated American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky - appeared in an Istanbul court and asked to be tried alongside him.