Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

An Example of Propaganda

We get bombarded by propaganda consistently. Some “news” is even fabricated and made up (a.k.a. “Fake News”), although not as much as Trump likes to claim. But the most often, and most insidious, form of propaganda are the half truths, and all sides engage in it to some extent or another, both intentionally and unintentionally. Everyone has their biases, and sometimes they don’t have all the complete facts (the current need to put news out NOW NOW NOW tends to chuck the vetting process out the door more often than not), and such incomplete information can skew opinions. Humans are biased by nature, and there is no way around that outside of keeping yourself open to all the multiple views of an issue, and that requires the discipline to not chuck your critical thinking out the door the second you get told what you want to hear.

And then there’s the propagandists, who know that they are lying, who skew the facts intentionally, who care nothing about the means and care only about the ends. Sometimes it’s done to advance a political agenda, other times it’s done just for money. But regardless of the intent, the result ends up the same: an uninformed public easily led to accept moral wrongs that at any other time in their lives they would never have accepted.

Fortunately we have the Internet that provides those who aren’t intellectually lazy to fact check for themselves (and no, I don’t mean just looking up Scope or Fact Check.org, although that’s a good springboard. I mean by doing actual critical thinking). Also, the current propagandists are so mediocre at it they would make Joseph Goebbels roll in his grave at their sheer lack of skill.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to be a good propagandist to fool people when they’re all too happy to toss their brains out the window the second they hear what they want to hear. All you need for propaganda to be effective on people today is to simply have no integrity and care nothing about the truth.

The following is an example of blatant propaganda. Both videos are essentially footage of the exact same thing, done by news sites with clear biases: one conservative, one progressive. To their credit, neither news site denies they have a political biase, at least as far as I’ve seen (if I am wrong, feel free to show me evidence). But look carefully at how each one is done.  The first is from Blaze TV:

 

First off note the headline: “Former ICE Director Explains to AOC that Crossing the border Illegally is…Illegal.” That headline is clearly written to automatically give you a negative view of one Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Nothing new on that, almost all media these days engage in clickbait headlines. But also notice the thumbnail. An interesting meme, one that again is designed to paint AOC as blatantly dumb and ignorant of the law.  So from that alone, we clearly have the intent of what this video is for.

Also note that this video is 4 minutes and 25 seconds long. Keep that in mind because we’ll be getting back to that later. Notice the amount of editing in the video. Segments of footage are taken out of sequence (as will be shown in the unedited footage in the next video) specifically for a purpose.  To someone who hasn’t chucked their brain out, it becomes clear that something this heavily edited is likely not going to give the whole story. It is clearly intended to pander to an audience who only cares about hearing what they want to hear, to confirm their already established biases. This is how half truths are manufactured, and as Alfred Lord Tennyson once said, “A lie that is half the truth is ever the blackest of lies.”

Now let’s look at the next video, which will shed light on the deceitfulness of the previous video. This video comes from TYT. It is 4 minutes and 58 seconds, longer than the previous video and without repeating any sequence like the other one did. While they have a progressive biase, they are open and clear about it. But in this particular video, you will see no blatant attempts at propaganda because they have no need to. All they have to do is run the unedited footage and let the facts speak for themselves.

But even in this video, a critical thinker will note the title: “AOC Corners Creator of Family Separation.” A title that…actually fits what the hearing was actually about (radical, I know, to have a title that fits the subject of a news clip or article in this day and age), but also paints AOC as “cornering” Mr. Homan on the subject of the hearing. While one can argue there is some subjective biase in that title, it is not a blatantly misleading headline, because as you’ll see in the first minute of the unedited footage, that is exactly what she does. In fact, she corners him so clearly on the illegality of the family separation policy he ends up doing everything he can to avoid admitting its illegality, downplay his complicity in recommending it, attempts emotional appeals, and attempts to not only change the subject slightly but to move the goalpost altogether to a completely different law that has no relevance to the legality of child separation at all. None of which are things that someone confident of the legality of a policy would do.

The unedited footage makes it very clear the level of propaganda that was being used by Blaze TV (and other news outlets like it) were engaged in on this particular video, this particular subject.

And this example is just one example out of thousands that can be discovered with a simple 5 minute Google search, or in this case even just a YouTube search, on how issues are clouded by propaganda, falsified evidence, lies by omission, rhetorical emotional appeals, guilt by association, and repetition of half truths and even blatant lies at a level that would make Aldous Huxley not only roll in his grave but burst out of it screaming bloody murder. And while “both” sides do it to some degree (as if there’s only two sides to anything, which is an utterly laughable concept), at this point in time it is becoming very clear who are currently being the most egregious about it.

And the useful idiots in society keep eating it up. They have willingly allowed themselves to get fooled into believing:

That policies that are no farther left than FDR, Kennedy, and Eisenhower is EVILLL STALLLIINNIIIISSSST SSSOOCCIIAALLIIISSSMMM. (For fuck’s sake, I’m a libertarian and I know how stupid that sounds)

That caring about human rights = wanting open borders (talk about conflation. I wonder why they would conflate that, hmmmm?)

That concern for the rule of law = not caring about the law (I can’t even fathom the level of outright denial and cognitive dissonance that’s even required to believe that, or even the level of ignorance to what the laws actually are for that matter)

That having nuanced fact-based views=U STOOPID

That criticism and dissent, the highest form of patriotism=HATES THIS COUNTRY! HURR DURR DURRR! (a claim so stupid that it isn’t even worth the time to debunk. Seriously, you would have to have the intellectual capacity of a fucking amoeba to believe that)

And the current narrative by the enablers of our Narcissist-in-Chief: that a blatantly racist statement isn’t racist.

And this list could go on and on and on and on and on, ad infinitum.

I’m not going to claim that I haven’t been fooled from time to time by propaganda. I have. Everyone has. But the sheer level that certain segments of our population is willingly allowing themselves to be fooled?

C’mon! Grow some self-awareness already. Stop being so intellectually lazy. This shit’s getting so embarrassing that it’s downright painful to watch.

July 20, 2019 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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