Monday, March 27, 2006

Dangerous propaganda

I'd like to say at the beginning that I'm right. I mean my opinion is the correct opinion to have. If you don't share my opinion, it's likely that you haven't read enough of the right kind of sources. In my charitable way, I'm choosing to believe that if you disagree with me, it's because you are ignorant of the facts (rather than believing that you are willfully rejecting the correct answer out of some base motive, or that your brain fails to work properly, forcing you to come up with the wrong answer).

W. Thomas Smith Jr. at has written a column on propaganda, and, in a surprise move, it turns out he's against it (when it disagrees with him). In particular he's against dangerous propaganda, and he's got some examples he'd like to share with you. Examples from that hoary netherworld known as the Liberal Blog-O-Sphere. Tremble as you realize that some people believe that the theory that Russia smuggled out Iraq's nuclear program is "radical." Gasp in horror as Smith reveals that left wing newspapers occasionally characterize President Bush as "dull-witted" or "stupid."

Yawn with boredom as he slams into liberal bloggers with all the ferocity of a mildly annoyed titmouse.
Most of the worst forms of the dangerous kinds of propaganda can be found in underground publications. What makes those publications truly dangerous is that by virtue of the Internet, there is no limit to the size of their audience.
I have to say, I do like the theory that there is no limit to the size of my audience. Because it conflicts with my actual experience.

This is really kind of pathetic, when you think about it. Yeah the Blogs are a growing phenomenon and yeah they aren't always entirely responsible. But they are still a drop in the ocean compared to the propagandist possibilities inherent in Fox News, not to mention the rest of the mainstream media.

He does finally get around to the mainstream media at the end of his article. When is a Civil War not a Civil War? When it's a jar.

No, wait, that's another joke. When it's sectarian violence is the right answer apparently. He then reprints the comments of Captain Bill Roberts, spokesman for the Multi-National Force in Iraq who's job it is to put a positive spin on the news coming out of Iraq. Which he attempts to do.

His comments reminded me of some comments by Peter Daou I saw at Atrios yesterday.
You know, are there positive stories? Can't you find them?

You don't think that I haven't been to the U.S. military and the State Department and the embassy and asked them over and over again, let's see the good stories, show us some of the good things that are going on? Oh, sorry, we can't take to you that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked about, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be victims of attack.

. . . Soldiers, their lives are occupied most of the time with security issues. Iraqi civilians' lives are taken up most of the time with security issues.

So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?
Good question.

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