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 Propaganda - Links to examples

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PostSubject: Propaganda - Links to examples   Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:02 pm

I am interested in propaganda. I would like if people could post links to stories which constitute propaganda with an explanation of why they say it is propaganda.

I will get a better definition later but my initial criteria are:

The story must be
1. intentionally placed or created
2. to communicate a specific message
3. in order to get people to act in a concerted manner.

Remember, not all propaganda is bad! There is a lot of necessary propaganda in relation to environmental issues.

Also, please indicate where there is a time lag between the event and the story. This is often a sign of propaganda; the story is saved until it is needed.

An example is the story which came out about Alan Mahon seeking promotion to the High Court. This came out in February of this year whereas the event took place a number of years previously.
LINK to SBP follow-up.

The idea was to turn people against the tribunals and to paint the tribunal personnel as self-serving. I am no tribunal fan but this was clearly a propaganda style story.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:06 pm

So it is good if you wish a certain result and bad if you disagree with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:29 pm

Pick practically anything in the mainstream media and it will usually contain some element of propaganda.

I picked a piece from RTE that was published yesterday to have a go at.

The article is titled: Garda group to debate arming officers. Link to the propaganda

The article is split into three sections.

The first section misleads the reader by saying that the minister for justice is hoping to introduce legislation so that courts can use "some results of surveillance on high-profile criminal gang activities as evidence in trials." What’s particularly nasty about this piece of propaganda is that it makes the reader assume that the results of surveillance are not admissible in court and thus that the minister is doing us a favour by allowing this evidence to be used. The truth of the matter is that any lawful surveillance or other work performed by the Gardaí is admissible as evidence, other than opinion (opinion evidence from the gardaí is only admissible in the Special Criminal Court). One must conclude after one has sifted through the manure that the new legislation is aimed at giving the State the power to refuse to hand over details of the evidence to the accused as is currently the case when such evidence is demanded.

The second section is about informing us about an upcoming debate on arming the Gardaí. If that were the sole purpose of this section, it would have been a single sentence. Instead we are force-fed an opinion couched in supposedly reasonable argument. We are given the impression that most Gardaí “are in direct contact with criminal gang elements on a daily basis.” We are also reminded of the poor chap, a motorcycle Garda, who was shot last year. What this ‘softening up exercise’ fails to point out is that:

i. Guns do not catch bullets, they eject them. I.e. having a gun will not stop a bullet from hitting you.
ii. If most Gardaí were in contact with elements of criminal gangs on a daily basis, there’d be no criminal gangs. Or rather there'd be no criminal activity. There are fourteen or fifteen thousand gardaí. There are a few hundred (at the very most) gang members.
iii. Despite the hype, the chances of a Garda being shot whilst on duty are no greater than the chances of you or I being shot. Should we all be armed? A classic example of the Post hoc ergo propter hoc style fallacy of argument and logic that RTE loves to use.

Finally, the third (turd) section attempts to undermine the Garda Ombudsman, despite the fact that the ombudsman is perfectly capable of this without RTE’s help. RTE acting as the mouthpiece for the GRA suggests that some undisclosed investigation was compromised when the GSOC carried out a search on individual lockers of Gardaí in Limerick. This piece of trash suggests in so many words that the GSOC should liaise with the Gardaí in its investigations. This is complete spin and what makes it worse is that nobody has pointed out to RTE (it would seem) that the members of the Garda Complaints Board all went to work for the Ombudsman when their section closed down and the Ombudsman opened for business - in other words it must be expected that there’s plenty of liaising going on as it is. Also, if the Gardaí had some ‘secret’ investigation going on, how did the search by the GSOC bring this fact to public attention? Surely RTE’s supposed reportage is what brought this supposedly ‘secret’ and alleged ‘investigation,’ into the light of day.

A massive piece of spin from the title to the closing line.


Last edited by Hermes on Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:34 pm

Good thread silent
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:49 pm

Hermes wrote:

The second section is about informing us about an upcoming debate on arming the Gardaí. If that were the sole purpose of this section, it would have been a single sentence. Instead we are force-fed an opinion couched in supposedly reasonable argument. We are given the impression that most Gardaí “are in direct contact with criminal gang elements on a daily basis.” We are also reminded of the poor chap, a motorcycle Garda, who was shot last year. What this ‘softening up exercise’ fails to point out is that:

i. Guns do not catch bullets, they eject them. I.e. having a gun will not stop a bullet from hitting you.
ii. If most Gardaí were in contact with elements of criminal gangs on a daily basis, there’d be no criminal gangs. Or rather there'd be no criminal activity. There are fourteen or fifteen thousand gardaí. There are a few hundred (at the very most) gang members.
iii. Despite the hype, the chances of a Garda being shot whilst on duty are no greater than the chances of you or I being shot. Should we all be armed? A classic example of the Post hoc ergo propter hoc style fallacy of argument and logic that RTE loves to use.
That's not what they say.
Quote :

Last night GRA Deputy General Secretary John Healy said he was in favour of gardaí from motorcycle policing units carrying guns as well as other selected officers who are in direct contact with criminal gang elements on a daily basis.
Now I'm not great on propaganda and maybe I'm missing the point here but this seems to be saying that certain members of the gardaí are in contact with 'criminal gang elements' on a daily basis, not most as you suggest.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:58 pm

They use the word 'certain.'

However, they say that because 'certain' members of the Gardaí are in contact with these gang members on a daily basis, that these 'certain' members should be armed.

Let's define the 'certain' amount of Gardaí that the debate is about:

Quote :
The body representing rank-and-file Gardai is calling for a full debate
on whether uniformed members of the force should be carrying firearms.
Link

Emphasis mine.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 12:39 am

I like this thread. I admit to sharing Zhou's interest in propaganda, but much of what I see at the moment is related to the Lisbon referendum, and posted by "ordinary posters" (?), so it might not be fair to bring it up here.

I think one should distinguish, though, between 'knowing propaganda' and 'unconscious propaganda'. In the former case the placement and subject are deliberate - in the latter they simply reflect a partisan viewpoint.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 7:29 am

well the garda rep himself said they were doing alike of eamon ryan raising the nuclear issue in order to discuss and dismiss.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 11:50 am

Propaganda is designed to inspire unconscious propaganda or willing acceptance and propogation of the message by third parties.

I had typed a long reply to youngdan's point but I see now it didn't post. Propaganda has a negative connotations because of its association with the nazis. The intro to Edward Bernays' book "Propaganda" explains this neatly.

I accept that propaganda is a necessary reality in a mass urbanized society. I think we should identify propaganda and then see if it is pernicious.

For instance the piece about the Garda conference is a perfect example. It was a set piece designed to place and communicate a message. The goal is to increase sympathy for the Gardai (promote their sectional interests) and to generate an atmosphere to bring in more restrictive laws (to make their job easier, possibly to everyone's benefit) and possibly to let the criminals know that f they keep shooting at Gardai then the Gardai wil start shooting back (a good cause but no reason to think it will be effective).

The spin is is there but we know exactly who is behind the propaganda and what their motives are. For that reason I do not think it is pernicious propaganda unless RTE are consciously colluding in the spin.

The reporting is annoying because RTE are supposed to be a trusted interpreter and their analysis may have been weak; they took the bait and focused on the sexy issue of guns rather than on the substance of possible legislative changes.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 12:07 pm

ibis wrote:
I like this thread. I admit to sharing Zhou's interest in propaganda, but much of what I see at the moment is related to the Lisbon referendum, and posted by "ordinary posters" (?), so it might not be fair to bring it up here.

I think one should distinguish, though, between 'knowing propaganda' and 'unconscious propaganda'. In the former case the placement and subject are deliberate - in the latter they simply reflect a partisan viewpoint.

Propaganda is the dissemination of information to influence the thinking of people for the benefits of own's own agenda. Propaganda can contain lies or carefully selected information.

I think when a view is internalised into people's thinking, it becomes opinion. What you are seeing then when people are regurgitating a received view is not propaganda, but the results of propoganda having successfully influenced people.

From what I've seen on P.ie, mostly what is posted is opinion. There is a very small number of posters who are engaged in propaganda, with a clear agenda to influence to a specific end.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 12:18 pm

Quote :
Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people. Instead of impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.
Guess from where

The line that FG is going along at the moment - the push for efficiency and cutting costs (in the HSE for example) - is that propaganda or are they aching towards impartial analysis?

The RTE news is sometimes criticized for being biased - is it possible to be impartial within a culture at all? Did the interests of good taste intervene with the final Bertie/Carruth coverage which was pushed into third or fourth slots from the headline news when Bertie was finally in the hottest of the water? If this was done could it be argued that it was done in the interests of decorum and etiquette? A headline of the Taoiseach going down in flames would not be representative of the news-needs of the population at large so it was pushed down into the second or third slot, apparently.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 12:27 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I am interested in propaganda. I would like if people could post links to stories which constitute propaganda with an explanation of why they say it is propaganda.

I will get a better definition later but my initial criteria are:

The story must be
1. intentionally placed or created
2. to communicate a specific message
3. in order to get people to act in a concerted manner.
...

Zhou, is it also a part of the definition of propaganda, that the information being disseminated is factually incorrect, misleading or unfounded ?
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 12:41 pm

EVM - it isn't part of any proper definition of propaganda that the information be misleading, incorrect or unfounded.

That criterium if technically incorrect and unhelpful. It stems from how war-time activities of various countries were described as "propaganda".

The most effective propaganda used certain selected truths to promote a goal. Oftentimes the certain selected truths ar not the real reason for the goal being sought though sometimes they are.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu May 01, 2008 4:34 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
EVM - it isn't part of any proper definition of propaganda that the information be misleading, incorrect or unfounded.

That criterium if technically incorrect and unhelpful. It stems from how war-time activities of various countries were described as "propaganda".

The most effective propaganda used certain selected truths to promote a goal. Oftentimes the certain selected truths ar not the real reason for the goal being sought though sometimes they are.

For example, if a forum thread was arguing the merits or drawbacks of a Bill introduced by a particular Minister, and into that discussion someone drops an unrelated article about corruption within the government - that article may well be true, but it is irrelevant, and is being used solely to discomfort the pro-government side, and to incline people to reduce their trust in the government.

Ideally, the article will put the government supporters on the defensive, and lead to them spending their time defending against this unrelated issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Fri May 02, 2008 2:37 am

Here's a good example of propaganda, in yesterday's Independent. The writer, Dr Rob Johnston, is from the Spiked/ Sense About Science/ Living Marxism stable, so it's no surprise to find him attacking organic farming. Those people always attack the traditional green approach to environmental issues.

What is a bit surprising is that The Independent printed it. Then again... wasn't Tony O'Reilly once associated with the agri-chemicals industry?
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Fri May 02, 2008 2:39 am

soubresauts wrote:
Here's a good example of propaganda, in yesterday's Independent. The writer, Dr Rob Johnston, is from the Spiked/ Sense About Science/ Living Marxism stable, so it's no surprise to find him attacking organic farming. Those people always attack the traditional green approach to environmental issues.

What is a bit surprising is that The Independent printed it. Then again... wasn't Tony O'Reilly once associated with the agri-chemicals industry?

Wasn't the "Not healthier" line put to bed for once and all in a big study published last year? But there it is again.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Fri May 02, 2008 12:55 pm

One should look at Muirchiú's life of St Patrick if one wants to see an early irish work of propaganda.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Fri May 02, 2008 2:20 pm

soubresauts wrote:
Here's a good example of propaganda, in yesterday's Independent. The writer, Dr Rob Johnston, is from the Spiked/ Sense About Science/ Living Marxism stable, so it's no surprise to find him attacking organic farming. Those people always attack the traditional green approach to environmental issues.

What is a bit surprising is that The Independent printed it. Then again... wasn't Tony O'Reilly once associated with the agri-chemicals industry?

Did you not see that "Rob Johnston is a doctor and science writer"?? Sure he must be right so?
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Fri May 02, 2008 7:20 pm

isn't rte colluding in the ireland is more dangerous that it really is, that that there are really that many shootings, compared to other crimes, that shooting back will solves the problems with drug gangs.

see that book flatearthnews that chekov reviwed on indymedia
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:52 pm

LINK IT: Don't let Rupert Murdoch decide Ireland's future

Frank FitzGibbon's reply in letter to the Irish Times:

Madam, - Your new columnist Sarah Carey has sold you a pup, albeit one that suits your pro-Lisbon agenda (Opinion, November 19th).

The tale of her mistreatment at the hands of The Sunday Timesand her experience as a prisoner of conscience in the weeks during and after the Lisbon referendum grows more fanciful with each telling. Let me be clear: at no stage was Ms Carey assured that she could write articles for our newspaper about Lisbon and at no stage did I say it was imperative that the Lisbon Treaty be passed. I am prepared to accept that the passage of time has clouded her memory, so let me refresh it.

Ms Carey was a freelance writer who discussed column ideas with the deputy editor each week. During his absence last May I spoke to her instead, which is why I can say with certainty that this was the first time she asked me whether she could write a column about Lisbon. I reminded her that I was running an upfront campaign opposing the treaty, that she was not a political columnist and that I had hired specialist writers to analyse a different aspect of the treaty every week. She didn't like the decision but, as you know, editors are not paid to be popular.

Finally, Madam, despite Ms Carey's stated concerns about "ethical obligations" you will no doubt have noticed that she has no compunction about repeating internal conversations with her employer on her blog and elsewhere. - Yours, etc,

FRANK FITZGIBBON,
Ireland Editor,
The Sunday Times,
Dublin 2.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:18 pm

We are sadly lacking here in good examples of left wing propoganda. What every happened to the tradition of Agitprop, Pravda and Iskra?

The left opposition to Lisbon never really deigned to post their position on the EU and Lisbon, at least not so far as I could see.
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PostSubject: Re: Propaganda - Links to examples   Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:51 pm

cactus flower wrote:
We are sadly lacking here in good examples of left wing propoganda. What every happened to the tradition of Agitprop, Pravda and Iskra?

The left opposition to Lisbon never really deigned to post their position on the EU and Lisbon, at least not so far as I could see.
Does Mao's red book count?

I read Gaddafi's Green book lately. link

Quote :
The thousands who crowd stadiums to view, applaud and laugh are foolish people who have failed to carry out the activity themselves. They line up lethargically in the stands of the sports grounds, and applaud those heroes who wrest from them the initiative, dominate the field and control the sport and, in so doing, exploit the facilities that the masses provide. Originally, the public grandstands were designed to demarcate the masses from the playing fields and grounds; to prevent the masses from having access to the playing fields. When the masses march and play sport in the centre of playing fields and open spaces, stadiums will be vacant and become redundant. This will take place when the masses become aware of the fact; that sport is a public activity which must be practised rather than watched. This is more reasonable as an alternative than the present costum of a helpless apathetic majority that merely watches.
I read this after watching the All Blacks against Ireland. Let the record show that I am quite happy to delegate taking on those monsters to someone else.
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