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Oh, The Propaganda!
Arnold Schwarzenegger, George W. Bush, Armstrong Williams, Jeff Gannon, Karen Hughes, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge.
What’s the difference? Well, according to the GAO, there really isn’t one. Fake news reports are illegal propaganda, the GAO tells us. The Administration, predictably enough, says “Nuh-uh!”, citing the idea that hey, if it’s factual information, they’re not doing anything wrong.
Well, let’s stop there and have a look around. Is the information in these fake news reports factual? No, they’re not. They’re false and they’re fake.
Who remembers the Medicare Law from last March? In the “report”, an actress named Karen Ryan, posing as a reporter, signs off on the segments. It looks just like news, except that it isn’t. That’s not factual, right? Karen Ryan is not a reporter. So that’s false.
Same video: A pharmacist and a customer chat about the new law:
One segment shows a pharmacist telling an elderly customer the new law “helps you better afford your medications”.
“It sounds like a good idea,” the customer says, to which the pharmacist replies, “A very good idea.”
The pharmacist: an actor.
The customer: an actor.
So, how are they giving us factual information? These are not public service announcements intended to raise awareness about the new law, these are very obviously contrived propaganda segments to make us think the new law is a good thing, when it may or may not be.
Flash forward to now, 2005, where the truth about the misinformation our government is foisting on us begins to come to light. We begin to see things like the Armstrong Williams payola scandal, wherein Williams was paid to say nice things about No Child Left Behind.
We see Jeff Gannon, a man who was basically within striking distance of the president without a background check because he was a shill for the GOP.
We see Arnold out in California doing it because he sees the big boys in Washington getting away with it.
And lest I be decried as partisan, we see Daily Kos shilling for Howard Dean’s presidential bid, being paid far more and for far longer than he will admit.
The propaganda is all around us, in every facet of our lives. People say things because they are paid to say them, report the stories that benefit them to report. And us? What of us, the peasants in this government-enforced class caste society?
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
You know who said that? Joseph Goebbels. But it is put into practice every day in this country by our own Christiano-fascists. Just so happens no one cares to be bothered by it.