Archive for February, 2010

h1

FoxNews Video: “Propaganda Works”

February 17, 2010

“Propaganda works,” says FoxNews correspondent Tucker Carlson.

Upon viewing this video, I found the necessity to immediately upload and share, as this “study” (which is never cited) is ridiculous. Without indicating any important details, such as the organization responsible for the study, students polled, steps that led to the conclusion, etc, FoxNews evades its illegitimacy, relying on shocking statistics that alarm and distract the viewers (to their credit, those statistics are depressing).

In my own experience at West Chester University, I have encountered various professors of both parties, who all concern themselves with the class material, NOT POLITICS. While my experiences cannot remain the basis for every student, the missing facts in this study are too blatant to neglect, yet people will still listen without scrutinizing.

“Propaganda works,” says FoxNews correspondent Tucker Carlson.

FoxNews Video

h1

Propaganda Analysis

February 17, 2010

My first propaganda analysis,

Health Care Reform

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown obviously scrutinizes George Lucas’ interstellar masterpiece, Star Wars. How else can he explain his impossible special election victory that crippled the Democratic Empire and eliminated its seemingly unstoppable filibuster-proof majority? Brown, a Republican, may eventually acknowledge his expertise of The Force, but until then, blatant neglect for health care bipartisanship, which has originated and stayed on party lines, remains the catalyst. On election night, Rasmussen Reports identified 56% of all Massachusetts voters polled as choosing health care reform, President Barack Obama and other Democrats’ capital issue, as their principle reason for voting. With Brown now holding the congressional seat of recently-deceased Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, Americans evidently detest the current reform approach, stalling it indefinitely.

On January 28, one day after President Obama’s State of the Union address, CNN.com posted an article reinvigorating the health care strategy. “House, Senate leaders say push for health care reform continues” reads the large, bolded headline. Below, a small, rectangular image displays House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, assuredly smiling off-camera to (presumably) the average, struggling American citizen. While exuding optimism, the picture appears too orthodox, a business card image given to every news group with instructions stating “use at will.” The article nimbly walks along the independent wire, featuring opinions from popular Democrats and Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader John Boehner. This unbiased technique broadens viewership and enhances the network’s legitimacy.

FOXNews.com employs an opposing tactic, publishing anti-leftist writings catering to conservatives. Dated January 29, an article titled “Health Bill ‘On Life Support’ After Obama Appeal” inadvertently attacks the aforementioned CNN posting, replacing optimism with hopelessness. Moreover, this headline carries the presence of a mere footnote, with viewers’ eyes fixated on the gigantic image underneath. Republican Representative Steven LaTourette glares down angrily towards the podium, his hands spread with palms upward, symbolizing “here are the facts and the bleak conclusion.” Those who cannot deduce LaTourette’s body language will still easily grasp his message through an accompanying politicized game board mimicking Milton Bradley’s Operation, featuring “sweetheart deals”, “pork ribs,” and “you’ve got to be kidney.” Notably, the article features few Democrats and numerous Republicans analyzing the situation. Despite vast differences permeating CNN.com and FOXNews.com publications, both articles’ success relies on propaganda.

Authors Anthony Pratkanis and Elliott Aronson, in their book, Age of Propaganda, divulge the persuasive “four strategems of influence” media corporations utilize. CNN.com and FOXNews.com immediately develop their favorable target audience through their reputability and immense viewership. They do not search for people, rather people search for them. This misplaced trust increases the readers’ susceptibility to propaganda, while the two articles reinforce “facts” with quotes from trustworthy, elected officials. Visual aids, exemplified by Nancy Pelosi’s hopeful grin and Steven LaTourette’s doctoral examination, recapitulate the respective articles’ headline and stress a particular message. CNN.com readers will understand health care reform’s inevitability while FOXNews.com readers will understand health care reform’s impossibility. With the success of these three stratagems, viewers feel emotion towards the expressed ideals, cementing their world and the writing together. This final stratagem bleakly destroys freedom of thought and willpower, arresting the mind and isolating victims from truth.

h1

Snowmaggeddon

February 10, 2010

When a student used the term “Snowmaggedon,” I chuckled at the precise description referencing this past weekend’s enormous snowstorm. Then I checked CNN.com…

…And found this exact phrase used to describe the snowfall outcome and another incoming snowstorm (which I am currently encountering ). Thinking about the repeated terms’ coincidence, I ventured to Acme…

…To find that all milk, bread, eggs, pasta, peanut butter, beverages, clementines (their disappearance may be unrelated to the rest, but dissapointing nontheless), and anything microwaveable or commonly titled “college food” was completely sold out! Now maybe the Acme truck driver got lost…the past three days. Or maybe, due to the terrible economy, corporate decided to send limited shipments once a month. Or maybe, everyday people, who reluctantly trudged through “Snowmaggedon,” looked around, then looked at the television, and decided to get every piece of food available because we won’t survive if we don’t have enough to feed everyone for months!

Ordinary people, witnessing the intensity of a snowstorm this past weekend, feared for the worst, acting emotionally and allowing themselves to believe the hype. “Snowmaggedon” is real. Propaganda at its finest. But, to the media’s credit, as I stare out my window, “Snowmaggedon” is actually pretty friggin real. 🙂

h1

Obama Presidential Election

February 2, 2010

The 2008 Presidential Election marked my first opportunity to vote and influence the United States government Admittedly, I did not scrutinize Barack Obama as much as I did John McCain, convinced that the Republican’s selected another candidate internationally disliked and disrespected. This prejudice ignorantly expressed towards McCain, I now realize, is the product of constant, often-deserving media Bush-bashing and, more prominently, terrific Obama campaign propaganda.

While Obama passionately and persuasively spoke about changing the current course of the United States towards a prosperous and beneficial nation, his support team reinforced these claims with the phrase “change we can believe in” and the popular poster shown below:

The Obama “Hope” poster is, in my opinion, the most effective political propaganda image in the 2008 Presidential Election. The patriotic red, white, and blue cover the area as Obama optimistically looks ahead to the future, the image deliberately using an effective, introductory photoshooting technique displaying power and triumph. In large, bold lettering, “HOPE” sprawls across the bottom quarter of the poster.

This poster inspired myself and countless others to undoubtedly vote Democrat. This is not, by any means, a negative result (I’m very proud of my chosen candidate), but something to ponder for others, like myself, who think understanding television propaganda automatically means understanding all propaganda. It does not.