1. information, ideas or rumours deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, instituion, nation, etc.,
2. Official government communications to the public that are designed to influence opinion. The information may be true or false, but it is always carefully selected for its political effect.
I have always had a keen interest in the power of propaganda, as well as the other forms it takes such as, the art of persuasion and marketing. One of my favorite novels is 1984 by George Orwell. The two definitions above best describes what I consider propaganda to be, but my interest lies more in its power to shape public opinion and more importantly to cause a desired action.
Which leads me to Glenn Beck.
I don’t watch a lot of the American cable news networks. They are extremely weak on international news content and very predictable with their pro-American (regardless of whether it’s so-called “right/left”), bias reporting of events. I will periodically surf through FOXNews, MSNBC and CNN to see what they are gabbing about and I do like to watch a segment or two of Morning Joe on MSNBC as I have breakfast. However I get most of my daily doses of news reports from BBC World News and CBC Newsworld. There are particular news and talk shows that I do watch regularly: HardTalk (BBC World), Meet The Press (NBC), The Tavis Smiley Show (PBS) and more recently Glenn Beck (FOXNews).
I started watching Glenn Beck because, ironically, of all the publicity he was receiving via African-American bloggers. Although I had occasionally watched segments of the primetime talking heads on FOXNews and MSNBC, I found them all pretty much narrow-minded and obnoxious in their own way. O’Reilly, Hannity, Matthews, Oldbermann and Maddow are different sides of the same coin. Their endgame is ultimately the same: entrenchment of white supremacy for the benefit of the corporate oligarchy! So I had no interest in ever watching Glenn Beck… but the more I read about him on these blogs and in the mainstream media (msm), the more they labeled him “a racist and fascist”, the more my interest grew. I never understood that if Beck (and Palin) were so ignorant and reprehensible, and their views so objectionable, why do they continue to get so much publicity in the msm, which only helps to broadcast their message!?
One of the standard tactics of those utilizing propaganda is to take a snippet of what someone says or wrote and put it within a negative context to support a certain portrayal, opinion or belief of said person. So right away, when the msm does this and makes a particular claim, I’m wary of it. They do this all the time to us! But what I found disturbing was that the Black bloggers who would comment on “whatever” Beck was supposed to have said, were only reacting to what the msm had reported that he had said. They never watched the show for themselves to hear what he had actually said and in what context. In fact, some proudly wear it as a badge of honour and an undeniable proof of their intellectual superiority, to state that they never watch FOXNews. I have always been one who wants to investigate… see, hear or read something for myself, hopefully in it’s entirety and within its original context, before forming and stating an opinion. So I began watching the Glenn Beck show to see and hear for myself what he was all about.