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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Keeping it fake

George W. Bush isn't one to engage in debate. Indeed, he much prefers talking to slavish followers, Republican hacks and media cheerleaders. He recently toured the US promoting his plan to privatise social security. He conducted fake town hall meetings where nobody spoke out of line and everybody congratulated their President. Why? Republican media strategist Frank Luntz explains: "A real town hall can be very dangerous if it gets out of control. A town hall where the speaker cannot command the respect and the control of the audience can look very bad on television. ... To me the most important component of a successful town hall is the visual, is the backdrop." And, Luntz forgot to add, a lack of real debate. The Bush administration is getting pretty proficient at selling itself and many news organisations are either oblivious or happy to go along for the ride.

Watch this exclusive report to prepare yourself for the onslaught of fake news coming soon to a TV near you.

4 Comments:

Blogger syed-m said...

One of the truly genius aspects of our system of public coercion is that propaganda is traditionally in the hands of private interests, viz the PR industry. That has often meant that many from the centre-left onwards (including and especially any half-progressive intellectual or professional) have been skeptical of us 'crazy lefties' who drone on about propaganda in western, liberal democracies. Given that, perhaps the current push by the Bushites is a good thing. Because they've stripped even more pretention away from the notion that our societies are anything other than undemocratic. Cf your blog re conscription in the US...

On a bit of a tangent - why the fuck has SBS stopped showing the Daily Show??? Don't tell me people prefer watching Iron Chef!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2005 5:30:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Daily Show? God knows. Send 'em an email/call/bombard management.
Perhaps you're right. The propaganda is now so obvious, how could people not be aware? But, still, they're often not. Until more people are made to realise that corporate media, and that pretty much includes our mainstream press, has agendas, hidden and open, 'fake' news will continue.
Wonder if it's happening here...?

Thursday, April 28, 2005 6:25:00 pm  
Blogger syed-m said...

It happens here also, but nowhere near to the same extent. A good eg is the verbatim use of govt and corp press releases in the media. Media Watch has done several stories on this.

Re: it's so obvious people must start realising its propaganda. I guess it's more of a hope than a prediction. You're absolutely right. We can't sit on our laurels and expect things to just happens because they're obvious to us. Most people aren't lucky enough to be able to spend their spare time analysing the media system, politics, etc. They're too busy surviving. So, yes, we definitely have a responsibility to increase awareness.

Friday, April 29, 2005 11:09:00 am  
Blogger syed-m said...

Re Media Watch exposes on private propaganda follow these links...

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1347942.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1347922.htm

Friday, April 29, 2005 1:50:00 pm  

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