Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wartime Propaganda in Canada.

Is it really news or are you trying to send a message?

In World War One and WW II our free and open society used propaganda to forward the war effort and motivate the Canadian people. Most readers would agree if they’ve ever read any kind of book on the subject of Canada at war.

Propaganda was carried out by the mainstream media of the day, which included newspapers, magazines, books, newsreels, radio and speeches. We’re all aware of the propaganda by Nazi Germany in the period 1933-1945, and Soviet propaganda machines.

So it would appear that if we are indeed at war in Afghanistan, then perhaps it’s not such a giant intuitive leap of the imagination to ask, “Is there propaganda in the data-stream coming out of the media?”

The answer is self-evident, but we’ll ask the following questions on behalf of today’s young men who apparently have some kind of a literacy problem, good educations notwithstanding.

What form would it take? What would it look like? Who would be doing it? Why are they doing it? What is the purpose? How is it being done? What effect is it having? Who pays for it?

If every TV journalist in the nation starts wearing a poppy in late September and keeps it on until early January, is this a free choice, or some kind of policy? Please state the message in exact words. I don't find the symbology valid anymore.

When a CTV Newsnet journalist looks a guest advocating withdrawal from Afghanistan in the eyes and asks, (we had about 38 casualties at the time,) “Did they all die in vain, then?” that’s pretty heavy stuff.

The only time they ask tough questions is when dissent is offered? Nice.

The propaganda is out there once you become aware of the possibility. It’s not seamless, not unless you accept it as the truth without question.

“Perception is reality.”

If you believe it to be true, then it becomes truth. In the end, truth really doesn’t matter. What matters is public opinion. And that can be ‘managed,’ from time to time.

The first law of human communication is this: “No matter who you’re talking to, you’re only getting half a story.”

The second law of human communication states: “The government will tell you what it wants you to think.”

The third law of human communications states, “The mainstream media of the day are either self-regulating, or regulated by the government. It’s their choice.

The fourth law of human communications goes like this: “You don’t have to believe everything you read in a newspaper, hear on the radio, see on TV, or get off the internet.”

I’ve just scooped all the mainstream big-bucks media in the land on this wartime propaganda thing.

We all have our little role to play.

Anyhow, to engage in idle speculation is the mark of a free man. (And never try to argue with an idiot.)

I often thought I’d make a good propagandist, but you really need to get inside the subject’s head. In order to do that you need to understand human nature. You also need to understand his culture, his attitudes. You have to know what makes them tick. All human beings have a sense of justice, and a sense of humour. Virtually all men like true words, honestly spoken with a flair.

My problem as a Canadian, is that I kind of got used to trying to make informed choices. Well, the fog of war is legendary—it’s also true. If our own government is generating a big smokescreen, I have to ask why? Where is the threat? Where is it coming from? What is its nature? And why should I care? I got enough problems of my own to deal with.

I see Mr. Harper’s government as a kind of tragicomedy of errors. Mr. Trudeau’s government will be a light slapstick comedy with a host of zany characters. Just what the viewers need to wind up a long and interminable interlude. And let’s try to have our boys and girls home by the year 2014. Uh, that’s Christmas, 2014.

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