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Articles from the MA Publication Propaganda Review

Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 5 1987-1990

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Everything old is new again. One of the advantages of being a venerable organization is that your ancestors have already taken a go at issues and problems recurring today.

Propaganda Review was a Media Alliance magazine that explored techniques of manipulation, our vulnerability to them, and a society obsessed with the engineering of consent.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

So, with the generous help of William Bowles, we are embarking on the project of excavating as much of Propaganda Review as we can in order to make it available for a bit of context in today’s “fake news” debate.

In this edition, you’ll hear from:

  • Claude Steiner interviewing David Fenton on the PR campaign against apples treated with ALAR.  “You can’t separate the
    corporate ownership of the media from the way it reports things. Yet, most journalists would argue that corporate ownership has absolutely nothing to do with anything that they write.  Which I think, shows how out of touch they are with how things actually operate.  There is a remarkably perfected, cultural auto-pilot, where
    things outside the homogeneous universe are never considered.
    Our job is to press things into the public eye that just wouldn’t
    get there on their own.”
  • Peter Dykstra on the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill. “Possibly the least told, but most important part of the energy/ Cold War story is the curious history of the US Department of Energy (DOE). Created as a cabinet-level stepchild of the Atomic Energy Commission, the DOE’s earliest conspicuous mission was to research and promote energy alternatives Perhaps for that very reason, Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan vowed to abolish DOE if elected. Under the aegis of
    James Edwards, a dentist-turned-politician who as South Carolina
    Governor was a steadfast cheerleader for the Savannah River
    Nuclear Complex, Reagan decimated DOE’s most progressive
    programs. The Department languished for two years, then underwent a rebirth with the 1983 launching of the Strategic Defense Initiative. DOE thrived, its early visions of windmills and solar panels supplanted by billions devoted to  plutonium production, nuclear weapons testing, and SDI research.”
  • Petra Hesse and Ted Stimpson on the world is a dangerous place; images of the enemy on children’s television. “Many people believe that conceptions of the enemy are acquired early in life, and passed on from one generation to the next; to break the cycle of enemy images and violence, we have to know as parents, educators, politicians, and journalists how to counteract these depictions.” 
  • John Baer on the strange origins of the pledge of allegiance. “Perhaps the time has come to see that this allegiance should be to the US  Constitution and not to a piece of cloth.” • 
  • Stephen Ducat on the demonization of the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua. “The delirious ardor with  which the Reagan administration pursued its monomaniacal campaign against
    Nicaragua has puzzled many”
  • Brian McGin on what happened in 1941 when Nazi Rudolf Hess went to Scotland. “There are situations, Goebbels explained to an aide, which  even the best propagandist in the world cannot cope with.”

Continue reading Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 5 1987-1990

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Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 2 1987-1990

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Everything old is new again. One of the advantages of being a venerable organization is that your ancestors have already taken a go at issues and problems recurring today.

Propaganda Review was a Media Alliance magazine that explored techniques of manipulation, our vulnerability to them, and a society obsessed with the engineering of consent.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

So, with the generous help of William Bowles, we are embarking on the project of excavating as much of Propaganda Review as we can in order to make it available for a bit of context in today’s “fake news” debate.

In this edition, you’ll hear from:

  • James Zogby on the perverse distortions in coverage of the Palestinian resistance. “Consider the number of articles about what
    the breaking of hands is doing to the souls of those young Israeli soldiers who are subjected to this kind of brutality-they are subjected to the brutality, not the fingers of the hands whose bones they’re breaking. There is far more concern for the souls of the Jews
    than for the bodies of the Arabs”. 
  • Barbara Haber on the mythic legacy of previous social change movements on young organizers. “The students were
    sharply aware of the power of media imagery to make and
    break movements.”
  • Peter Kornbluh on the Reagan-era State Deapartment’s Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD). “The OPD became a “vast psychological
    warfare operation”  aimed at Congress and the American people.”
  • Claude Steiner and Charles Rappleye on propaganda scholar Jacques Ellul. “Citizens crave propaganda from  the bottom of
    their beings. And propagandists respond.”
  • Jay Rosen on the follies of conventional election coverage by the press. “In the sheer overkill the press creates, one senses a desperate  attempt to affirm public interest in the election ritual.”
  • Nina Eliasoph on the perils of polls. “Polls are good for
    finding out what people think they should say  to pollsters.”

Continue reading Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 2 1987-1990

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Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 4 1987-1990

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Everything old is new again. One of the advantages of being a venerable organization is that your ancestors have already taken a go at issues and problems recurring today.

Propaganda Review was a Media Alliance magazine that explored techniques of manipulation, our vulnerability to them, and a society obsessed with the engineering of consent.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

So, with the generous help of William Bowles, we are embarking on the project of excavating as much of Propaganda Review as we can in order to make it available for a bit of context in today’s “fake news” debate.

In this edition, you’ll hear from:

  • Loretta Graziano on economic statistics, why they aren’t as reliable as we think they are and the risks of information overload democracy. (“In an information overload democracy, leaders can expect the public to substitute one or two simple symbols for the full detail on complex national issues. They can expect public discourse to focus myopically on the familiar symbols and ignore other data, even when contradictions between the two are substantial“)
  • Martin Lee on the use of Nazi war criminals by American intelligence agencies for espionage activities against the Soviet Union in Hitler’s Last Laugh. (“Thus did the Reagan administration cover up one of the most insidious foreign policy ventures in US history–a policy whereby thousands of active Nazis were deliberately and systematically recruited by US intelligence to further American objectives in postwar Europe. This wasn’t a covert sideshow run out of the White House basement. It was official US policy”)
  • Ward Churchill on the US government’s war against the American Indian Movement (AIM). (“Tom Coli, a propaganda specialist, was dispatched to explain why the FBI was suddenly conducting Vietnam-style search and destroy operations on an obscure South Dakota Indian reservation”)
  • David Pearson on the media and government deception and the age-old question of the difference between being a watchdog and a lapdog. (“The canon of objectivity tended to leave unreported large
    areas of genuine relevance that authorities chose not to talk about”)
  • David Levi-Strauss on Jean Luc Goddard and Anne Marie Mieville’s brief experiment in subversive anti-television. (“Sonimage was unable to get its counter-TV into the midst of mainstream broadcast television”)

Continue reading Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 4 1987-1990

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Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 1 1987-1990

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Everything old is new again. One of the advantages of being a venerable organization is that your ancestors have already taken a go at issues and problems recurring today.

Propaganda Review,, was a Media Alliance magazine that explored techniques of manipulation, our vulnerability to them, and a society obsessed with the engineering of consent.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it

So, with the generous help of William Bowles, we are embarking on the project of excavating as much of Propaganda Review as we can in order to make it available for a bit of context in today’s “fake news” debate.

In this first edition, you’ll hear from:

  • Noam Chomsky on Orwell and totaliarianism (“If a government can’t control people by  force, it had  better control  what they think.“)
  • Nina Eliasoph on Oliver North and Iran-Contra (“It’s hard enough to brush my teeth in time for work. When am I gonna think about Oliver North?”)
  • David Levi-Strauss on Photography and Propaganda (“As Bertolt Brecht wrote in 1931, the tremendous development of photojournalism has contributed practically nothing to the revelation of the truth about the conditions in this world. On the contrary, photography in the hands of the bourgeoisie has become a terrible weapon against the truth.”). 
  • John Carlisle on the Persuasion/Manipulation Loop in Political Polling. (“Reagan is  governing America  by a new strategic doctrine – the  permanent campaign.”)
  • Marcy Darnovsky on why a Propaganda Review? (“Television puts deodorant and death  on equal footing  and turns both into  entertainment.”)
  • Jay Rosen on the techniques employed by the entertainment industry (“As a form of propaganda,  entertainment’s  strategy is to  convert the  passivity of the  audience into  the image of its opposite.“)
  • Marina Hirsch’s Notes from an Advertising Addict. (“I’m a couch potato and proud of my roots.”)

Continue reading Propaganda Review Issue 1, Volume 1 1987-1990

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