Saturday, January 09, 2010

a citizens guide to understanding corporate media propaganda techniques

EarthBlog News
January 9, 2010

Following this brief introduction is an attempt to enumerate powerful propaganda techniques being used on the American public by the corporate or so called "mainstream" media. Give this a good read, and my guess is that after you are armed with this important information, you will be able to spot these techniques as they are being deployed against you. The best way to counter propaganda is to understand the techniques and how they are used.

framing the debate

Debate a legitimate issue, and ostensibly have both sides represented, but instead on the continuum of opinion, have one from the middle and one from an extreme view and thus contain the debate to meet your ideological framing and goals. Alternatively, have a strong debater for one side, and a weak debater for the point of view you would like to suppress.

programming the viewers attitudes

This is one of the most common propaganda techniques. Cover a story, complete with your ideological spin, and then follow up with interviews of "ordinary people" who support your point of view but frame it as the popular point of view or the only point of view. The viewer walks away with a powerful form of sub conscious attitude programming.


This is another common technique in use today. Instead of covering stories that matter, cover irrelevant, trivial stories about entertainers or celebrities and blow them up into grand productions so you don't have to discuss anything that really matters, or when something happens that you don't want to discuss but ordinarily would be forced by popular opinion to discuss, generate a distraction which you discuss instead.

fluff and ice cream cones

Run feel good stories about puppies and teddy bears.

artificial reality

By framing the entire programming of the network, you create an artificial reality, posing as the truth

direct programming

In this method, a story is covered with the specific intent of a viewer walking away holding a desired point of view

special interest ads posing as news stories

In this technique, a special interest advertisement will be crafted as if it is a news story and presented as such.

the big lie technique

Tell a lie so large that no one will question the authenticity because of the size of the lie


This is a simple technique. For news that doesn't fit your agenda, or news that might cause your advertisers or special interest supporters to withhold support, for news that might not fit with the overall story line and talking points...just don't cover the story. Alternatively, if a high profile person carries an opinion or message you would like to suppress, don't ever invite that person as a guest.

friendly fire

Repeatedly have as guests, people who strongly support your causes, or alternatively have weak debaters appear to represent causes you don't support

historical revision

Omit unflattering feedback and generate your own positive feedback

winning the viewer

Attempt to foster goodwill and viewer loyalty by covering fluff stories using likable or attractive people and personalities in a way that ordinary viewers or readers can identify with. In this way, people are more likely to swallow the dope.

emphasis and repetition

Cover stories which match your agenda over and over and over......and over.


invite often, people with so called "credentials", who pose as "experts", "professors" or other lofty titles who support the network point of view as if it is the truth. Often, these so called experts will have a financial or career interest, or some other political or ideological affiliation regarding their point of view that is not disclosed.

repeating a lie

George Orwell said that if you repeat a lie frequently enough, people will take it to be true


People or personalities whose opinion or positions are to be suppressed are subtly (or not so subtly) vilified and sabotaged, usually by over blowing a trivial issue relating to something people are sympathetic to

keep only team players

If a newscaster, commentator or journalist or editor has the wrong opinion, fire them and replace them with someone with the correct opinion.

imbedded editorial views in news stories

In Journalism, the editorial page is where opinion is expressed, but editorial views can be subtly introduced into "news" to program the viewer or reader

lies as truth

Run a story or headline that you know isn't true to support your point of view. In a subtler form, mis translate or misquote to suit. Alternatively, publish or sponsor polls intended to give a desired result.

deciding who is sane on behalf of the viewer or reader

portray points of view you would like to suppress as extreme, or crazy, dangerous or not legitimate. If necessary, call in one of your "experts" for emphasis

advertising as news

Run goodwill stories about advertisers, or for that matter about your parent company, as if you are covering news or human interest stories.

the hostile or friendly interview

Interview people whose views you support in a friendly manner. Interview people whose views you would like to suppress in a hostile manner. This technique is most effective when kept low key.A variation of this techinique is to invite a guest for an "interview", then have an aggressive personality talk over them the whole time and repeat as truth things they never said or things they said out of context.

humor as a propaganda tool

feature comedic acts or jokes that support your point of view. Alternatively, feature humor that is in poor taste which supports your point of view or ideological agenda.

unflattering (or flattering) handles

corral an entire group of people into a pidgeon hole, by crafting handles that carry positive or negative connotations.


He is a "conspiracy theorist" (negative connotation) used to tar anyone who contradicts the party line

He is a "goldbug" (negative connotation) used to subliminally encourage the idea that someone favorable to owning gold is a kook or single minded extremist.

use the power of words to emphasize or de emphasize acts or information

The crowd was "peppered" with hellfire missiles

divide and conquer

create simple minded divisions between groups of people to keep them distracted and arguing among themselves over mostly trivial issues.

using anonymous sources

Generate "news" using anonymous sources. This technique could range from mis quoting, to outright fabrication and lying. ie. an anonymous source that is entirely fiction and created to generate a certain reaction or artificial reality.

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."--Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials


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