Propagandizing the Grey Lady: NED at its Best
“Propaganda is a means to an end”
This week’s look into how the U.S. government — which, btw, I don’t “hate” but I am a dissident — and it’s handlers and tools use propaganda is a fairly simple and straightforward one.
Of course, it is related to how we are aiming to take down Russia, whether it is economically through sanctions, politically through isolation policies, overtly through the escalating chances of war (due to the drum beating of our Administration, necons, neolibs, and just plain old every day democrats and republicans) or covertly through the actions of the Deep State.
It all started with a simple headline a few days ago at the Huffington Post: “Russians Increasingly Alarmed About Putin’s Tactics” complete with a picture of a scowling Vladimir Putin. For those who just scan the headlines at online aggragater sites like the Huffington Post, you get the immediate impression that all is not well in Russia. That’s the first propaganda push: immediate impression.
Well, for whatever small fraction of people who want to read the article decide to click on the link, it goes not to a HuffPo story, but a direct link out to a NY Times article, entitled “As Sanctions Pile Up, Russians’ Alarm Grows Over Putin’s Tactics”. The HuffiPo headline writer got it sorta right, having to edit down the Grey Lady’s more informative headline.
But the HuffPo’s editorial staff didn’t bother to do any fact-checking, or look into the veracity of the Times story. The aggregator just did what they do: give a story further reach. This makes propaganda oh, so much easier!
But for the headline scanner, again we are led to believe that it is our “sanctions” that are resulting in Russians being unhappy with their dear leader and his “tactics.” Well, we know that our country’s sanctions are targeted at Putin’s allowing Crimea to rejoin Russia as part of their secession vote from Ukraine. Also, our country has been highly vocal with its accusations of Russia assisting Ukrainian federalists wanting some autonomy. The kicker is the President accusing Putin of being responsible for the shooting down of MH 17 just by being involved in the conflict.
Well, the reinforcement stage of propaganda has arrived when the headlines insinuate previously released propaganda, and it sucks you in. So if our headline scanner (me in this case) decides to read on, what can they discern from the article? First you have to get past another picture of Putin scowling with the caption suggesting that people aren’t happy with Putin flipping the rest of the world (read “G-6”) the bird for their sanctions.
I’ve altered the photo a bit to get past Getty Image’s auto-scan function for finding copyright violations and suing abusers. Also, I like to editorialize too, and a little 1st amendment-protected sarcasm and comedy should keep the proprietors here at 4&20 relatively immune from retaliation. After all, not every blog wants to get a letter from a Getty Images attorney demanding $1,000 for using the same photo they’ve reserved for propaganda on an anti-propaganda story. Ah, “intellectual property” [propaganda] protection racket at its finest!
So let’s dive into the meat of the text and see what is to be learned!
“MOSCOW — Russia, facing the toughest round of Western sanctions imposed since the Ukraine crisis erupted, has adopted a nonchalant public stance, with President Vladimir V. Putin emphasizing the importance of self-reliance and a new poll released Tuesday indicating a “What, me worry?” attitude among the bulk of the population.”
Stop right there!!! A poll… no it couldn’t be… they wouldn’t… THEY DID! Quite a bit further down the article, after a whole bunch of “information” gleaned from the “poll” we get this:
“‘In my opinion, we face a critical situation today,’ Lev Gudkov, the director of the Levada Center, an independent polling organization, told a weekend seminar audience. ‘But our society does not realize it against a backdrop of patriotic and chauvinistic euphoria.'”
Ah yes, the Levada Center… “independent” polling agency in Russia. Rings a bell somewhere.
Oh, yeah, the Levada Center is the recipient of a lot of funding from NED (National Endowment for “Democracy”), the overt propagandizing and social-unrest-dispensing public arm of the CIA that helped take down the last Ukrainian government, among other atrocities. So, you can read the rest of the article now, assured that the NY Times is going to bring you a story built on research that has been funded by the CIA’s proxy polling outfit in Russia. Nice.
Here’s what CIA/NED has to say about the Levada Center in its “Russia: Polling for Democracy” article:
“The Yuri Levada Analytical Center, a NED grantee based in Moscow, is an independent polling agency that is well-known for its surveys on sociopolitical issues both within Russia and worldwide.”
Amazing how the lead sentence can claim that CIA-financed polling agencies are “independent.” God, ya gotta love the democracy-exporting and polling business!!
I hardly need to delve into the matter any deeper to make my point: we are being subjected to a barrage of propaganda minute-by-minute in the 24 hour news cycle. Everything in the Times article needs to be read with propaganda-revealing glasses. I’ll leave it up to the discerning reader to ply fact from fiction.
Our administration and it’s Directors/shareholders have an agenda here that is not based in reality. We are going to create a confrontation with Russia that has unknown consequences, none of them good. I don’t like to raise the specter of the neo-cold war era we are embarking upon, but it will be the focus of the next generation or two of world-wide denizens.
One last piece of the puzzle from the Financial Times (can’t access it behind the paywall) as reported by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge a few days ago:
One person close to Mr Putin said the Yukos ruling [regarding a $50 billion dollar potential asset seizure after a court ruled that Russia must pay Yukos holdings] was insignificant in light of the bigger geopolitical stand-off over Ukraine:
“There is a war coming in Europe,” he said. “Do you really think this matters?”
“There is a war coming.” Isn’t that what propaganda is all about?
“The concept of propaganda has undergone a fundamental transformation, particularly as the result of political practice… Throughout the world today, people are beginning to see that a modern state, whether democratic or authoritarian, cannot withstand the subterranean forces of anarchy and chaos without propaganda. It is not only a matter of doing the right thing; the people must understand that the right thing is the right thing. Propaganda includes everything that helps the people to realize this.
Political propaganda in principle is active and revolutionary. It is aimed at the broad masses. It speaks the language of the people because it wants to be understood by the people. Its task is the highest creative art of putting sometimes complicated events and facts in a way simple enough to be understood by the man on the street. Its foundation is that there is nothing the people cannot understand, rather things must be put in a way that they can understand. It is a question of making it clear to him by using the proper approach, evidence and language.
Propaganda is a means to an end. Its purpose is to lead the people to an understanding that will allow them to willingly and without internal resistance devote themselves to the tasks and goals of a superior leadership. If propaganda is to succeed, it must know what it wants. It must keep a clear and firm goal in mind, and seek the appropriate means and methods to reach that goal. Propaganda as such is neither good nor evil. Its moral value is determined by the goals it seeks.” –– Gobbels at Nuremberg, 1934
And just what are our country’s goals — the “ends” — in respect to its foreign policy and geo-politics? Are the interests of the Deep State synonymous with those of the people? If not, then what are we citizens to do?
These are important questions that we all need to ask. Simply voting in a used or new selection of politicians does nothing to quiet the drumbeat for war.