Charles Rehn - Democrat for President 2004

A Conversation With America
Questions That Must Be Answered
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Spin and Propaganda
The Media, Politics & Ideologies

Long ago, people used to do something in a vey unscientific way - we just talked.

But, these days, communication, particularly broadcast communications, has become very scientific. Instead of discussions, we have talking points.

It's the art of propaganda. Propaganda, despite perception, is not necessarily bad. Propaganda, by definition, is nothing more than any communication intended to persuade you regarding an issue, concept or object.

I'm not saying it's all bad. Many positive benefits have come from its use. I'm just saying that it's good to keep in mind that strategists use "tricks of the trade" to leave you with an impression.

It's a science. It's very effective, as effective as 10 second sound-bytes with professionally crafted verbiage perfect for a poignant news report.



  What is propaganda?

It can come in the form of advertising, political announcements, songs on the radio, talk shows and web sites that represent a particular point of view.

You could say that whether they are good or bad is based upon whether they present the facts and inform you, or present a position that deceives you, if only by depriving you of other points of view.

Propaganda is often used to cause  confrontation and polarization for political purposes.

Who Said This?

"We must maintain the integrity of the White House, and that integrity must be real, not transparent.  There can be no whitewash at the White House."

Answer: Pres. Richard Nixon, national address regarding Watergate, April 30, 1973. He resigned August 9, 1974




What is Spin?

My definition of spin is taking straight talk, and the making it sound better or worse through some sort of linguistic reverse psychology.

My favorite example of this is the day that a member of the White House press corps. asked Ari Fleischer about comments that the United States was coercing the leaders of other countries in order to gain their supoort for the invasion of Iraq.

Ari looked scornfully into the tv cameras and challenged the question's legitimacy by saying "that would only be a valid assertion if you were to believe that the leaders of other nations could be coerced" (not an exact quote, but I'll find it in the archives).

The press corps. burst into laughter as a sort of unanimous response as if to say "who are you kidding?" as Ari left the press conference.

The sound bite on the news that night showed Ari defending the honor of our allies.

But, his was one of those statements that challenged you to question his honesty in public, and in our country, that would be spun into into a display of righteousness and impolite accusation.

For the record, I like Ari Fleischer, and wish he and his wife well as he moves on to the bigger and better things to come. He's a real pro.



Proof that propaganda can be used for good things

Cigarette makers spending more on advertising  The industry spent $11.2 billion on advertising and promotions in 2001, the last year for which such figures were available, according to the study by the Federal Trade Commission. The spending marked a 17 percent increase over 2000, when the industry spent $9.6 billion.

Study: Teen anti-drug ads make impact The difficulty is getting kids to see the ads and pay attention to them. A University of Pennsylvania study released last year found the ads are largely ignored by teens. Kids who see or hear anti-drug ads at least once a day are less likely to do drugs than youngsters who don't see or hear ads frequently

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(C) 2002,2003-2009 Charles Rehn Jr IV  All rights reserved