DimWit Politics

Why is propaganda press the correct term?

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Why is propaganda press the correct term?

Why is propaganda press the correct term?
April 26
13:41 2019

Propaganda is defined as “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”  It is different from Journalism in that the reporting profession presupposes a dedication to factual accuracy and a balanced presentation of alternative opinions and analysis.  The exception is editorial opinion, in which the news outlet presents a specific one-sided view.  But even then, most reputable publications provide space on their editorial pages for columnists and reader opinions of an alternative viewpoint.  It is the standard and tradition of journalism to keep editorializing off the front page, as they say.

If you analyze various news outlets empirically on those standards, you will conclude that the major print and broadcast news outlets engage in varying degrees of propaganda and journalism. Standards of fairness and objectivity have been slowly giving away to propaganda narratives – mostly along political lines.

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Propaganda has three elements.  First is to report only the facts that support a preconceived position while ignoring (censoring) facts that cast doubt on the preconceived position.  The second element is to interpret even those facts to fit the narrative even though other opinions could be drawn from the information. The third element is simply creating false statements that fly into the face of the facts.

If we were to objectively rate the propaganda content of various news providers, we could better determine their value as a source of legitimate information.  In other words, are we being informed or indoctrinated?

We first separate biased editorialization from the presentation of news.  Though print media historically confines editorial opinion to the editorial page, the news can be editorialized by what facts are selected to write about – and which are ignored (censored).  This sort of editorializing (propaganda) is the most sinister because it parades as news coverage.  Readers are not given an opportunity to weigh the counterpoints.

Cable news, on the other hand, has become virtual propaganda platforms – to a greater or lesser degree.  The most obvious are the “personality shows” hosted by such opinion-based commentators as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham on FOX News, Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon and John Avlon on CNN, and virtually the entire 24-hour line-up on MSNBC.

In terms of reporting “news” as opposed to propaganda, you can probably guess that I give the high marks to second tier stations.  Though it is a conservative outlet, One American News seems to have the best firewall between news and their editorial commentators, such as Graham Ledger and Liz  Wheeler.  They cover more stories – including non-political – based on reporting just the facts.  They avoid having “contributors” spin and tell us what to think about a story.

The lesser known Newsy network targets the Millennials with edgy reporting.  Though they lean left, their reports are generally longer, more detailed and balanced.  Like OAN, they generally keep a firewall between news and opinion.

Of the big three – FOX, CNN, and MSNBC – I rate them in that order.  Any empirical analysis will show that FOX leads in providing a platform for representatives of both sides – even on their most biased personality shows.  They live up to their claim of “fair and balanced” reporting far more than their chief competitors.  There is a point and counterpoint on virtually every show – even the hardline personality programs.

CNN provides some counterbalance to the dominant biased progressive Democrat narratives – but it is more the exception than the rule.  And even then, they often treat their more conservative guests as punching bags – using other panelists to pile on and then negatively analyzing the conservative after his or her appearance.

The worst of the lot, of course, is MSNBC.  They engage in propaganda around the clock.  They impanel numerous paid “contributors,” in-house staff and guests with the same monotonous point-of-view.  The network employs every tool of the propagandist to create mendacious narratives which they push hour-after-hour.  Not only do they use selective facts and out-of-context quotes and videos, they feature a number of false-flaggers who claim Republican or conservative credentials.

Joe Scarborough – of “Morning Joe” – still claims to be a conservative although he has had the decency to leave the Republican Party after having been sent to liberal obedience school by his business and life partner, Mika Brzezinski.  One of the regulars is the so-called conservative columnist for the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin.  In reality, she is one of the most strident anti-Trump leftists in media.  Other Republican or conservative apostates are Max Boot, Elise Jordan, Steve Schmidt, Nicole Wallace and even Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Of course, propaganda works.  I have a few very liberal friends.  Those that get their “news” from MSNBC are very intelligent people generally – but, in terms of politics, they are woefully ill-informed.

Honest, fair and balanced reporting is the enemy of the propagandists.  That is why CNN and MSNBC – and their allies in the print media spend so much time attacking the much more popular (check the ratings) FOX News.  It is a classic example of projecting – attributing one’s own traits to another.

The good news is that when offered the choice between propaganda and real journalism, most people tend to opt for the latter.  They wish to be informed, not indoctrinated.  That may well be why FOX News trumps CNN and MSNBC in ratings by a wide margin.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. Bobseeks
    Bobseeks April 27, 18:10

    Not only propaganda press, but propaganda movies, schools, and social media – we are being drowned in leftist propaganda.

    Reply to this comment
  2. CrustyOldGeezer
    CrustyOldGeezer April 27, 18:57

    HATE AMERICA Press is more apt.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Rocketman
    Rocketman April 27, 20:33

    I just simply call them “pressitutes” Withe apologies to real prostitutes who actually provide a real service and actually work for a living.

    Reply to this comment
  4. TexasOlTimer
    TexasOlTimer April 28, 11:33

    During the Obama administration Soros’ run MediaMatters.org worked between the White House and the MSM i.e. propaganda machine to hand out the talking points and story lines.

    Reply to this comment

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