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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Japanese Propaganda and American Mass Media

It's interesting that the Japanese during WWII and the MSM during the Iraq war have the same agenda:
U.S. troops have been mystified at how differently the war they fight in Iraq is portrayed by the U.S. media back home. Most just shrug it off as "politics," and yet another reason to not trust what the mass media presents as reliable reporting. But recently, the troops have been passing around an interesting discovery. Namely, that the Japanese psychological warfare effort during World War II included radio broadcasts that could be picked up by American troops. Popular music was played, but the commentary (by one of several English speaking Japanese women) always hammered away on the same points;

1 Your President (Franklin D Roosevelt) is lying to you.

2 This war is illegal.

3 You cannot win the war.

The troops are perplexed and somewhat amused that their own media is now sending out this message. Fighting the enemy in Iraq is simple, compared to figuring out what news editors are thinking back home. A few times, the mass media has been bold, or foolish, enough to confront the troops about this divergence of perceptions. The result is usually a surreal exchange, with the troops giving the journalist a "what planet are YOU from" look. Naturally, this sort of thing doesn't get much exposure. When pressed, a journalist or editor will dismiss the opinions of the troops (of all ranks), because they are "too close" to see "the big picture." For the same reason, reporters who send back material agreeing with the troops, find their stuff twisted into an acceptable shape, or not used at all. Historians will have a good time with all this.


Anonymous said...

You're a partisan hack. Obama is hubristic, but curiously lacking from your blog is a post about how W never admitted to making mistakes. The horrible, horrible Democrats are going to ruin us all with their spending, but there are no posts about how the Republicans spent billions on military adventurism and contributed to the national debt, turning a surplus into a very large deficit. Your slavish devotion to a political party and a narrow worldview (which neither changes to accommodate new information nor bears up under scrutiny) just make you come across as pathetic. I'm asking you to open your eyes - i.e. stop being a cheerleader for ANY political party OR a priori worldview - and join the adult world. Life is not so black and white as you wish it to be, and by trying to pigeonhole things this way you are part of the problem. Two good rules of thumb: facts before opinion, and always try to prove yourself wrong. Until you "grow up" intellectually you'll be doomed to stay where you are - a lonely blogger with zero comments on every post. Oh, and for Christ's sake, Fox News and MSNBC are both in the mainstream media - THERE IS NO UNIFORM MESSAGE IN MAINSTREAM NEWS. Wise up already!

Moneyrunner said...

Dear Anon,

One of the first rules of persuasion is not to begin a diatribe with an insult. And then to fill the rest of your message with insults. You tell me “open your eyes” but you really don’t mean it … you just want to vent. I understand that; it’s done on the internet all the time, but it’s not persuasive.

The second rule is not to expose yourself to ridicule to by getting your facts wrong. For several years after the Republicans ran congress we had a balanced budget and had begun to pay down the national debt, but we never got close to doing so.

Third, I began this blog for myself; as a way of memorializing the misrepresentations and biases I was exposed to on a daily basis. Blogs are great for that because they provide links. They are great ways of referencing what is said and reminding us of the fact that the people who are paid large sums of money to share their opinions with us are very frequently terribly wrong. For example, if you checked the facts about the difference between the deficit and the debt you would become more persuasive.

Fourth, of course I have a world view. Anyone without a world view has never thought deeply about the meaning of life. Someone without a world view is easily taken in by a political charlatan repeating empty slogans like “Hope” and “Change.” I am not a partisan tied to the Republican Party. By I, and people like me, are forced to choose the side of lesser evil over the side of greater evil. I am for individual freedom and opposed to collectivism. I am for the preciousness of life and opposed to those who make excuses for its casual destruction for the sake of convenience or to save a few dollars. I am for the right to make of our lives what we wish rather than having our lives channeled by government action. And if that means that some become as wealthy as Bill Gates while others are poor, that’s the end product of freedom.

Fifth, the messages from the MSM are uniform. The majority of the American public gets its version of the daily news from ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, or in the case of my area, the Virginian Pilot whose stories and slant slavishly reflect that of it’s the previously referenced major media outlets. The version of what’s news is virtually identical in all of these MSM venues. In fact the alphabet networks rely on papers like the NY Times to decide what news is. FOX is an outlier only because it actually has a few Conservative voices along with the predictable Liberals. MSNBC of simply a more rabid Liberal version of its broadcast brothers.

Thank you for your comment. The next time you write, I hope you will have considered what I said. I am not asking you to grow up, become wise, agree with me or change your views. Simply reflect on your anger and ask yourself why you are so angry. Perhaps the Christ whose name you use as a curse has a use for you yet.

Bill said...

I agree with Dick Cheney's assessment during the '90's which is it would be foolish to put troops on the ground for an extended occupation. Why? The neocons and the globalists and the corporatists are one in the same and this is about oil. (for big oil companies)