In 1928, Edward Bernays, intellectual father of the public relations industry, wrote a book entitled Propaganda. The first two lines read “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” Noted linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky has also identified the operation of propaganda in the mass media as a means by which consensus around social and political policies may be engineered in the public mind. (See ‘Necessary Illusions’, 1989) And the operation of this mechanism is not difficult to spot in Canadian culture – message control is a primary concern of the present federal government. Leaders and public officials are often caught in acts of naked deception. But propaganda need not be imposed from above – systemic biases may be applied by writers seeking to curry favour by singing with the choir. Recent examples may be identified; from flag-waving exercises and fulmination in support of foreign war and ‘national security’ to the fanning of moral panics pressing the need for some desired legislation, the manipulation of public opinion is an integral part of the media culture in which we live and breathe. Being able to triangulate when and how one is being manipulated is a vital skill for anyone that desires to understand the sort of ‘democratic society’ Bernays had in mind.
Smoking Guns — Suggested Reading
Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Archive (Most recent headlines first)
Police accused of displaying fake G20 weapons | Bin Laden’s location still unknown: CIA boss | ‘Anarchists’ leave trail of destruction, peaceful 3hr march forgotten | IMF report advises G20 to make spending cuts top priority | New York Times reporter calls Zionist terrorism ‘romantic’ | Cybersecurity: Booz Allen Hamilton Cashing Out After Scaring Gov’t Into Lucrative Contracts | Police stop car containing ‘weapons’ near G20 summit | Sacco and Vanzetti in Ottawa: How Media and Police are Politicizing the RBC Arson Case | Marcus Gee: Why the G20 protesters won’t condemn violence | Maurice Strong: I don’t want to rule the world but global cooperation needed on climate, population, and consumption | Now scientists read your mind better than you can | Iran bars two UN inspectors in escalating nuclear row | US issues G20 travel alert for Toronto | Pro-copyright bill group busted as recording industry astroturf campaign | Spanish bailout readied as EU chief warns ‘democracy could disappear’ in debt ridden states | Surprise! That Story About Afghanistan’s $1 Trillion In Commodities Came Out Just Ahead Of Major Mining Auction | US Knowledge of Aghan Mineral Bonanza Confirmed in 2002, 2007 | NGOs meet with G20 sherpas, press for ‘green economy’ and inclusive IMF | Israeli cabinet approves internal inquiry into Gaza flotilla raid | ‘Fox News North’? Quebecor planning 24-hour network | Ont. police track suspicious fertilizer purchase | Tories worked hard to paint bloody Afghan war as peace mission: MEP documents | America would send troops to G8/G20 if required | Freedom flotilla assault timeline unclear, Israel holding confiscated video evidence | Harper’s Privy Council message control system is unprecedented, critics say | H1N1 still a pandemic: WHO chief | Al Qaeda Number 3 Killed… Again | Iran has ‘fuel for 2 nukes’: UN report | Washington Post: CIA Psyops Unit Created Fake Bin Laden Video, Discussed ‘Gay Saddam’ Campaign | Harper government secretly monitoring online chats about politics | Obama Czar Wants Mandatory Government Propaganda On Political Websites | Taliban behind Times Square plot, says US AG Holder | Police groups join forces in support of long gun registry | Goldman Sachs concedes case for restraining the big banks | Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive, says spy agency | BC Govt, Anti-HST Campaigners Dispute Legality of Pro-HST Leaflet | Climategate whitewash: Climate-change partisans find mere sins of omission | Toronto mayor David Miller uses subway PA to push for funding | Goldman fights accusations of greed | UK climate change ads pulled as ‘misleading’ | Georgia suffering backlash over media-staged Russian attack | UK Government Ad: Use Cash And Enjoy Privacy? You’re A Terrorist | Cyberwar Hype Intended to Destroy the Open Internet | Global warming panel to get independent review | Iran could be making nuclear warhead, says new director of IAEA | Obama hails stimulus plan, warns of layoffs | US media omission: Iran calls for global nuclear disarmament | MI5 chief denies cover-up claims over detainees | Clashes reported as Iranians march on 31st anniversary of revolution | Vaccinations may have spared Ont. new round of H1N1 | HST ad campaign debuts in Ontario | UN sanctions urged over Iran’s uranium plans | ‘Governator’ Arnold Schwarzenegger to carry Olympic torch | CIA Tells Congress al-Qaeda to Attack in Three to Six Months | Western powers voice scepticism over Iran uranium offer | Washington DC transit system holds anti-terror drill | UK: Tony Blair attempts to shift focus to Iran as ‘global threat’ at Iraq war inquiry | Blair defends decision to join U.S. in Iraq | ‘Bin Laden’ slams U.S over global warming, dollar, in another unconfirmed tape | Pentagon calls for ‘Office of Strategic Deception’ | Manufactured ‘Science’: Another IPCC Scientist Reveals How UN Scientists talked about ‘trying to make IPCC report so dramatic that US would just have to sign Kyoto Protocol’ | U.S. can’t confirm latest ‘bin Laden’ tape authentic | UK terror threat raised to ’severe’ | Indian airports on alert after report of hijacking plot | The IPCC glacier meltdown: More global warming fraud exposed | Remain vigilant while travelling, Baird tells Canadians | Harper says Parliament brings ‘games’ and ‘instability’ | Killer of CIA agents in Afghanistan called for revenge for Baitullah Mehsud | Group slams Chertoff on conflict of interest in scanner promotion
The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother | Climategate: Al Gore lies | Financial Crisis Perpetrator Bernanke Hailed As World’s Saviour By TIME | H1N1 ‘not done yet’: Canada’s top doctor | Santa Claus vaccinated in Montreal | Liberals call stimulus numbers ‘fiction’ | Jim Prentice: Implement A ‘North American Climate Change Regime’ | Blair lied and lied again: Mandarins reveal that 10 days before Iraq invasion PM knew Saddam couldn’t use WMDs | “Climategate”: Peer-Review System Was Hijacked By Warming Alarmists | Top Climatology Lab Hacked, E-Mails Reveal Biased Science | H1N1 overplayed by media, public health: MDs | Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth sequel stresses spiritual argument on climate, downgrades CO2 threat | Top Mountie wants more money to fight terrorism | Exaggerated claims undermine drive to cut emissions, scientists warn | Flu vaccine shortage expected to last a week | Canadians blind to terror threat: top spy | The universality of war propaganda | Swine Flu Scam Reaches New Heights With Obama’s Emergency Declaration | Specialists now say H1N1 vaccine safe for pregnant women | US Government Hijacks Kids TV To Propagandize For Swine Flu Shots | Pentagon used psychological operation on US public, documents show | Toronto 18 video evidence released | UK: A bedtime story about drowning kittens and puppies… Labour’s Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£6m campaign to highlight the dangers of climate change | IPCC Crushes Scientific Objectivity, 91-0 | Canada’s military peers into future, sees drone patrols, draft, insurgency | US Government Propaganda To Infest Network TV Shows | Obama wins Nobel peace prize | RCMP warns EnCana bomber may strike this weekend | DHS Video Portrays Average Americans As Terrorists | IAEA members question Iran nuclear intel authenticity | Military chopper lands in Kenora for burgers | New swine-flu wave hits GTA: Provincial Health Official | Another War in the Works | Stephen Harper trumpets economic report card | Iran plays into Obama’s hands with disclosure of nuclear facility | ‘Al Qaeda’ video predicts Obama’s downfall | Media hypes terror plot, despite the fact no one is charged with terror | Toronto police seize 400 guns in ’safety push’ | Climate change complacency `global suicide pact,’ UN told | The Case for Killing Granny | New HST tax is fair, McGuinty says | Swine flu ‘could kill millions unless rich nations give Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£900m’ | US Spec Ops operates psychological warfare websites targeted at UK | ‘Regrettable’ if Canada quits Afghanistan: Chertoff | Another dubious Bin Laden tape: Obama ‘powerless’ in Afghanistan | Has Osama Bin Laden been dead for seven years — and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror? | Sarkozy launches carbon tax to help ’save the human race’ | The making of a homegrown terrorist | UK: Brown defends Afghan campaign in wake of aide’s resignation | Obama’s effort in Afghanistan ‘just beginning’: U.S. defence secretary | UN chief warns of climate-related disaster | Chinese pupils told to love nation | ‘Global War on Terror’ rebranded as call to address extremism, social change | Selling Canada on Afghanistan | Organic food no more nutritious, study finds | Statistical Deceptions: How Fake is the “Recovery”? | Bank of Canada declares recession over | Toronto TAVIS special police corps demanding ID on city streets | Lazy Hacker and Little Worm Set Off Korean Cyberwar Media Frenzy | Psiphon braintrust: Ottawa needs a strategy for cyberwar | Polar bear expert barred from conference by global warming advocates | Toronto 18 ‘terror’ accused signs confession, media retreads tales of planned chaos | Obama targets US public with call for climate action | New Afghan mission commander vows to protect civilians | Netanyahu backs an ‘independent’ Palestinian state for first time | The next cellphone trick: transferring money | CIA: Bin Laden still in Pakistan | Canadian copyright lobbyists leaned on “independent” researchers to change report on file-sharing | UK schoolkids trained to inform on ‘extremist’ classmates by police DVD | ‘Brothers’ Bush, Clinton draw ire, ovations during Toronto visit | Homegrown terror threat still real, Public Safety Minister warns alongside Homeland Security counterpart | Pentagon: One in seven released from Guantanamo involved in terrorism | New York “Terror Plot” Another Government Provocateured Set-Up | UK Police, MI-5 stretched too thin to stop London bombings: report | Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More | Canadian military to spam Afghan’s cell phones | 2 Billion Infected? WHO Stokes Swine Flu Fear | Political Lies and Media Disinformation regarding the Swine Flu Pandemic | Should schools ban starter’s pistol? | Al-Qaeda Chief In Iraq: Captured, Killed, Never Actually Existed, Now Captured Again | RCMP spokesman told to hold off correcting false details of Dziekanski incident, inquiry hears | US Homeland Security forced to retract statement accusing Canada of importing 9/11 terrorists | Secret Homeland Security Threat Assessment Labels Gun Owners Potential Terrorists | Put NSA in Charge of Cyber Security, Or the Power Grid Gets It | Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies | Pentagon spending millions to fix cyberattacks | Who counts as ‘human’? | Netanyahu: We may be forced to attack Iran | Geithner Plan Will Rob US Taxpayers: Stiglitz | UK population must fall to 30m: Optimum Population Trust | Scientists warn global warming accelerating | Worst crisis since 1930s says Fed, calls for ‘forceful action’ | Tibet’s best friend? China, of course | Monks taken for ‘re-education’ before Tibet uprising anniversary | Military readies reservists for threats to ‘domestic front’ | Gordon Brown’s amazing patent cure-all globalization deal | Canada, allies will never defeat Taliban, PM says | All officers need Tasers, police associations say | UK: Police warn of ’summer of rage’ due to recession | Volcker sees crisis leading to global regulation | Ignatieff on Obama visit: Crisis an opportunity for continental, global integration | Schools seek more police as crime drops | National Guard to invade Iowa town in door-to-door gun confiscation drill | Former MI5 chief: UK Ministers ‘using fear of terror’ to restrict civil rights | Vaccines ‘not to blame for autism’, U.S. court rules | Geithner Said to Have Prevailed on the Bailout | Police presence in high schools makes the grade | Australian ‘terrorist leader’ sentenced to 12 years | 24 star Keifer Sutherland opposed to torture, questions role of series in inspiring interrogations | Military to be out in force for Vancouver Olympics | World Economic Forum elite blame ‘profit’, not fraud, for crisis | UK Hospitals will take meat off menus in bid to cut carbon | Pentagon’s terror ‘recidivism’ claims blasted as ‘propaganda’ | Optimistic central bank expects speedy economic rebound | A decade later, Lastman proud he called in army | France braced for ‘rebirth of violent left’
Five muslims face life for Fort Dix ‘terror plot’ orchestrated by FBI | Canadian Junior Hockey team gets ‘military training’ | Army ‘Strategic Shock’ Report Says Troops May Be Needed To Quell U.S. Civil Unrest | 1,900 Guns Traded for Cameras in Toronto | Mumbai terror attacks: Rice calls for ‘total transparency’ from Pakistan | Queen’s proposed thought-crime cadres prove controversial | Take note Naomi Klein: Democrats consider crises as opportunities, too | Citigroup bailout a necessary safeguard: Bush | Deficits ‘essential,’ Harper says | Bad news bearers warned to zip it by Kremlin | IntelCenter Releases Video of Former CIA Employee Zawahiri Threatening America | Road tolls called ‘inevitable’ | IMF: G20 meeting underscores need for greater surveillance, changes in global governance | Toronto finds more new ways to make itself look ridiculous, launches propaganda zine | ‘Smart’ Credit Cards, Pilot Project set the Groundwork for Wireless Credit Wallets | The truth about South Ossetia | Greenspan tells Congress he’s shocked by credit crunch | China names 8 alleged Olympic terrorists | Wanted: a new financial order | Ex-CSIS Agent, ‘Security Expert’, Paints Pipeline Explosion as “Terror” | Canadian, Australian PM Used Same Speech Urging Participation in Iraq | Doubt Arises in Account of pre-Olympic ‘Uighur’ Attack in China | Liberal candidate asked to step down over 9/11 comments | American Intelligence Contractors Leak Canadian Toronto 18 ‘Terror Training’ Video to Web | MSNBC News Anchor: Bush Administration “Allowed 9/11 Attacks To Occur” | Russia ‘backs US on terror fight’ | U.S. ’stands in solidarity with people of Georgia’: Cheney | Stalin’s mass murders were ‘entirely rational’ says new Russian textbook praising tyrant | Russia’s defiance in the Caucasus has brought down the curtain on Bush senior’s new world order | Building near twin towers felled by fire, not explosives: report | MacKay dismisses Taliban threat as ‘propaganda’ | US must share power in new world order, says Turkey’s controversial president | Pentagon Front Groups Release Laughable Olympics “Terror” Video | Government lab both source of anthrax attacks as well as false reports linking them to Iraq, Islam | Edmonton bus terminal ‘wide open’, security needed: ex-security guard | Bombs explode, Washington-based Intelcenter releases yet another terror video, China cracks down on transport security | The future out of reach for city fearful of change
Discuss your findings here.