Propaganda, Persuasion & Deception ~A~
Reality does not come nearly packaged in two- or three-minute lengths; raw history is filled withperversities, contradictions, ratted edges. … TV is a storytelling medium. It abhors ambiguities,ragged edges, and unresolved issues. … The effect all to frequently is to impose upon an event orsituation a preconceived form that alters reality, heightening one aspect at the expense of another forthe sake of a more compelling story, blocking out complications that get in the way of the narrative.ELIE ABEL, “Television in International Conflict,” in
The News Media and National and International Conflict
(Andrew Arno & Wimal Dissayanake, eds.), 1984.
Government by idea tends to take in everything, to make the whole of society obedient to the idea.Spaces not so governed are unconquered, beyond the border, unconverted, unconvinced, a futuredanger. LORD ACTON (1834-1902).
When a man you like switches from what he said a year ago, or four years ago, he is a broad-mindedperson who has courage enough to change his mind with changing conditions. When a man youdon't like does it, he is a liar who has broken his promise. FRANKLIN P. ADAMS (1861-1960).
Images are not arguments, they rarely even lead to proof, but the mind craves them. HENRY BROOKSADAMS (1838-1918),
The Education of Henry Adams
The whispering campaign, disgusting as it is, would appear to be a permanent campaign method withus. So long, at least, as our politics are primarily concerned with men rather than with measures, itwill be the men who will be attacked; characters, not ideas. JAMES TRUSLOW ADAMS (1878-1949),“Our Whispering Campaigns,”
, September 1932.
The ‘hidden meaning” emerges simply by the way the story looks at human beings; thus the audienceis invited to look at the characters in the same way [as the story] without being made aware thatindoctrination is present. … th[e] message is hidden only by a style which does not pretend to touchanything serious and expects to be regarded as featherweight. Nevertheless, even such amusementtends to set patterns for the members of the audience without their being aware of it. THEODOR W.ADORNO (1903-1969), “How To Look At Television,”
Quarterly of Film, Radio, and Television, 8
Now how is this network news determined? A small group of men…settle upon the 20 minutes or soof film and commentary to reach the public… They can elevate men from obscurity to nationalprominence within a week. They can reward some politicians with national exposure and ignoreothers… Nor is their power confined to the substantive. A raised eyebrow, an inflection of the voice,a caustic remark dropped in the middle of a broadcast, can raise doubts in a million minds… SPIROAGNEW, Vice-President of the United States,
Speech, Midwest Republican Conference
, 13 November1969,
The American people would not rightly tolerate this concentration of power in government. It is notfair and relevant to question its concentration in the hands of a tiny, enclosed fraternity of privileged