Nancy Snow

102361As I grew up in the land of the free, I began to see that freedom did not mean a full range of choices but was narrowly defined as what was generally acceptable within a dominant framework. There were prudent ways of defining democracy and freedom, and there were imprudent ways. Democracy turned out to be what was exercised through indirect and very proper channels. A free press turned out to be free to those who could own one. The dominant press, radio, and television were called the mass media as an insiders’ joke, but I never saw my neighbor or teacher on my TV set. The masses had the “mass” media but we weren’t expected to have the brainpower to make the tough policy decisions, such as where or how “our” government was going to interfere in other people’s lives. It just did. Something to do with protecting our freedom abroad and making the world safe for democracy.

3 thoughts on “Nancy Snow

  1. shinichi Post author

    If you find yourself relying on one source of information for the news, whether right or left, you are likely to be exposed to more opinion that reinforces rather than challenges your own.
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    Much of our media now are so image-rich and content-poor that they just serve to capture the eye, manipulate our emotions, and short-circuit our impulses. The propaganda and advertising industries therefore function increasingly like adult obedience industries. They instruct their audiences in how to feel and what to think, and increasing numbers of people seem to accept and follow the cues without question.
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    Censorship ends the free flow of information so essential for democracy and makes dissent less likely. Propaganda injects false or misleading information into the media in order to influence the behavior of populations here and abroad… News organizations often willingly collude with efforts to censor because media owners are members of the political elite themselves and therefore share the goals and outcomes of government leaders.
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    Since World War I, the United States has borrowed and adapted many of the methods of British political intelligence that were first developed by the English aristocracy to manage its global empire. Most of our secrecy classification system in the United States is based on the British model. Britain has also long been a master of propaganda and deception.
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    Propaganda is defined as any organized or concerted group effort or movement to spread a particular doctrine or a system of doctrines or principles.
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    Three important characteristics of propaganda are that ( l ) it is intentional and purposeful, designed to incite a particular reaction or action in the target audience; (2) it is advantageous to the propagandist or sender which is why advertising, public relations, and political campaigns are considered forms of propaganda; and (3) it is usually one-way and informational (as in a mass media campaign), as opposed to two-way and interactive communication.
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    The purpose of such propaganda phrases as “war on terrorism” and attacking “those who hate freedom” is to paralyze individual thought as well as to condition people to act as one mass.

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