Sunday, June 8, 2014

Goebbels is Smiling: The Greatest Generation Could Defeat the Nazis, But Somehow They Have Been Conquered by the Right-Wing Media

The Right-wing media machine cannot resist an opportunity to connect the 70th anniversary of D-Day with the faux Bergdahl “scandal”.

The Right-wing media is comprised of various elements such as think tanks, websites, social media, talk radio, and of course, Fox News.

Their collective goal is to disorient the American people by creating an alternate reality for conservatives—one that exists separate and apart from empirical reality--while advancing their political agenda.

My claim is not conjecture: research has shown that watching Fox News actually leads its viewers to be less informed about current events, as well as less knowledgeable across a range of other issues.

As such, the Right-wing media’s desperate efforts to smear Barack Obama are obvious and lazy.

For example, on Friday the Drudge Report and the Right-wing "news" site Weasel Zippers featured a story about how Barack Obama was shown—oh the horror!—apparently chewing bubble gum at some point during the D-Day ceremonies in France.

For the White Right, Barack Obama is an illegitimate black usurper who stole “their” White House. Thus, all of his actions stink of “incompetence” and “disloyalty” towards the United States of America.

No effort is too great for the White Right in its "struggle" to "take their country back".

In the post civil rights era, the Republican Party is sick with white racism; movement conservatism is intoxicated by white supremacy. For that political imagination, the gum chewing black president is “disrespectful”, “arrogant”, “low class”, and “uppity”.

The “black dandy” man child cannot, by definition, be President of the United States of America. 
Historically, “their” country was white by law. Slavery and white supremacy were birth defects of the Constitution and Founding. Jim and Jane Crow remained the rule of the law until they were torn down by the Black Freedom Struggle. 

As made clear by both their rhetoric and behavior since the election of Barack Obama, the White Right is desperate for a return to that world of white lies, white dreaming, white violence, patriarchy, female subordination, and white domination over people of color.

The National Review participated in the Right-wing media's "smear Barack Obama on D-Day" campaign as well.

They managed to find a disgruntled D-Day veteran at the anniversary celebrations in France. Mr. George Ciampi declined the White House’s invitation to attend a private meeting with President Obama honoring America’s D-Day warriors. When queried by the National Review about his non-attendance at the event, Mr. Ciampi responded in the following way:
George thought about it for awhile and concluded he just couldn’t. “I have so many issues with the president’s policies, including the most recent ones,” he told me ruefully. “I just couldn’t convince myself to do it.” 
He is not alone. The recent Bergdahl prisoner swap in which five hardened Taliban terrorists were released from prison is rubbing a lot of the military veterans attending D-Day events the wrong way. “It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief,” one told me sadly. “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”
The members of the “Greatest Generation” are the most loyal consumers of Fox News and the Right-wing media.

Its fictions of Birtherism, “Benghazi”, the Tea Party political Right-wing paraphilia, clamors for impeaching Obama, histrionics about “Obamacare” and “death panels”, and now the “Bergdahl scandal” have sucked them into a dreamworld.

Sadly, too many members of the Greatest Generation are victims of a disinformation campaign that would have made Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister for the Nazi Party, proud, validating his dictate that:
“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
Goebbels’ rules for propaganda are the foundational principles and reason d’etre driving the Fox News Right-wing media.

Furthermore, Goebbels suggested the following rules for manipulating the public:
  • Black rather than white propaganda must be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.
  • Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.
  • Propaganda must be carefully timed.
  • The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.
  • A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment.
  • A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness.
  • Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.
  • They must evoke responses which the audience previously possesses.
  • They must be capable of being easily learned.
  • Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.
Inevitably, some readers will retreat to "Godwin's Law", crying foul, that a reference to the Nazis was evoked in a discussion of the Right-wing media machine. 

Protests and complaints do not by themselves invalidate a claim. 

Fox News's slogan is "fair and balanced". In reality, their coverage of the news is neither fair nor balanced. More broadly, the Right-media tells its devotees that they are offering the "truth", acting as an “antidote” to the liberal media. But, there is no liberal media, only a corporate mainstream media.

The Right-wing media presents itself as an antidote against “liberal bias”. In reality, the Right-wing media is a toxin to American civil society and the public sphere, poisoning them through extreme political polarization and disinformation which is designed to generate rage and alienation among voters.

The rage which is created by the Right-wing media machine is not unfocused: it is directed at some type of Other such as people of color, the poor, working classes, immigrants, women, gays and lesbians, Muslims, etc. who are depicted as enemies of "real (white) Americans".

It is unfortunate that the Greatest Generation were able to beat the Nazis and their allies during World War 2, but in so many ways their clear thinking and common sense have been defeated and broken by Fox News and the Right-wing media machine.

Goebbels must be smiling.


KissedByTheSun said...

CDV you ever think about writing a book? I would hate if in a coming apocalypse all your profound thoughts would be lost because of no electricity. Write WARN the book and I'll buy it.

chauncey devega said...

Geez. Who would read it :) Thanks for the kind words. We shall see on that topic...

drspittle said...

What's worst is that what I call the "Mainslime Media" treat Rethuglicans and Tea Partiers as rational entities with something to contribute to national discourse. They provide no context or rebuttal to Rethuglicans and they revel in repeating lies started by Right Wing operatives. In short, I believe the Mainslime Media have mainstreamed hate, racism, sedition and thuggery. I loathe, detest and despise them more than I do Fox. Note 1: Most of my criticisms are leveled against broadcast media. There are still some excellent print reporters performing "real journalism". Note 2: So called "liberal" MSNBC is no better than any of the rest of them except for maybe 1 or 2 hosts.

Also, your comparison with Goebbels' talking points is appropriate. Sometimes the truth must trump rules regarding acceptable rhetoric.

Thank you for letting me rant.

joe manning said...

Its ironic that many WW2 vets who defeated fascism in the 40's and so many of their boomer offspring are now part of the TP proto-fascist movement. Fox Goebbelizes its message according to the above playbook, shamefully bombarding the gullible with hate speech. Propagandists as a rule don't believe their own propaganda. They engage in cynical manipulation to advance an ulterior purpose. Fox provides its audience with scapegoats upon which to project their hate, their ultimate goal being rightist hegemony aimed at shrinking civil society.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Aren't these folks often the first to say, "when you enlist, you give up your right to have a point of view." Saying you disagree with his policies so you don't want to meet the current president on the 70th anniversary of D-Day is asinine. Say what you really mean. His blackness and his inability to put your whiteness at ease is your problem.

chauncey devega said...

Thank you. Lets see what happens with it this week. I thought there would be more faux upsetness among the white right and its mouth-breathers. It is a Sunday after all...

chauncey devega said...

Now that is a smart mouthful. Do you think that the Right-wing troglodyte base knows how hard they are being manipulated and that their "elites" are playing them for fools? Or are they so fully propagandized as to be incapable of the realization?

chauncey devega said...

I like that "mainslime media". Me thinks I am going to borrow it. Thanks for the cosign on the Goebbel's point. So damn obvious. Others have said it too. Giving attribution.

chauncey devega said...

Geez. You and your desire for the White Right to be consistent. They have a cognitive habit of justifying hypocrisy by a type of selection bias which allows them to maintain internal consistency as the end goal is fine and the means and logic train do not have to be orderly. Authoritarians are also binary thinkers who are deeply motivated by "principles" instead of the facts. Thus, they can lie if it is serves their "noble" goals without guilt.

drspittle said...

Thank you! Please feel free to borrow!

Myshkin the Idiot said...

My naivete, alas.

I had an extensive argument with my military fam over Bowe Bergdahl today.

So frustrating.

Miles_Ellison said...

People who believe their own propaganda are like drug dealers who get high on their supply.

Lewis Orne said...

Did you catch this? fox news psychologist questions President Obama's mental state... fox news is insane and scary beyond belief.

Guerrilla Media said...

God, I miss the '60s :(

joe manning said...

Yes and yes. The right wing has its share of true believers and cynics, then there's their brilliant propagandists like Goebbels who keep them corralled. We all acquiesce to manipulation more or less due to our primal need for security. "Getting poorer" whites feel more secure under Tammany-fascism than under liberalism. Like Lyndon Johnson and Michelle Alexander emphasized, the Civil Rights Act alienated poor whites because it required them to compete with POC for too few jobs. Bottom line is security. We must disabuse ourselves of the notion that our gang is the toughest on the planet and can guarantee our security. That's just not so, there are plenty other gangs on the planet that can, will, and are disrupting everything. In addition we must accept that our power elite is dangerously pathological and is not greedy for money but greedy for power, for social control. It logically follows that capitalism is a ruse to veil power concentration, which is woefully inadequate to employ folks, to provide security.

joe manning said...

I'm guessing a few pundits are true believers but expert propagandists like Aristotle, Goebbels, and Machiavelli recommended that the public be lied to. They didn't believe their own lies.

Miles_Ellison said...

Fox's problem is that they actually seem to believe their own bs. That's what makes the network both laughable and dangerous.

joe manning said...


Country H. said...

Bigots believe what they want to believe. They don't care if they're being fooled. They're being told what they want to hear. As for the propagandists, it doesn't matter if they actually believe the b---sh-- that they spout -- all they care about is making money while doing it.

Lkeke said...

Is is possible that this level of ignorance is not only because these people seek out only what they want to hear but most of the "greatest generation" are not internet savvy or up on social media. You've seen that Progressive TV ad where the old lady has put the photos up on her wall - the wall of her living room?
Is that not true?. You have an entire generation of people who have been told what to think all their life.

The irony is that these people have always been so willing to cuddle up with authoritarian extremism just for security and stability. The very thing they fought against in the war. And they're so blind they can't see it. These are people who are so complacent they've never had to open their eyes for any reason. Why start now.

Nina Flowers said...

The "Greatest Generation" got what they've got due to the oppression of others. Their children and grandchildren were able to achieve the dream of property ownership, etc. without adequate skills or education being necessary to do so. Interesting that Tom Brokaw created this label and then goes on to say that racism is one the most important issues that the USA must deal with. He also did point out that the "Greatest Generation" tolerated racism also. No way in the world do I even remotely look at the 1940 - 1960 time period as the "glory years" of this nation.

Nina Flowers said...

Their bigotry is what motivates them. You can't see manipulation through hatred. Like Mike Papantonio, I don't even try to debate them anymore.

younkint said...

The "Greatest Generation" faced the fascists on the beaches of France and fought them all the way to Germany. Now the fascists have regrouped and captured this generation by coming from the rear ...without firing a shot. Not only the generation that fought WWII, but also many of the Silent and the Boomer generation have been conquered by the fascists.

Indeed, it is sophisticated propaganda that has overcome them. A majority of the American populace is at risk, as few Americans are educated regarding propaganda. Consider that most Americans never read another book once they leave high school; college grads reading only a couple after school are little better. Americans are a low-hanging plum, the easiest pickings imaginable for even semi-skilled propagandists (witness Glenn Beck). Real pros mow them down like the German machine guns on Omaha Beach.

So efficient are the modern-day Gobbels that working class Americans beg their elected representatives to reduce the taxes on the rich and place the burden on themselves and their children; propaganda so efficient that they can cause fully grown men to be terrified to walk out of their homes without the firepower of a D-Day invasion platoon. Every human they encounter is a not a neighbor, but rather a potential target. And if that human is a POC, the safety catch is quickly and silently switched to "off" on their cocked Colt .45 automatic.

It is frightening to watch today's fascists so easily stoke the embers of racism and hatred into the raging fires which we thought had been eradicated by the sacrifices of the "Greatest Generation." Sadly, that generation has found to be the kindling for those fires.