Friday, December 09, 2005

Spinning ourselves more than dizzy

An article at Slate looks at the difference between spin and propaganda, and how the Bush administration has become a huge peddler of the latter.
To spin is to offer a contention, usually specious, in response to a critical argument or a negative news story. It does not necessarily involve lying or misleading anyone about factual matters. Habitual spin is irksome, especially to the journalists upon whom it is practiced, but it does not threaten democracy. Propaganda is far more malignant. A calculated and systematic effort to manage public opinion, it transcends mere lying and routine political dishonesty. When the Bush administration manufactures fake "news," suppresses real news, disguises the former as the latter, and challenges the legitimacy of the independent press, it corrodes trust in leaders, institutions, and, to the rest of the world, the United States as a whole.
Buying pundits here has extended to planting stories abroad, and when you combine that with the conscious decision that all major speeches will be given before miliatary backdrops audiences, it's starting to look a lot like fascism...


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