Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Satanic Violators of the Media

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Satanic Violators of the Media

"Thus for the mobilization of national hatred the enemy must be represented as a menacing, murderous aggressor, a satanic violator of the moral and conventional standards, an obstacle to the cherished aims and ideals of the nation as a whole and of each constituent part." (Lasswell, 18)

I found this quote to be extremely relevant to the current war we are experiencing with Iraq. As with previous wars that the United States has been involved in that have utilized the media to portray a nationalistic and anti whoever stands against us sentiment, the Iraq conflict does this as well, without fully exposing all the facts, whether empirical or not. It can be said that nearly all wars are fought on two grounds; that of the actual battlefield and the minds of the people via the means of propaganda. The images of the Iraqi people that the media characterizes, whether in cartoon or in print, paired with the manner in which they chose to divulge selective stories regarding the wartime effort overseas, is an attempt to muster up the support of the American people against those in Iraq, and to divulge the desired belief that what is being done is righteous and in the best interest of everyone, justifying the billions of tax dollars and thousands of soldiers lives that are so easily expended. This standard of judging others, rather than looking within our own government and judging ourselves, is fundamentally corrupt and hypocritical. The level of Manicheanism that exists within our nation is pathetic and the lack of humanity, empathy, and compassion for the general public; innocent men, women, and children of Iraq, with no links or social ties to Al Qaeda and its fundamental principles, is a double standard that we as Americans hold, and that the media propagates. Perhaps the satanic violators are rather than our enemy, our own media, for keeping the ironic truths lurking in the shadows, while emphasizing the hatred we kindle in our hearts.


Blogger Paul C said...

While I agree with the major ideas of your post, I have hope that that ignorence, the mid-wife the helps birth racism and intolerenc, will slowly fade as people gain access to more information, and recieve more education. or maybye I'm just being niave myself.

1/31/2008 4:17 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good choice of quotation, a strong image, an interesting discussion. Try to break up long paragraphs into shorter ones.

Also, a good comment from Paul C.

Yes, during wartime the government does try to shape the image of the war portrayed in the media.

However, I don't think that the "media" are as monolithic as you have portrayed them. There is a lot of coverage of the war. Some of it is as you have described. But there is a lot of good coverage available as well. The U.S. is not able to control the way in which the war in Iraq is reported.

Granted the government has a lot of influence and can certainly limit coverage to some extent, but we must recognize that there are independent media professionals who are risking their lives daily to bring us a very accurate portrayal of a very confusing situation.

2/06/2008 9:31 PM  

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