The secret of doing good propaganda in a society that thinks of itself as open is subtlety. Even in Nazi Germany they learned to thread the propaganda into films that seemed to be something else. In America, you manufacture consent by creating more of a general atmosphere, an attitude, and less by hitting people over the head with a blunt message.
But Trump likes blunt messages, whether they work or not. And Sinclair, who wants to buy the vast Tribune Media to extend its right-wing local station network, wants to curry favor with Trump and the only way to do that is to be obvious. Otherwise he won't notice or understand. So Sinclair, as you probably have heard by now, required all their stations to do the promo you see above, and rightly got pinned to the wall for its lumbering stupidity. But we should be glad they did this. They alerted an audience that might not have been aware or suspicious of them previously, and in an election year where they will be needed so the GOP doesn't lose every House seat. What Trump's good and faithful servant Sinclair accomplished by their clumsy unison bleat of overt blasted propaganda: to make many people who did not know their local news was being directed from Maryland learn that. They reduced trust, and thus their effectiveness. Neither Sinclair nor Trump understand this approach only assures his base cannot grow; they do not understand how to trick. This is a good thing. I suppose it might be different if people who notice "Hey, that's weird" couldn't then go online and check, but did you know people in red states have the internet too? Or that there are liberals in red states? All this does is encourage people to learn more, except maybe the very oldest voters. They really don't understand how to manufacture consent. I believe we call this "Giving away the game." And what Sinclair said, as far as it goes, about fake news is in fact true. It's just they may just be describing themselves, or Fox, or Alex Jones, etc. It's projection. In the "Democrats Shooting Themselves In the Foot" department, though, we have Amy McGrath, running against Jim Gray in the Democratic primary for Kentucky's 6th district, promising to boycott Sinclair stations with her ads. They're running to unseat a Republican incumbent, in a solidly Republican district, and she thinks it's wise to remove Democratic ads from stations that want to silence Democrats? It's not like the space will be dead air and somehow hurt Sinclair's bottom line. They'll just sell the ad space to someone else, probably Republican candidates, which therefore gives the Republicans a bigger media reach, and that's what Sinclair wants. So what does this accomplish? Typical Democratic masturbation of their own righteousness, which so often gives the race to the Republicans. Thankfully neither Gray nor other candidates are doing anything so self-destructive. A noble loss is still just a loss, and Democrats need to understand this. Don't do Sinclair's job for them. ___________________ Become a Patron!
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson