Propaganda, Misinformation, and Advertisting
The Dutch Euthanize Their Elderly, and Other Scary GOP Lies About Europe - Heather Horn - International. Rick Santorum says 10% of Netherlands deaths are from euthanasia, the latest Republican fear-mongering about supposed European barbarity.
Reuters The American right sure seems to like stories about foreign countries killing their citizens. Most recently, leading GOP candidate Rick Santorum claimed that 10 per cent of the Netherlands' deaths were from euthanasia, 5 percent forced, and that "elderly people in the Netherlands don't go to the hospital" or, if they do, wear bracelets saying "do not euthanize me," all of which is false. The furor was only just beginning to die down when, Monday, a video of Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart began to circulate. Asked about Santorum's bizarre claims, Stewart, astonishingly, held her ground. London 2012 Olympics Win Gold Medal For Cluelessness By Banning Video And Photo Uploads To Social Media During Games. As Techdirt has reported, the London 2012 Olympics bring with them a range of "special" measures guaranteed to make London a place for lovers of freedom to avoid this summer.
But it seems that the organizers wish to ensure that anyone attending will also have a rather miserable time: Fans in the crowd won't be allowed to upload snippets of the day's action to YouTube -- or even, potentially, to post their snaps from inside the Olympic Village on Facebook. And a crack team of branding "police", the Games organisers Locog have acknowledged, will be checking every bathroom in every Olympic venue -- with the power to remove or tape over manufacturers' logos even on soap dispensers, wash basins and toilets.
The same thing happened four years ago in Beijing as well, when non-sponsor brands were taped over in bathrooms so they didn't get "a free ride. " Journalists Smeared Online While Investigating Pentagon Propaganda [Updated] A reporter and an editor from USA Today have become targets of a shadowy online misinformation campaign while investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors, according to the paper.
Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker noticed fake websites, Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles, and even Wikipedia pages start popping up right after they began asking around about the military's "information operations" programs in Iraq and Afghanistan. USA Today reports, "If the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption. " But a Pentagon spokesperson says, "We're not aware of any participation in such activities, nor would it be acceptable. " TomVandenBrook.com and RayLocker.com were both registered after the men started reporting stories critical of the Pentagon contractors, but were taken down after the journalists inquired about the bogus sites. Conservative Alleges New York Times Covered Up Recession. The hilariously over-the-top partisan slant of conservative organs like Fox News is often a puzzle — just how does any sentient conservative justify this sort of thing as news?
The usual response is that conservatives consider Fox News nothing more than an antidote to the equally biased liberal media. I don’t personally consider the charge of liberal bias to be purely fiction — on social issues, in particular, the news media pretty clearly lean left — but in the conservative imagination, the mainstream news media is a pure organ of partisan bias. Consider a sample. Last week, the New York Times published a story suggesting that the economic recovery is faltering. Jonathan Tobin at Commentary gloats: False Equivalence: Here's How You Deal With It - James Fallows - Politics. [Please see update below.]
Joe Nocera -- disclosure: longtime friend -- has a column in the NYT today about the "controversy" over the Chevy Volt. The controversy is whether this ambitious hybrid car, which can get very high mileage per gallon of gas (~ 200 mpg), illustrates Obama-administration overreach for industrial planning, enforced conservationism, and across-the-board liberalism gone mad. As Nocera points out, Fox News has repeatedly presented it that way. There was even a Volt-ish allusion in some of the argument against the Obama health care plan before the Supreme Court last week. If the government can force me to buy medical care, why shouldn't it force me to buy not just broccoli but also an electric car?
Message Machine - Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand - Series. Fear Itself: Americans Believe Iran Threat on Par With 1980s Soviet Union - Max Fisher - International. A new poll shows that Americans today are more afraid of Iran than they were of the USSR in 1985, a peak of the Cold War.
Left, Russian troops move an intercontinental SS-19 missile. Right, parading a mid-range Shahab-3 missile in Tehran. AP In November 1985, CNN commissioned a poll asking Americans to gauge the Soviet Union's threat to the U.S. The century-old novel right-wingers believe guides Obama - Barack Obama. “For a long time I have known that this hour would come, and that there would be those of you who would stand affrighted at the momentous change from constitutional government to despotism, no matter how pure and exalted you might believe my intentions to be.
“But in the long watches of the night, in the solitude of my tent, I conceived a plan of government which, by the grace of God, I hope to be able to give to the American people. … (H)ateful as is the thought of assuming supreme power, I can see no other way clearly.” — from “Philip Dru: Administrator” “Philip Dru, Administrator: A Story of Tomorrow, 1920-1935″ is a novel about a successful rebellion against a hopelessly corrupt U.S. government.
Its leader then becomes a benevolent dictator, and restores the rule of law to the Republic. Though he didn’t put his name on the book, author Colonel Edward Mandell House was a Texas political insider who worked assiduously to make Woodrow Wilson president. Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012. April 19, 2012|By Rex Huppke, Tribune Newspapers A quick review of the long and illustrious career of Facts reveals some of the world's most cherished absolutes: Gravity makes things fall down; 2 + 2 = 4; the sky is blue.
But for many, Facts' most memorable moments came in simple day-to-day realities, from a child's certainty of its mother's love to the comforting knowledge that a favorite television show would start promptly at 8 p.m. Hidden links between #Kony2012, "The Family," and Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill. What Wilson dug up is now detailed in an extensive blog post.
There's a lot to sort through, but it's exhaustively-researched stuff. At least two of Invisible Children's programs have involved collaboration with The Fellowship and and its members, and by 2007 -- according to accounts from both Invisible Children and Fellowship members -- Invisible Children had partially merged its developing school and mentoring programs in Uganda with The Fellowship's Ugandan educational and leadership training system, which works to raise up a cadre of elite Jesus-centered leaders who will transform their nation along "Biblical" lines - with one apparent objective being the categorical elimination of homosexuality. Read the whole thing. Here's an interesting note not included in the report, which Wilson points out to Boing Boing: if you do a search on Google for "schools for schools" you'll find documentation of of Invisible Children fundraising activity in schools across America.
The Imperial Mind. Americans of all types — Democrats and Republicans, even some Good Progressives — are just livid that a Pakistani tribal court (reportedly in consultation with Pakistani officials) has imposed a 33-year prison sentence on Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani physician who secretly worked with the CIA to find Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.
Their fury tracks the standard American media narrative: by punishing Dr. Afridi for the “crime” of helping the U.S. find bin Laden, Pakistan has revealed that it sympathizes with Al Qaeda and is hostile to the U.S. How Do You Sell a Car to a Millennial? - Jordan Weissmann - Business. Twenty-somethings are unemployed, living with their parents, and driving less. But Chevrolet's youth guru still sees a big market in generation stuck. The Chevrolet Tru 140S, a new concept car aimed at Millennials; Photo: Chevrolet The auto industry is facing a conundrum. ALEC Sends Out an SOS to Breitbart Bloggers. Shortly after issuing a press release announcing that it was disbanding its "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" after 30 years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held a training for the right-wing blogosphere. ALEC Director of External Relations Caitlyn Korb spoke yesterday at a Heritage Foundation "Bloggers Briefing," begging conservative bloggers for help while prepping "a very aggressive campaign to really spread the word about what we actually do.
" Korb appears to be a new ALEC employee who recently worked for the Cato Institute. Both ALEC and Cato have received funding from Koch family foundations. The Heritage Foundation is an ALEC member. The "Bloggers Briefing," which was started by Heritage's Rob Bluey and "a dozen conservative online entrepreneurs" six years ago, was broadcast online on "Breitbart TV," a project of the late Andrew Breitbart.
Review & Outlook: Shutting Down ALEC.