Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#298 / The First Rule Of Propaganda

The Washington Post puts out a daily PowerPost news bulletin, which is available for free. On October 23rd, the focus of the PowerPost was propaganda, and on what appears to be President Trump's concerted attack on our public commitment to a free press. You can read the PowerPost article by clicking the link. 

Among other things, the Post said that, "The first rule of propaganda is that if you repeat something enough times people will start to believe it, no matter how false." 

I translate that observation as "Rinse, Lather, Rinse, Repeat."

The President's campaign against what he calls "fake news" is apparently convincing many that what they read in the newspaper, or online, cannot be trusted. Even more disturbingly, there seems to be significant public support for the idea that the government should "shut down" news outlets if they publish what someone decides is a falsehood. 

If America is in any way "extraordinary," and that claim is commonly made, our adherence to the commands of the First Amendment is surely one of the most important reasons that this is true: 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As we work to survive a presidency that puts everything most dear to us at risk, let's keep those extraordinary First Amendment commitments well in mind!

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