Read the story of the smug, arrogant and elitist Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications in the White House, a man that Foreign Policy Magazine calls an “asshole” for his disdain of the public and his insulting treatment of reporters.
In a follow up, the author of that article adds additional background showing how the “strategic communication” specialist uses social media propaganda to manipulate the public, even acknowledging that this leads to a “dangerous distortion of democracy.”
“…the increasingly sophisticated use of digital tools by powerful interests — including the White House — to achieve their policy aims,….”
“Through a cascade of tweets, quotes and other social-media posts, a story was being told, with the purpose of motivating people to feel a certain way, in order to achieve a specific foreign-policy aim.”
“Rhodes readily admitted to me that the work he does is a potentially dangerous distortion of democracy, but he also felt that it had become a necessary evil, caused by the fracturing of the 20th-century mass audience and the decline of the American press.”
Then this item I ran across:
“We routinely wrote scare stories about the hazards of chemicals, employing words like ‘cancer,’ and ‘birth defects’ to splash a little cold water in reporters’ faces. . . . Our press reports were more or less true . . . . Few handouts, however, can be completely honest, and ours were no exception . . . . We were out to whip the public into a frenzy about the environment.”
Jim Sibbison, Former Press Officer, US Environmental Protection Agency (Source)
Anything that originates with a press release, a PR spokesperson, a “Press Officer” or a “communication” specialist should be treated as if it is an outright lie. Which is unfortunate but that is how the public relations propaganda business works. An appropriate title for these people is “Minister of Propaganda”. This blog will likely look at more examples of U.S. government propaganda operations directed at citizens.