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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 September - My Yahoo!

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The PPJ Gazette

TODAY - September 10, 2012

One Pakistan
New gadget tells if your breath is safe to kiss
(8 hours ago) London :   A 19.99-pound gadget has been developed to help you check if your breath is going to make your Mr Right run a mile away from you due to bad smell. Users need to just breathe into it and the gadget analyses ...

World News »

Syrian Rebel Video Appears to Show 20 Executed Soldiers
(4 hours ago) Syrian rebels have posted an Internet video that appears to show the bodies of 20 soldiers whom they executed in the northern city of Aleppo. In the video published Monday, the bodies of men dressed in military fatigu...

Business News »

Increases in lube oil price resented
(11 hours ago) Karachi :  Attock Oil Refinery (ARL) has increased the prices of lube base oil by Rs9 per litre, which would result in sharp increase in all the lubricating oils, adding another burden of Rs11 per litre to the end-con...

Boiling Frogs Post

BFP Nightly Quote
“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

International Newsworthy

Iran oil minister downplays sanctions

Canada appeases Israel on Iran

Iran to continue supporting Syria

PM: Israel Discussing Red Lines for Iran with US

Iran Discovers & Confiscates 1500 Kilos of Narcotics at its Borders

* * *

Controversial British plan to ‘divide and rule’ Afghanistan

U.S. hands over key prison to Afghanistan

Detention powers in flux in Afghanistan

Pakistan: Bomb Attack Kills 15+ Shia Muslims in Northwest

* * *

France to Fund/Arm Al Qaeda in Syria

Simultaneous Bombs Hit Army Compounds in Aleppo

Syrian Jets Bomb Aleppo District After Rebels Seize Base

Clinton Slams Russia’s Syria Peace Plan

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“A Lot of People Believe This Stuff”: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Politics of Public Relations

Monday, 10. September 2012 by AGMarshall
“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946
It’s important, because a lot of people believe this stuff.”  – Bill Clinton, speaking at the Democratic National Convention, 5 September 2012
PresidentsIn case you were unaware, Bill Clinton gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention on the evening of September 5, which, the media tells us, revealed Clinton’s “special gift”[1] to “give a boost to Obama’s middle-class hero image.”[2] The speech has been hailed as Clinton’s “come back,”[3] and a “spirited defense” of Obama..[4] The “rock star,”[5] Bill Clinton, received heaps of praise from celebrities who endorsed his speech, and it’s obviously very important that the public know what Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, and Alicia Silverstone think of the speech, so lucky for us, the media tells us. It was, “fantastic… common sense,” that Clinton was “up there teaching,” and “breaking it down.”[6]
But it’s also important that the public receive more ‘expert’ analysis from political commentators and reporters, so CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer explained that he had been watching Clinton since 1992 when he was CNN’s White House correspondent, and that, “[t]his may have been the best speech I have ever heard Bill Clinton deliver,” while GOP strategist Alex Castellanos proclaimed, “This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama.” Brit Hume on Fox News (“fair and balanced”) said that Clinton, “is the most talented politician I’ve ever covered and the most charming man I’ve ever met… No one in my view can frame an argument more effectively than he can.” Anderson Cooper shared his wisdom and analysis, explaining that, “[t]he level of detail in the speech was quite surprising… and yet there was a personality.” Chris Matthews on MSNBC chimed in, “I wouldn’t want to be the guy fighting Bill Clinton if the issue is Barack Obama.” But of course, there was some “intelligent criticism” of the speech within the media, so it wasn’t all praise. For example, John King of CNN noted that the speech could “use an editor,” because as various other critics noted, it was “too long.”[7]
So what exactly did Bill Clinton say that was so inspiring and praiseworthy? Well, he went up on stage, and for fifty minutes, successfully achieved the highest degree of hypocrisy possible. His speech could not have been better constructed if it had been written by a public relations firm, itself. And perhaps it was. After all, it’s not that the Clinton’s don’t have a cozy relationship with public relations firms, as Burston-Marsteller, the most prominent PR firm in the United States, ran Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2008.[8] The firm is venerable and highly respected, and has built a very prominent resume of individuals and institutions it has represented, such as Ceausescu in Romania, the Saudi royal family, the Nigerian government when it wanted to discredit claims of genocide during the Biafran war, the Argentine dictatorship which killed roughly 35,000 of its own people, the Indonesian government as it committed genocide in East Timor (ultimately eliminating a third of the entire population while Bill Clinton armed it to do so). Burston-Marsteller also represented Union Carbide following the Bhopal gas leak that killed 15,000 people in India, among other reputable clients.[9]
Controlling the “Bewildered Herd” of “Ignorant and Meddlesome Outsiders”
I mention the public relations industry, because elections are essentially run by the PR industry, and public relations is the officially-sanctioned term for “propaganda.” It is no small coincidence that the founder of the public relations industry, a man named Edward Bernays, also happened to have literally written the book on Propaganda (1928), in which he wrote, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” He added: “it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons… who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.” Naturally, explained Bernays, this is merely “a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.”[10]
Bernays of course had experience. In 1917, he was asked by President Woodrow Wilson to join the Committee on Public Information (CPI), a propaganda agency created by the government to rally the American population to support entering World War I, which was popularly perceived at the time as “a rich man’s war.” The CPI was highly successful, and the American people went to war. Bernays and the other propagandists who were involved were so impressed with their manipulation of the public during war-time, that they felt they could do it during peace time as well. Thus, after the war, Bernays soon founded one of the first PR firms in the United States. Walter Lippmann, the most influential intellectual in the United States at that time, encouraged President Wilson to create the CPI, and even suggested the concept of “making the world safe for democracy,” which became Wilson’s “idealistic” democratic vision for the world, still discussed in political science today. Lippmann and other intellectuals of the era recommended using social scientists and other intellectual elites to undertake “systematic intelligence and information control” as a “regular organ of popular government.” This was what Lippmann called the “manufacture of consent.”[11] Read
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