Better than I could have said it!

The Department of Homegirl Security

Hillary Clinton made a major policy speech yesterday.  She’s running for president of the United States.  Every time she opens her mouth – and she has a pretty mouth that says smart things that some people sometimes dislike – somebody has something to say about how she sounds.  Seems it is never “just right.”

This popped up in my newsfeed which pretty concisely packages the issue.

03/23/2016 06:09 pm ET

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Posted by: Joolz2u | February 13, 2015

Revisiting Holocaust Liberation: Paradoxical Propaganda?

Take Five

During an official tour of the newly liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp, an Austrian Jewish survivor describes to General Dwight Eisenhower and the members of his entourage the use of the gallows in the camp. Credit: National Archives and Records Administration, College Park United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of David Wherry During an official tour of the newly liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp, an Austrian Jewish survivor describes to General Dwight Eisenhower and the members of his entourage the use of the gallows in the camp. Credit: National Archives and Records Administration, College Park United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of David Wherry

In the introduction to his article, “The Paradoxes of Propaganda,” John Brown discusses a rather famous Nazi-era film—widely considered to be propaganda—called Triumph of the Will. Propaganda is one of those terms that often get lumped in with public diplomacy, but in fact there are key differences, both in their purpose and practice.

Today, propaganda is nearly used as a pejorative, a one-sided tool to persuade publics through manipulation, symbols and tricky language. Public diplomacy, on the other hand, is a means of explanation (without necessarily feeding conclusions), and can involve not only an output, but a…

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Posted by: Joolz2u | June 8, 2008

The Fairness Doctrine

I spent a semester in England back in 1985. I was a Broadcast Communications major and the opportunity to study British broadcasting was one of the reasons I chose the college I did. At one point, we had to write a research paper comparing some facet of broadcasting between the British and American systems. I chose to write about the Fairness Doctrine.

What is the Fairness Doctrine? The Museum of Broadcast Communications explains:

The policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission that became known as the “Fairness Doctrine” is an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair. The FCC took the view, in 1949, that station licensees were “public trustees,” and as such had an obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public importance. The Commission later held that stations were also obligated to actively seek out issues of importance to their community and air programming that addressed those issues. With the deregulation sweep of the Reagan Administration during the 1980s, the Commission dissolved the fairness doctrine.

http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/F/htmlF/fairnessdoct/fairnessdoct.htm

The Brits didn’t have any such thing, and couldn’t really understand why I was so concerned with the FCC’s efforts to do away with it. It was this nagging dread that wouldn’t go away. I was obsessed with Mark Fowler (Reagan-appointed Chariman of the FCC) and his partners in evil who would conspire to rid the United States of government-enforced balance. I just knew in my heart of hearts that, try as they might to hide behind the First Amendment, the truth of the matter was those villainous Reaganites were really hell-bent on world domination. He who controls the airwaves, controls the minds of the masses.

Naturally, I was pretty much alone in my concerns over this seemingly small matter. And why, you may wonder, would I even think of it 23 years later? What would pluck good old Mark Fowler out of the deep recesses of my mind lo these many years hence? The Democratic Primary.

See, back in the olden days, say, when I was a kid, if a tv station sold a 30-second political ad to one politician, they had to sell a 30-second ad spot to his competitor. And if the competitor couldn’t afford the same number of ads as the first guy, then the first guy had to scale back to keep the playing field level. In addition, the Fairness Doctrine included under its umbrella of balance news programs, interviews and documentaries.

In terms of today, that would mean that Obama could not outspend Hillary by 4:1 in blanketing a market with political ads. And if Oprah were to, say, dedicate an entire hour to Obama (delicately skirting the prohibition of corporate donations), she would also have to offer an entire hour to Hillary. And McCain. And whoever the hell else might still be in the race. And if NBC ran an interview with Obama, they’d also have to run one with Hillary. And the interviews would have to be neutral and balanced. No network could blatantly favor one candidate over another. Of course, these regulations did not apply to cable, so Chris Matthews could still spew his misogynist garbage, but that’s another topic for another day.

I’ve wondered a lot lately how things would have turned out had we had the Fairness Doctrine in place during this primary. One thing I do know: the Democratic primary has proven the Republicans right: whoever controls the media controls the masses. 

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