Joseph Goebbels, George Orwell and Myth Busting

Joseph Goebbels, George Orwell and Myth Busting

Joseph Goebbels taught:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually comGoebbelse to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." — Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

George Orwell, 1903-1950, fully understood the misuse of language and wrote much about increasing public awareness of this power. In his novel Nineteen Eighty Four he wrote about "newspeak" the process of manipulation through words. He explains how language can be used politically to manipulate people into unquestioningly obeying their government and mindlessly accepting propaganda as reality. Language then becomes a mind control tool. His novel describes a totalitarian system gone crazy through psychological control of the public using newspeak to brainwash the public. In fact, the media is a powerful means of manipulation of public thought because of our wide exposure to it and because of our general trust in it. These points are well understood by Karl Rove and this administration. Polls indicated that 56% of Americans still believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before our invasion and six out of ten thought Iraq supported an Al Qaida terrorist network – notions long since totally debunked.

Few of us have time to research behind the sound bites and most of us get our information from television or headlines. Research shows nearly one in three Americans get their news online and Television has become the source for news for most people. (The Pew Research Center) At the same time control of the news is in the hands of fewer and fewer owners. The past two decades have seen the number of corporations that dominate the media go from 50 to less then two dozen, with power concentrated in 10 huge conglomerates. Only six huge corporations now control the major U.S. media outlets. All are supporters of this administration and it’s policy of favoring the rich and the powerful. (Free Press) Between 1998 and 2004 broadcasters spent $249 Million lobbying this administration, including $27 Million on federal lawmaker candidates. (The Seattle Times) This is usually called bribery except in this "newspeak" country we now live in.

When government through the Justice Department rubber stamps mergers so that media ownership becomes concentrated in the rich and the powerful and the FCC is in bed with the media, voices of dissent are silenced. One of hundreds of examples, is the experience of the Dixie Chicks whose music was banned on a chain of radio stations after criticizing President’s invasion of Iraq. The boycott of playing their music became national, after it was started by radio giant Clear Channel, whose corporate ownership had a long history with George Bush. Other media giants followed in lock step. When Oscar winning documentary maker Barabara Kopple produced a film favorable to the singing group’s courage "Shut up and Sing," NBC and CW networks refused to run ads for the movie. The media is supposed to be the myth buster of fiction,  and the guard against government concealment, propaganda and lies. When the media "watch dogs" of government become the lap dogs of an administration, America is worse for it

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