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June 11, 2012

The War on Truth

Steven R. Berryman

Our political combat in 2012 is not “truth vs. lies;” it’s “truth vs. propaganda” today as the American people are mis-fed vital information by their leader, President Barack Obama.


Political propaganda is defined as saying the same thing over and over again, regardless of veracity, hoping that the repetition alone becomes an accepted premise.


A bald-faced lie seems to be acceptable, no matter how flatly wrong it is, so long as a mild contrition is made the next day, claiming some mis-statement.


Recently, a great example of this tendency to a “lie-retrench-absolve” pattern was highlighted on multiple postings by (Matt Drudge is usually the first to dig into topical issues and call a spade a spade.)


Here is the original quote captured by news-aggregator Drudge from a video June 8th:


“The private sector is doing fine. [the bold is my emphasis] Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.”


The next day a retraction was posted; a 180 degree modification of intent:


"It's absolutely clear the economy is not doing fine," President Obama said at the White House shortly after declaring "the private sector is doing fine" at a press conference Friday morning. That’s the reason I had a press conference. That’s why I spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this past month and this past year talking about how we can make the economy stronger. The economy is not doing fine…”


We are to believe this certifies the absolution? What about the readers catching the original comment, but not the mea culpa? In this way, the propaganda worked; it was not some innocent harmless unplanned faux pas.


This did not make The Washington Post in any direct reporting, but was saved for all in the “not-mainstream-media.”


The above form of lie could be catalogued as a “lie by mistake.” But was the source of Obama’s gaffe – presumably some advisor – so simple as to believe that nobody impacted by The Great Recession would object to the severe mischaracterization? No firings of subordinates were reported in this event that spoke to an amazing ignorance of our economic reality.


Other types of propaganda-lies by this administration include:


*A Lie by omission; leaving our relevant information. Our unemployment rate is dropping! (because we are not counting those giving up, and those underemployed)


*Restructuring – distorting the context: The smoke and mirrors of declaring that we were liberators of Iraq, as opposed to invaders. Yes, this one does fall to Bush 43! Declaring a victory – in the face of stalemate – and then marching on, is another…


*Denial – Refusing to acknowledge a truth: We also call this obfuscation. Our first example also falls to this realm. A great example is ObamaCare. That we had to pass this over and above fixing the economy cost America a lost critical year at absolutely the wrong time. This was the “ultimate disconnect!” This was an intentional move to allow destruction of the American economy, as it’s easier to manipulate suffering people.


*Minimization of a problem: The understatement of an issue, as in “minor surgery.” We can tweak the economy by adding public sector jobs and growing the government is simplistic to the point of the denial of economic theory. There is no academic evaluation of Obama policy; it is but agenda-driven.


*Exaggeration – The gross overstatement: That we can work our way out of our doldrums by investing in green energy and alternative fuels. When long term and short term are confused, you don’t get much “It’s gotta be done by yesterday” imperative!


*Fabrication – deliberately inventing a false story: The Solyndra Energy scandal was an invention from whole cloth that public funds were saving and converting a needy company into prosperity and wholeness. They couldn’t do it without us, the taxpayer. Shining example here! What followed, of course, was massive fraud and corruption, never finding its home in the White House; never vetted by the obedient legacy-press.


Don’t forget that the “legacy-press” needs its jobs, too!


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