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(Foreign Policy)   US repeals ban on government-funded propaganda broadcasts. THIS WAS AN OUTRAGE until 2009 AND MIGHT BE AN OUTRAGE AGAIN unless my guys stay in and/or take charge (again)   (thecable.foreignpolicy.com) divider line 99
    More: Interesting, United States, Somalian, Cold War, propaganda  
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3506 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2013 at 10:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-15 10:40:38 AM
I love the new Marine Corp recruiting commercials.  They rush in to help feed starving people now.  Next they'll be rescuing puppies.
 
2013-07-15 10:46:33 AM
Behind a paywall?  No thank you.
 
2013-07-15 10:48:05 AM
<B>Subby</b> and the mod who greenlit this are annoying.
 
2013-07-15 10:49:17 AM

logic523: Behind a paywall?  No thank you.


This.
 
2013-07-15 10:50:41 AM
So in order to read this I have to give out personal information I do not give out for things I actually want.......yeah that is not going to happen....subby needs a d*ck slapping to the head for this post.
 
2013-07-15 10:51:12 AM
Is Smokey the Bear government propaganda?
 
2013-07-15 10:51:18 AM
paywall. Thanks, tardmitter
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-07-15 10:52:07 AM
s7.postimg.org
 
2013-07-15 10:52:16 AM

logic523: Behind a paywall?  No thank you.


Not a very sophisticated one. Just hit "stop" as it's loading; amateur hour at IT is still going strong.
 
2013-07-15 10:52:43 AM
I thought MSNBC already had that job?
 
2013-07-15 10:53:57 AM

bmr68: I thought MSNBC already had that job?


Only since 2009, they won the contract that Fox had held for the previous 8 years.
 
2013-07-15 10:54:16 AM
This thread is now Monday Morning Nice Time.

How about those heroic teens who followed the guy that abducted a little girl and made him release her unharmed? Pretty farkin' swell.
 
2013-07-15 10:55:24 AM

vingamm: So in order to read this I have to give out personal information I do not give out for things I actually want.......yeah that is not going to happen....subby needs a d*ck slapping to the head for this post.


To me, that doesn't matter. The government's track record lately has been... spotty.

If they were going to do it with the flair and professionalism of the BBC, we might have a different story, but that's not how our government operates.
 
2013-07-15 10:55:25 AM
Site requires registration.  Can anybody give me the Cliff's Notes version?
 
2013-07-15 10:55:48 AM
Turned off stylesheets and got the article:

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It's viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran; self-immolation in Tibet; human trafficking across Asia; and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq.

The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-Mundt Act, a long standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright's amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."

Zorinsky and Fulbright sold their amendments on sensible rhetoric: American taxpayers shouldn't be funding propaganda for American audiences. So did Congress just tear down the American public's last defense against domestic propaganda?

BBG spokeswoman Lynne Weil insists BBG is not a propaganda outlet, and its flagship services such as VOA "present fair and accurate news."

"They don't shy away from stories that don't shed the best light on the United States," she told The Cable. She pointed to the charters of VOA and RFE: "Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible, discussion, and open debate."

A former U.S. government source with knowledge of the BBG says the organization is no Pravda, but it does advance U.S. interests in more subtle ways. In Somalia, for instance, VOA serves as counterprogramming to outlets peddling anti-American or jihadist sentiment. "Somalis have three options for news," the source said, "word of mouth, Al-Shabaab or VOA Somalia."

This partially explains the push to allow BBG broadcasts on local radio stations in the United States. The agency wants to reach diaspora communities, such as St. Paul Minnesota's significant Somali expat community. "Those people can get Al-Shabaab, they can get Russia Today, but they couldn't get access to their taxpayer-funded news sources like VOA Somalia," the source said. "It was silly."

Lynne added that the reform has a transparency benefit as well. "Now Americans will be able to know more about what they are paying for with their tax dollars - greater transparency is a win-win for all involved," she said. And so with that we have the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, which passed as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, and went into effect this month.

But if anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domestic propaganda efforts, the past 12 months provided ample reasons. Last year, two USA Today journalists were ensnared in a propaganda campaign after reporting about millions of dollars in back taxes owed by the Pentagon's top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan. Eventually, one of the co-owners of the firm confessed to creating phony websites and Twitter accounts to smear the journalists anonymously. Additionally, just this month, The Washington Post exposed a counter propaganda program by the Pentagon that recommended posting comments on a U.S. website run by a Somali expat with readers opposing Al-Shabaab. "Today, the military is more focused on manipulating news and commentary on the Internet, especially social media, by posting material and images without necessarily claiming ownership," reported The Post.

But for BBG officials, the references to Pentagon propaganda efforts are nauseating, particularly because the Smith-Mundt Act never had anything to do with regulating the Pentagon, a fact that was misunderstood in media reports in the run-up to the passage of new Smith-Mundt reforms in January.
One example included a report by the late Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings, who suggested that the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act would open the door to Pentagon propaganda of U.S. audiences. In fact, as amended in 1987, the act only covers portions of the State Department engaged in public diplomacy abroad (i.e. the public diplomacy section of the "R" bureau, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.)

But the news circulated regardless, much to the displeasure of Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), a sponsor of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012. "To me, it's a fascinating case study in how one blogger was pretty sloppy, not understanding the issue and then it got picked up by Politico's Playbook, and you had one level of sloppiness on top of another," Thornberry told The Cable last May. "And once something sensational gets out there, it just spreads like wildfire."

That of course doesn't leave the BBG off the hook if its content smacks of agitprop. But now that its materials are allowed to be broadcast by local radio stations and TV networks, they won't be a complete mystery to Americans. "Previously, the legislation had the effect of clouding and hiding this stuff," the former U.S. official told The Cable. "Now we'll have a better sense: Gee some of this stuff is really good. Or gee some of this stuff is really bad. At least we'll know now."

Broadcasting Board of Governors / Washington Forum
 
2013-07-15 10:56:11 AM
As long as it's required to be clearly labelled, I don't have a problem. The argument that we should at least know what our government is broadcasting in our name makes sense.
 
2013-07-15 10:57:06 AM
s24.postimg.org
 
2013-07-15 10:58:32 AM

ampoliros: logic523: Behind a paywall?  No thank you.

Not a very sophisticated one. Just hit "stop" as it's loading; amateur hour at IT is still going strong.


Well, plus it is just a lightbox, so I could read the article just fine (maybe I have my contrast up too much on this monitor or something).

Given the lack of real news in the US, it might be a good thing for this to be repealed, the VoA and that sort of stuff is actually reasonably good at what it does.
 
2013-07-15 10:58:42 AM

Obama's Reptiloid Master: This thread is now Monday Morning Nice Time.

How about those heroic teens who followed the guy that abducted a little girl and made him release her unharmed? Pretty farkin' swell.


That was swell, but I'm sick of hearing about it from Zimmerman supporters I know who seem eager to prove they're not racist. You have to actively save young white girls from criminals in order to get any respect from them apparently.
 
2013-07-15 10:59:27 AM
You mean the MSM isn't the propaganda arm of the current regime already?
 
2013-07-15 11:01:28 AM
But I thought all media in the US was Government-Funded Propaganda, except for Fox News, AM talk radio and the Blogodome.
 
2013-07-15 11:02:09 AM
Like we're not getting propaganda non-stop anyway. Who farking cares?
 
2013-07-15 11:02:29 AM

Disposable Rob: Obama's Reptiloid Master: This thread is now Monday Morning Nice Time.

How about those heroic teens who followed the guy that abducted a little girl and made him release her unharmed? Pretty farkin' swell.

That was swell, but I'm sick of hearing about it from Zimmerman supporters I know who seem eager to prove they're not racist. You have to actively save young white girls from criminals in order to get any respect from them apparently.


NO THAT IS NOT NICE TIME

Let's not concern ourselves overmuch with Racist Uncle Jimbo's Dirty Brown People Rants. Fox will give him a contract and CNN will stupidly ask whether his opinion is worth airtime.

Here in Nice Time, we focus on the good news, because we can do fark-all to change stupidity. Tuesday through Friday we can all bicker about how (insert group here) is ruining the world, but in Monday Morning Nice Time, it's all about keeping the liquor bottle out of our hands.
 
2013-07-15 11:03:03 AM

stuhayes2010: Is Smokey the Bear government propaganda?


I'd say so. Propaganda = Public Relations.

It's not necessarily good or evil, it's just something that's designed to change your opinions or attitudes about something.

Propaganda is such a nasty word. Thank god those PR guys came in and made it sound nicer.
 
2013-07-15 11:05:37 AM
That's weird. Story looks fine to me. I'm not seeing any login or paywall requirements.
(Firefox + AdBlock Plus + NoScript + Ghostery)
 
2013-07-15 11:07:04 AM
Obamacare happy they can still pay the Superbowl to play their ad.
 
2013-07-15 11:07:47 AM
I thought we already had right wing government propaganda on the air-waves, FOX News.

Just in this case, it's more direct.  The people with the money, tell their on air toadies what to say... vs. the game of telephone where the money people tell the government toadies what to say and they tell their toadies to spread that message to the people.

Sounds like they just want the government to have a more equal footing with the government of rich white guys.
 
2013-07-15 11:08:32 AM
I just hope payment is not retroactive. Paying the mainstream media for its propaganda back to when Obama first started campaigning would quadruple the deficit.
 
2013-07-15 11:08:46 AM
Obama's Reptiloid Master:

NO THAT IS NOT NICE TIME

Let's not concern ourselves overmuch with Racist Uncle Jimbo's Dirty Brown People Rants. Fox will give him a contract and CNN will stupidly ask whether his opinion is worth airtime.

Here in Nice Time, we focus on the good news, because we can do fark-all to change stupidity. Tuesday through Friday we can all bicker about how (insert group here) is ruining the world, but in Monday Morning Nice Time, it's all about keeping the liquor bottle out of our hands.


Heh, okay. But I like my liquor bottle...
 
2013-07-15 11:09:39 AM

stacye: But now that its materials are allowed to be broadcast by local radio stations and TV networks, they won't be a complete mystery to Americans. "Previously, the legislation had the effect of clouding and hiding this stuff," the former U.S. official told The Cable.


so not only are we going to be getting questionable "news" straight from the government instead of through cherry picked reporters but the various news services will use it without review since it costs them nothing.

looks legit to me.

and thanks for hooking us up with the article stacye.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-07-15 11:11:08 AM

CorporatePerson: stuhayes2010: Is Smokey the Bear government propaganda?

I'd say so. Propaganda = Public Relations.

It's not necessarily good or evil, it's just something that's designed to change your opinions or attitudes about something.

Propaganda is such a nasty word. Thank god those PR guys came in and made it sound nicer.


It is an evil when you pair it with a group of people that are taught not to question it.  When I was in school in the 80s they would still teach critical thinking from time to time, but I think that was probably a rarity even then.

Everyone should read "Jennifer Government" and see how that fictional society dealt with "schools."
 
2013-07-15 11:11:15 AM

Disposable Rob: Obama's Reptiloid Master:

NO THAT IS NOT NICE TIME

Let's not concern ourselves overmuch with Racist Uncle Jimbo's Dirty Brown People Rants. Fox will give him a contract and CNN will stupidly ask whether his opinion is worth airtime.

Here in Nice Time, we focus on the good news, because we can do fark-all to change stupidity. Tuesday through Friday we can all bicker about how (insert group here) is ruining the world, but in Monday Morning Nice Time, it's all about keeping the liquor bottle out of our hands.

Heh, okay. But I like my liquor bottle...


I meant to type "liquor and pill bottle," because that's how I numb the pain.
 
2013-07-15 11:11:28 AM

NutWrench: That's weird. Story looks fine to me. I'm not seeing any login or paywall requirements.
(Firefox + AdBlock Plus + NoScript + Ghostery)


i3.kym-cdn.com

//hot
 
2013-07-15 11:11:34 AM
 
2013-07-15 11:12:44 AM
Things subby failed to point out. 1. Congress did this, in the defense authorization bill, not the administration. 2. It applies only to Voice of America broadcasts aimed at overseas audiences. Currently, these can't be rebroadcast in the U.S. This would eliminate that restriction. 3. It doesn't authorize the production/dissemination of propaganda aimed at American audiences. 4. It doesn't allow the Pentagon to disseminate its overseas propaganda in the U.S., just the relatively straight news produced by VOA.

Meh. MEH, I SAY.
 
2013-07-15 11:13:03 AM
Back in my day we got our disinformation from government approved pundits who were carefully placed across the media spectrum and we liked it.
 
2013-07-15 11:13:17 AM
Is this headline a part of a dementia trifecta?
 
2013-07-15 11:14:47 AM
I'm not seeing any paywall.

Ha. Just as I write that I refresh the page to check, and there it is.

/misses BugMeNot
 
2013-07-15 11:15:00 AM

thurstonxhowell: As long as it's required to be clearly labelled, I don't have a problem. The argument that we should at least know what our government is broadcasting in our name makes sense.


it won't be. regional and local news outlets need content and will label this stuff as "a government source reports" if they even do that. some of this will be factual, some will be semi factual and some will be outright propaganda. there will be no way to tell with any individual release which is which.

but hey we here at Fark deal with this all the time anyway.  thanks god we have WND to help us decide.
 
2013-07-15 11:18:13 AM

xria: the VoA and that sort of stuff is actually reasonably good at what it does.


when i was in the navy in the early 60s we used to listen to VOA and Radio Moscow. the differences were often subtle but informative. yes the differences were also often glaring but less fun that way.
 
2013-07-15 11:19:19 AM

logic523: Behind a paywall?  No thank you.


Classic Fark.  All journalism should be free, so we can all read it and biatch about there being no good journalism anymore and spend a third of every thread criticizing it for of any typographical errors.
 
2013-07-15 11:19:57 AM
rt.com
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-07-15 11:26:25 AM

FLMountainMan: logic523: Behind a paywall?  No thank you.

Classic Fark.  All journalism should be free, so we can all read it and biatch about there being no good journalism anymore and spend a third of every thread criticizing it for of any typographical errors.

 
2013-07-15 11:27:16 AM
Is it still a paywall if it's free?  And Ron Burgundy called

thecable.foreignpolicy.com

He was not impressed.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-07-15 11:27:28 AM

FLMountainMan: logic523: Behind a paywall?  No thank you.

Classic Fark.  All journalism should be free, so we can all read it and biatch about there being no good journalism anymore and spend a third of every thread criticizing it for of any typographical errors.


now with image goodness...

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-07-15 11:27:59 AM
Please don't let the Obama shills make liberals look like douche bags...
Please don't let the Obama shills make liberals look like douche bags...
Please don't let the Obama shills make liberals look like douche bags...

Damnit!

Of course the usual asshats immediately show up to defend this.
 
2013-07-15 11:28:04 AM

neversubmit: [rt.com image 690x388]


imaguitarist.files.wordpress.com

What's wrong with being stasi?
 
2013-07-15 11:28:49 AM

mbillips: Congress did this, in the defense authorization bill, not the administration


dl.dropboxusercontent.com
 
2013-07-15 11:28:49 AM

FLMountainMan: logic523: Behind a paywall?  No thank you.

Classic Fark.  All journalism should be free, so we can all read it and biatch about there being no good journalism anymore and spend a third of every thread criticizing it for of any typographical errors.


Yeah, the writer of this story had to spend minutes on Wikipedia and entire seconds coming up with links to things other journalists wrote. He even through in a few links to some guy's blog. Clearly, he should be well-compensated for all that effort.
 
2013-07-15 11:31:48 AM

BullBearMS: Please don't let the Obama shills make liberals look like douche bags...
Please don't let the Obama shills make liberals look like douche bags...
Please don't let the Obama shills make liberals look like douche bags...

Damnit!

Of course the usual asshats immediately show up to defend this.


You're right. Americans have no right to ever hear what our government is broadcasting in other countries in our name. It's better that the Pentagon gets to keep that a secret.
 
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