Here in this video, former Clinton/Gore political consultant Naomi Wolf explains why we should be skeptical of overly theatrical news stories. She points out that propaganda has become legal thanks to the very people claiming to be our representatives.
The mainstream media became far more systemically involved as the government’s tool to spread propaganda after two vital changes were made to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included an amendment that legalized the use of propaganda on the American public.
Our pretend “representatives” in Congress have proven that they do not represent the people, and instead exploit us for personal gain both political as well as monetarily. There had always been an anti-propaganda law that prevented the U.S. government from broadcasting programming to American audiences to politically influence people for political gain.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the prevailing view was that American taxpayers shouldn’t be funding propaganda for American audiences. On July 2, 2013, that law was silently repealed with the implementation of a new reform act. The bottom line: Congress knew what it was doing when it deliberately unleashed thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.
Our “pretend” representatives see no problem with propaganda today. Congress also allowed the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting. They no longer require the mainstream media to tell the truth. Why do our politicians now believe they are entitled to lie, cheat, and use mainstream media to create state propaganda?
The Smith-Mundt Act prevented the government from engaging in propaganda domestically. Nevertheless, that restriction was only applied domestically. The U.S. government always had official propaganda programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors that was only for foreign consumption such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. The tone and nature always varied, and it was produced for more than 100 countries in 61 different languages. Nonetheless, the scope was always with a political intent. This is clearly against the principles of the First Amendment that the free press was to keep a check against government. Thomas Jefferson maintained:
A press that is free to investigate and criticize the government is absolutely essential in a nation that practices self-government and is therefore dependent on an educated and enlightened citizenry. On the other hand, newspapers too often take advantage of their freedom and publish lies and scurrilous gossip that could only deceive and mislead the people. Jefferson himself suffered greatly under the latter kind of press during his presidency. But he was a great believer in the ultimate triumph of truth in the free marketplace of ideas, and looked to that for his final vindication.
If anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domestic propaganda efforts, the past 12 months have provided ample reasons. Additionally, just back in 2012, two USA Today journalists were targeted for reporting about millions of dollars in back-taxes owed by the Pentagon’s top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan. The co-owners of the firm had to confess to creating phony websites and Twitter accounts designed to smear the journalists anonymously. Unfortunately, the government today is very focused on manipulating news and commentary on the internet, including social media. They are pretending to be people posting comments and honest reviews.