Unit V • • • • • Propaganda The Media Influencing Government State Government Local Government Propaganda Propaganda • Propaganda is a type of message aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people. • Often, instead of impartially providing information, propaganda can be deliberately misleading, or use fallacies (lies), which, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid. This visual from the mid-1930's shows Germany in white, with the 100,000-man army permitted by the Treaty of Versailles, surrounded by heavily armed neighbors. The caption: "The Jew: The inciter of war, the prolonger of war.“ This 1940 poster advertises the worst of the Nazi anti-Semitic films, "The Eternal Jew." The text translates as: "Mothers! Fight for your children!" Note that the mother portrayed has four children, consistent with the Nazi goal of encouraging as many births as possible. This Mjölnir poster appeared in February 1943, just after the defeat at Stalingrad. It was part of a major propaganda campaign with the theme “Victory or Bolshevist Chaos.” The party’s propagandists were told to make sure the poster was posted by itself rather than next to other posters. The text translates as: "Victory or Bolshevism." Types of Propaganda • Labeling – name calling • Glittering generalities - vague statements with no meaning • Card Stacking – giving only the facts that you want to • Transfer – associating a symbol with a candidate • Plain Folks – “common man” • Testimonial – celebrity endorsement • Bandwagon – everyone is doing it/peer pressure • Fear – scare people into action Other Forms of Propaganda • Ad Hominem: A Latin phrase which has come to mean attacking your opponent, as opposed to attacking their arguments. Example: “This comes from a guy who can’t even spell the word ‘potato’!” • Appeal to fear: Appeals to fear seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population. “If we don’t stop driving SUV’s, their exhaust will melt the ice caps and we’ll all die!” • Appeal to authority: Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action. Appealing to authority is a valid type of argument if the authority being appealed to is a noted expert in the area in question. However, if an argument, say on a medical issue, is supported by appending the support of a political or military authority, it may not be a valid form of argument. • Example: “4 out of 5 scientists surveyed believe that global warming is a fact, not a theory.” • Appeal to Prejudice: Using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition. • For example, the "A reasonable, community-minded person would have to agree that those who do not work, and who do not support the community do not deserve the community's support through social assistance." • Argumentum ad nauseam: This argument approach uses tireless repetition of an idea. An idea, especially a simple slogan, that is repeated enough times, may begin to be taken as the truth. This approach works best when media sources are limited and controlled by the propagator. If a lie can be repeated often enough, it will be believed by many people. • Bandwagon: Bandwagon and "inevitablevictory" appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that "everyone else is taking." – Inevitable victory: invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already or at least partially on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is their best course of action. – Join the crowd: This technique reinforces people's natural desire to be on the winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their best interest to join. • Black-and-White fallacy: Presenting only two choices, with the product or idea being propagated as the better choice. • (Example: "You are either with us, or you are against us") • Beautiful people: The type of propaganda that deals with either famous people or just plain beautiful people. This makes other people think that if they buy this product, they will be just like them. This is widely used in advertising, often in conjunction with a testimonial. • Card-Stacking or Cherry-Picking is the deliberate selection of certain facts to prove a case. The whole story is not told, as some facts may be damaging to the argument. This technique is commonly used by children attempting to convince their parents. • Common man: The “plain folks” or “grass roots” approach attempts to convince the audience that the propagandist's positions reflect the common sense of the people. It is designed to win the confidence of the audience by communicating in the common manner and style of the target audience. Propagandists use ordinary language and mannerisms (and clothe their message in face-to-face and audiovisual communications) in attempting to identify their point of view with that of the average person. For example, a propaganda leaflet may make an argument on a macroeconomic issue, such as unemployment insurance benefits, using everyday terms: “Given that the country has little money during this recession, we should stop paying unemployment benefits to those who do not work, because that is like maxing out all your credit cards during a tight period, when you should be tightening your belt." • Demonizing the Enemy: Making individuals from the opposing nation or group, or those who support the opposing viewpoint, appear to be subhuman, worthless, or immoral, through suggestion or false accusations. A U.S. WWII Propaganda poster. • Direct Order: This technique hopes to simplify the decision making process by using images and words to tell the audience exactly what actions to take, eliminating any other possible choices. Authority figures can be used to give the order, overlapping it with the Appeal to Authority technique, but not necessarily. • Euphoria: The use of an event that generates euphoria or happiness, or using an appealing event to boost morale. Euphoria can be created by declaring a holiday, making luxury items available, or mounting a military parade with marching bands and patriotic messages. From the NAZI Propaganda Film “Triumph of the Will”. This is a crowd of 160,000 at a 1934 rally in Nuremburg, marching in parades, listening to heroic speeches and music from military bands. • Falsifying information: The creation or deletion of information from public records, in the purpose of making a false record of an event or the actions of a person or organization. Pseudo-sciences are often used to falsify information. • Flag-waving: An attempt to justify an action on the grounds that doing so will make one more patriotic, or in some way benefit a group, country, or idea. The feeling of patriotism which this technique attempts to inspire may diminish or entirely omit one's capability for rational examination of the matter in question. • Glittering Generalities: Glittering generalities are emotionally appealing words applied to a product or idea, but which present no concrete argument or analysis. A famous example is the campaign slogan "Gerald Ford has a better idea!" • Intentional Vagueness: Generalities are deliberately vague so that the audience may supply its own interpretations. The intention is to move the audience by use of undefined phrases, without analyzing their validity or attempting to determine their reasonableness or application. The intent is to cause people to draw their own interpretations rather than simply being presented with an explicit idea. In trying to "figure out" the propaganda, the audience foregoes judgment of the ideas presented. Their validity, reasonableness and application is not considered. • Obtain disapproval: This technique is used to persuade a target audience to disapprove of an action or idea by suggesting that the idea is popular with groups hated, feared, or held in contempt by the target audience. Thus if a group which supports a certain policy is led to believe that undesirable, subversive, or contemptible people support the same policy, then the members of the group may decide to change their original position. • In modern usage, this is called a “wedge technique” or “wedge issue”. • Quotes out of Context: Selective editing of quotes which can change meanings. Political documentaries designed to discredit an opponent or an opposing political viewpoint often make use of this technique. • Even the deletion of the word “not” can alter the very meaning of a message. • Rationalization: Individuals or groups may use favorable generalities to rationalize questionable acts or beliefs. Vague and pleasant phrases are often used to justify such actions or beliefs. • Example: Genocide is often called “Ethnic Cleansing” by the perpetrators. • Red Herring: Presenting data or issues that, while striking or interesting, are irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then claiming that it validates the argument. • Topic: Foreign Aid to Africa. A Red Herring would be a chart showing health care statistics in the U.S. It might be interesting, but irrelevant to the topic of Foreign Aid. • Scapegoating: Assigning blame to an individual or group, thus alleviating feelings of guilt from responsible parties and/or distracting attention from the need to fix the problem for which blame is being assigned. Example: “Republicans are giving a tax cut to the rich.” • Slogans: A slogan is a brief, striking phrase that may include labeling and stereotyping. Although slogans may be enlisted to support reasoned ideas, in practice they tend to act only as emotional appeals. Opponents of the US's invasion and occupation of Iraq use the slogan "Blood for Oil" to suggest that the invasion and its human losses was done to access Iraq's oil riches. On the other hand, "hawks" who argue that the US should continue to fight in Iraq use the slogan "Cut-and-Run" to suggest that it would be cowardly or weak to withdraw from Iraq. • Stereotyping or Name Calling or Labeling: This technique attempts to arouse prejudices in an audience by labeling the object of the propaganda campaign as something the target audience fears, hates, loathes, or finds undesirable. For instance, reporting on a foreign country or social group may focus on the stereotypical traits that the reader expects, even though they are far from being representative of the whole country or group; such reporting often focuses on the anecdotal. • Examples: Calling someone a “Nazi”, or “stupid”, or “un-patriotic”, and so on. • Testimonial: Testimonials are quotations, in or out of context, especially cited to support or reject a given policy, action, program, or personality. The reputation or the role (expert, respected public figure, etc.) of the individual giving the statement is exploited. The testimonial places the official sanction of a respected person or authority on a propaganda message. This is done in an effort to cause the target audience to identify itself with the authority or to accept the authority's opinions and beliefs as its own. • Transfer: Also known as Association, this is a technique of projecting positive or negative qualities (praise or blame) of a person, entity, object, or value (an individual, group, organization, nation, patriotism, etc.) to another to make the second more acceptable or to discredit it. It evokes an emotional response, which stimulates the target to identify with recognized authorities. Often highly visual, this technique often utilizes symbols such as swastikas, homeless women or children, the American flag, bald eagle, and so on. • Unstated assumption: This technique is used when the propaganda concept that the propagandist intends to transmit would seem less credible if explicitly stated. The concept is instead repeatedly assumed or implied. The Media The Media • Has been called “The 4th branch of government” -Freedom of the Press - Role of the media in government Print Media Newspapers Magazines Books Billboards Electronic Media Radio Broadcast Television Cable/Satellite Television The Internet Media Bias “Equal Time” and “Fairness” Doctrines Old Media - Network TV - Politically Liberal - Supports Democrats New Media - Talk Radio, Blogs - Politically Conservative - Supports Republicans Press Conference • Purpose: To inform the media of a government activity or policy • Prepared Statement • Questions by the media Leaks • Unofficial release of information • Can be used to get information out more quickly than a Press Conference • Could be a whistleblower or insider reporting alleged wrongdoing Influencing Government • Most direct way to influence government? VOTING Election Campaigns • Require lots of money for publicity • Campaign Finance • Hard Money – limited, but goes directly to support a candidate. • Soft Money – unlimited, but cannot directly support a candidate. (It can support a party or political message, however.) Other Influences • PAC – Political Action Committee – A special interest group that has organized to hire lobbyists and influence elections and government activity. – A lobbyist is a paid professional who attempts to influence the legislative and executive branches of government. – Examples of PACs include the National Rifle Association, the National Education Association, Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, AARP, AAA, Teamsters Union, etc. • 527 Group – A special type of PAC that through attack ads, may use soft money to harm an opposing candidate. Examples: Swift Vets for Truth (supports Republicans), MoveOn.org (supports the Democratic party) State Government • Patterned from U.S. Federal Government • Required to have a constitution • Required to be a republic form of government, but may have elements of direct democracy • Have all 3 branches of government with separation of powers and checks and balances The Governor • Governor is head of Executive Branch, acts like President • 43 states have Lieutenant Governor, who acts like Vice-President, most preside over State Senate • Governors may issue pardons and reprieves Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallon • Most states (including Oklahoma) have 4 year terms for governor • In Oklahoma, the gubernatorial election is held on even years between presidential elections (2002, 2006, 2010, etc.) • All governors have veto power, most have lineitem veto power (presidents don’t), including Oklahoma • May call state legislatures into special session and may declare martial law in the event of a disaster or civil disturbance • Governor is Commander-in-Chief of the state police and National Guard forces State Legislature • Most states (all but Nebraska) have bicameral legislature • The upper house is always called the State Senate • The lower house is frequently called the State House of Representatives ( 27 states, including Oklahoma), or the General Assembly (19 states), Legislative Assembly (ND, OR), or General Court (MA, NH). • State legislatures make the laws and spend money for the state • They also have impeachment power • Both houses since a 1964 Supreme Court ruling (over Oklahoma’s state congressional districts) in every state must be “one person, one vote” and therefore be drawn proportional to the population, (like U.S. House districts) • Oklahoma’s House has 101 districts • Oklahoma’s Senate has 48 districts State Courts • State Courts are patterned after the U.S. court system with a state supreme court, a state court of appeals, and lower state district courts Oklahoma Supreme Court in OKC State Courts • State judges may be elected offices, some are appointed by the governor or by the legislature. In Oklahoma, we use the “Missouri Plan” where the governor appoints judges and the people vote to keep them or not, every few years. • States raise money by a wide variety of methods including taxes on energy, income taxes, sales taxes, and a variety of industrial taxes. In addition, states frequently raise money by selling lottery tickets. • States have their own armies called the National Guard, as well as their own state police forces. Local Government • States create counties and allow cities to be incorporated • County government is usually composed of a county board of supervisors or county commissioners (in OK, 3 commissioners per county) who are the executive and legislative branches combined. Law enforcement at the county level is generally by a county sheriff’s department. Local Government • Frequently, there is no actual judicial branch for a county; instead they rely on state and municipal courts to handle cases. • County governments are chiefly funded by property and sales taxes. • In twenty states, chiefly in the northeast, there is a level of local government called a Township, somewhere between city and county gov’t. City Government • Raises money mostly through property taxes, sales taxes, and issuing bonds. • Like county governments, cities have an executive branch and a legislative branch, but they don’t always have a judicial branch. Sometimes these branches are combined, and in very small towns even into a single person. • Cities govern land use through zoning. Common Forms of City Government • Mayor-Council Form • Elected City Council = legislative branch • Elected Mayor = executive branch • Strong-Mayor form is where the Mayor has more power than the city council. • Tulsa has a strong-mayor form. • Weak-Mayor form is where the City Council has more power than the Mayor • Commission Form • Board of Commissioners elected, carry out specific executive and legislative functions, relative to their board’s jurisdiction. Example: The Water Commissioner determines where new water lines will run and is in charge of setting prices of water and sewer service and maintaining and providing water service throughout the city. They have no authority over the streets, as building and maintaining roads are the job of the Street Commissioner. • Tulsa used to have a Mayor-Commission form, where we had elected commissioners plus an elected Mayor. • Council-Manager Form • Elected City Councilors have legislative power, and hire and fire a City Manager to carry out executive decisions that the council makes. • Broken Arrow has a Council-Manager Form (left to right) – Richard Carter, Vice-Mayor Craig Thurmond, Mayor Mike Lester, Jill Norman, Wade McCaleb Tulsa’s government has an elected Mayor and nine city council districts with one elected councilor from each district. The Mayor of Tulsa has very broad, sweeping powers and the authority to create special boards and commissions and appoint people to those jobs. The role of the Tulsa City Council is largely to approve or reject appointments and initiatives proposed by the Mayor, including the city budget. Tulsa Mayor – Dewey Bartlett Tulsa City Council Broken Arrow’s government has four districts with one elected representative each plus one at-large elected representative. This council then chooses for itself which of the five of them will be Mayor and Vice-Mayor. They then hire a City Manager to run various city departments and carry out decisions they have directed. Interim City Manager, Dave Wooden Other types of local government include: • School Districts • Water Districts • Fire Districts • Sewer Districts • These special districts may overlap with city or county districts, or with each other. For example, the City of Broken Arrow is partly in Tulsa County, partly in Wagoner County. Parts of Tulsa include Jenks, Union, Bixby, and Broken Arrow Public School Districts.