Sharyl Attkisson, writing for The Daily Signal, exposed something the FBI and other government agencies are doing and apparently have done for decades, that is, they are spreading self-promoting propaganda disguised as a public service announcement. They are not the only agency doing it.
As good an investigative reporter as Ms. Attkisson is, she couldn’t, however, find out exactly how much of the taxpayer dollars are used for Big Government self-aggrandizement. THAT, they won’t tell the public easily.
Ms. Attkisson’s report leaves the question open as to whether or not it is propaganda, but that’s because she is a journalist trying to be unbiased. It’s what makes her great at her job.
The commercial she cites as an example starts with: “In a move demonstrating the FBI’s valuable role of protecting national security, Director James Comey creates a separate Intelligence Branch…”
It turns out this isn’t a news report at all. And the “news anchor” is actually a public affairs specialist.
It promotes FBI Director James Comey’s creation of “a separate Intelligence Branch.” Again, mimicking a news story format, it includes “interview” excerpts with the executive assistant director of the new branch, Eric Velez-Villar, Attkisson writes. She continues, ehtells listeners in a comment pre-approved by the FBI for air: “As the director says, we are a national security law enforcement organization that uses, collects, and shares intelligence in everything we do.”
It’s a great tool to make the public think they must love Big Government because they can’t do without it.
Do we really need a taxpayer-funded propaganda machine that can disseminate government-sponsored disinformation here and abroad in real time?
We didn’t have one of those until recently because of a 1948 law that our Congress basically watered down.
The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 authorized the U.S. government to generate and disseminate programming in foreign nations to combat widespread misinformation about U.S. policies, but it specifically forbade creation of programming for U.S. audiences. Furthermore, it directed the U.S. government to “reduce” its “information activities” where there was adequate dissemination by non-governmental means, such as an independent news media.
HR5736 which updated Smith-Mundt through the NDAA of 2013 established our little Ministry of Truth and greatly weakened the law. Government propaganda in the U.S. is legal.
Last year, Buzzfeed quoted one Capitol Hill source as saying that HR5736 would allow “U.S. propaganda intended to influence foreign audiences to be used on the domestic population.”
The new law has given sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. “It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”
The law was updated and for the first time since 1948. It allows propaganda meant for foreign audiences to be disseminated in the United States as long as one non-citizen will receive the information.
A very silly qualifier in our melting pot country.
This bill appears to not only open the door to legalization of the dissemination of propaganda in America, but would also legalize covert infiltration of media organizations by government agents and even the creation of media outlets that legally operate entirely as government fronts.
They will be able to “nudge” us into complete and total ignorance.
This isn’t the first government commercial I’ve heard that is nothing more than propaganda. There are constant radio ads in New York spelling out the evils of fossil fuels and the dire condition of the planet thanks to climate chaos or whatever they are calling it these days. HHS has been furiously airing misleading propaganda ads.
The government hopes to replace the news media or perhaps control the message more than the media.
Reporters frequently sound the alarm about the White House’s steely imprint on every news report they don’t like.
Our government has been attempting to control news rooms. The government recently attempted a “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs” or CIN but the bad press forced them to fall back temporarily.
The CIN would give them power to intimidate reporters, editors, station owners et al and insinuate themselves into how they decide which stories to run.
The Federal Trade Commission requires commercials that mimic news releases to carry conspicuous disclosure notices. Why isn’t the government under these restrictions when they need it the most?
The commercial that the FBI says is only promoting public awareness can be heard here: FBI INFOMERCIAL FOR FBI THIS WEEK
You tell me!
DAILY SIGNAL for more of Sharyl Attkisson’s investigative report.