War Made easy response

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The documentary "War Made Easy" is full of examples on "The Propaganda Model" by Edward Herman and Noah Chomsky. War Made Easy is about how the media tried to manipulate the public's opinion on the war in Iraq to that of the government. "A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices." Therefore, the documentary was showing how televised news is government propaganda.
The documentary showed that all the main news stations appeared to be pro-war. Networks' segments that covered the war had titles like "Target: Iraq," "The War on Terror" or "Operation: Iraqi Freedom." Titles like these made the war seem justified and good. News stations announced how many American soldiers were killed by Iraqis, and the damage Iraqi terrorists had done. Experts who made appearances on news programs talked about how crazy Muslim extremists were, and other reasons why the war was necessary. They praised George Bush and Colin Powell on their reasoning behind the fighting, even though foreign presses disagreed. This one-sided coverage demonstrates one news filter, "the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and 'experts' funded and approved by these...agents of power."
Another news filter is "the size, concentration ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms." This is demonstrated in the documentary by how the opinion of the news programs differed from public opinion. While reporters preached how good the war was, polls showed that the majority of Americans were against the war and wanted troops pulled out of Iraq. The government, or "concentration ownership," wanted Americans to support the war, so the news programs made it look like the war was being supported even though it wasn't. For example, when TV personality Donahue talked about how bad the war was, his show was canceled shortly thereafter. When a congressperson spoke up about being against the war, news "experts" denounced his statement and said he was "hardly taken seriously." The government, or "concentration ownership," only wanted war supporters praised, thus warping the reality of public opinion. These are also examples of "'anticommunism' as a national religion and control mechanism." Although news programs didn't call war protestors communist, they did portray them as being anti-patriotic. This was definitely used as a control mechanism which made people afraid to speak out against the war by threatening them with being called anti-patriotic.

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I agree with you that the documentary showcases the use of american television as a means of distributing propaganda for the government. I think it is important to note that not only did news networks portray the coverage of the war with a pro government lens they also received the information for their broadcasts from the government.I also agree that the mass media has been used as a control mechanism to control dissent through a rhetoric of anti communism. I think we can also see this example today with the 99% protesters and the way the news covers them. I really agree with all your points here and i think i saw the propaganda model playing out in the same ways you did in this documentary .

I agree with both of you. I think the way the government used the media to make us think this was good idea is sickening. I also think it is a joke that reporters who tried to see both sides got fired. It just makes me wonder how many lies we are exposed too everyday.

I agree with all three of you actually, to the T. I have always been extremely skeptical about news coverage with government issues, especially war. The documentary we watched in class completely confirmed my preconceived notions about what I view on the news. It's hard to follow the 99% protestors too because I have a hard time believing what I am being exposed to. I wonder if the biased notions will ever stop?

After 9/11 happened, I think it was easier than ever for the government to play on people's emotions. Since it was such an emotional time for the whole nation, it must have been really hard for people to take an oppositional stance against the war and false reporting.

I agree with your statement. I think it's horrible that our government is giving us such a skewed representation of the wars and disasters going on around the world. I'm on the same page as Michelle; I wonder how much of what we hear on the news is actual truth or just something to cover up the actualities of what is really going on.

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This page contains a single entry by Ellie published on November 19, 2011 1:37 PM.

War Made Easy and the Propaganda Model was the previous entry in this blog.

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