published Monday, March 18th, 2013

Smith: Propaganda isn’t just an import

By Robin Smith
  • photo
    Robin Smith, former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and congressional candidate.
    File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

The screen shows an image of a dimly lit hallway with bodies scattered on the floor as violins build drama behind the voice-over on the video: “How Americans Live Today.”

The video continues with more dark images, then a visual of lines of guns with the narrator proclaiming: “This is how Americans live today. Drinking coffee made from snow and living in tents and buying guns to kill each other, especially children.”

The production is attributed to the saber-rattling rogues of North Korea. Its distribution follows weeks of nuclear testing, declaration of war on the United States, and general unrest on the Pacific Rim.

Back to the movie: The translating voice explains that American trees have no birds because “they’ve been eaten by the people living in these tents” panning to a khaki-colored tent straining with the weight of snow. The camera returns to those hazy corridors describing a figure on a bench: “This man awaits heroin.”

A final scene shows the inside of one of those American tents featuring Red Cross supplies of “curtains and wools from material from North Korea.”

It turns out the video is a fake, but pure propaganda, nonetheless.

Meanwhile, American television a few days ago screamed that teachers were going to be fired, immunizations were not going to be available and the White House was to close its public tours as a result of the sequestration totaling $85 billion.

What actually happened? Any cuts to teachers’ jobs were already in proposals from the Department of Education, reductions in immunizations were resulting from the president’s own initiatives and the tours for schoolchildren were cancelled. But, the White House denied it had anything to do with it.

A reduction in the growth of federal spending, not actual cuts in spending, has resulted in an absolute exposure of propaganda. In taking a piece of information that has a kernel of truth, then twisting and turning it, we have a crisis of leadership … again.

The most significant sequester cuts fell on the American military. Without question, defense contracting practices need reform and accountability. However, cuts and furloughs directly to soldiers while entitlements are completely untouched demonstrate the lunacy (and effectiveness) of propaganda.

Washington “leadership” says the solution to saving Medicare and Social Security is to increase taxes on those rascally rich who own businesses that create jobs. Has anyone from the White House addressed the fact that without structural changes, there will no longer be Medicare or Social Security? Honest and accurate accounting records show the spending levels to meet the benefits awarded in these beloved programs will not be sustained.

Instead, what we’ve seen are both versions of the TV advertisement with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, pushing a wheelchair-bound senior off a cliff portraying his reforms to save Medicare and Social Security as murder.

So, while the fake North Korean video that absurdly claims Americans are living in tents, eating birds, killing our children with guns and drinking coffee made of snow gets our laughs, we are accepting as fact the propaganda that continually dribbles out of the political world.

It’s disturbing to see creatures claiming to have a higher level of functioning who become irritated with facts while embracing the farcical.

So, ignore the truth, disregard the facts. The State of The Unicorn world, I mean the State of the Union, calls for unlimited resources, with our priorities placed on looking and feeling good rather than living in reality. Propaganda … it’s what we’re now accepting as truth.

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm.

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nucanuck said...

Yes, propaganda is everywhere, it's even the very business Ms Smith is in.

March 18, 2013 at 1:16 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

And her liberal counterparts, nucanuck? She, you, and I try to persuade others that we're right. Since you're left, you're not right.

March 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
conservative said...

Did Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid write the script for that North Korean propaganda film?

March 18, 2013 at 8:10 a.m.
shen said...

Is North Korea propaganda any different than America propaganda it feeds to its own citizens about other countries they don't like?

March 18, 2013 at 8:56 a.m.
rumrunr said...

andy made a joke. not a good one,mind you, but still a joke.

March 18, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Propaganda? This is being passed around as fact on the internet. I have no problem with criticizing the White House, but when the opposition resorts to propaganda, it means they have nothing else.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/bachmanns-claim-that-barack-obama-has-a-14-billion-a-year-presidency/2013/03/17/bb5f3ea2-8f40-11e2-bdea-e32ad90da239_blog.html?hpid=z5

March 18, 2013 at 10:36 a.m.
MyGen said...

I guess Bob Corker's a propagandist by your progressive standard. http://www.chattanoogan.com/2013/3/17/246821/Corker-Well-Know-Obama-Is-Serious.aspx It seems that Mrs. Smith said exactly the same thing Senator Bob Corker just said. It's funny that the extreme left just wants everyone on a government program not making their own success.

March 18, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
Leaf said...

Robin Smith is calling the kettle black - is what I took away from this rather disjointed article. Does that about sum it up?

March 18, 2013 at 3:55 p.m.
Facts said...

No defense can be offered of socialistic propaganda so attack the messenger, who seems pretty good at writing. That's how the left rolls.

Too bad activism is taught in school rather than writing. Comprehension and critical thinking get lost in the free-condom, legalize-pot, anti-gun world of education.

So here's the nanny-state translation for those who don't think for themselves: Progpaganda's the same whether it's in North Korea or in Washington, DC. For that matter, state-controlled citizens are the same, as well.

March 18, 2013 at 5:09 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Facts,

"No defense can be offered of socialistic propaganda so attack the messenger, who seems pretty good at writing. That's how the left rolls."

You obviously can't read. Refer to any of the posts before yours to observe examples of propaganda from the WingNut faction.

"Too bad activism is taught in school rather than writing. Comprehension and critical thinking get lost in the free-condom, legalize-pot, anti-gun world of education."

You're projecting. You seem to lack the basic reading comprehension you accuse others of having. Activism comes from being able to think for yourself and that thinking tends to be outside the accepted norm. Our Founding Fathers were activists. Also, none of those issues you mentioned are taught in any level of schooling.

"So here's the nanny-state translation for those who don't think for themselves:"

That's the WingNut response, right? Your ilk gets off to that "nanny-state" rhetoric.

"Progpaganda's the same whether it's in North Korea or in Washington, DC. For that matter, state-controlled citizens are the same, as well."

Propaganda is the same in both places. The word has a specific meaning. It doesn't mean something different in North Korea. We are all, in some way, controlled by the state/government, however, we are not all the same. That fact is overtly apparent.

March 18, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.
jjmez said...

MyGen said.. seems that Mrs. Smith said exactly the same thing Senator Bob Corker just said

So, is Robin Smith plagiarizing or regurgitating Corker's words?Or maybe.....just MAYBE, they both have the same Ghostwriter?

March 18, 2013 at 5:24 p.m.
Facts said...

Easy123, As I said, it's impossible to defend socialism that's failed in North Korea and is now failing in America. So, you attack the messenger.

I suppose that's projecting.

March 18, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Facts,

"As I said, it's impossible to defend socialism that's failed in North Korea"

No one is trying to defend the economic choices of North Korea.

"and is now failing in America."

Please elaborate on this new, American socialism that is equivalent to that of North Korea. Don't worry, messenger, I'll wait.

"So, you attack the messenger."

I used your own points against you. Do you believe you were attacking the messenger as well?

"I suppose that's projecting."

Taking into consideration your own lack of reading comprehension and critical thinking (which you fail to acknowledge), you are, in fact, projecting.

March 18, 2013 at 8 p.m.
Facts said...

Socialism's failure in America: Real unemployment in February was 14.3%; the size of America's workforce is about the same as it was as President Clinton was sworn in 20 years ago; food stamp participation reaches 48 million; etc. The redistribution of wealth, or socialism, fails. Period.

March 18, 2013 at 8:41 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Facts,

Your intellectual failure point by point:

"Real unemployment in February was 14.3%"

We went through a large recession and employment has been slowly increasing for a while now. Unemployment has absolutely nothing to do with socialism.

"the size of America's workforce is about the same as it was as President Clinton was sworn in 20 years ago"

We also went through two wars and a large recession since that time. The amount of people in the workforce has nothing to do with socialism.

"food stamp participation reaches 48 million"

More people qualify for it due to the economic recession i.e. the Recession. Again, people being on food stamps isn't socialism either. By the way, food stamps, welfare, etc. aren't new, but, for some reason, those programs only started being a "socialism" when the President wasn't a Caucasian Republican.

"The redistribution of wealth, or socialism, fails."

There is no redistribution of wealth. All of the wealth is staying at the top even more so now than in any other time in American history. That is a fact. PERIOD.

Would you like to try again? I asked you to tell me about this new, American socialism. You have responded with nothing of substance to support your claim. Nothing you have stated points towards socialism in America or even remotely suggests it. I repeat, would you like to try again?

March 18, 2013 at 8:52 p.m.
Facts said...

Your answer: blame Bush.

Thank you. I've been wasting my time.

March 18, 2013 at 8:53 p.m.
acerigger said...

Current unemployment numbers are a result of failed capitalistic policies,not socialist policies. Pay attention.

March 18, 2013 at 8:58 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Facts,

"Your answer: blame Bush."

I haven't blamed anyone. I stated facts. I encourage you to dispute those facts if you find an error in anything I've typed. I'm sure you won't, but the offer is still on the table. Your lack of reading comprehension and critical thinking is obvious now considering I addressed each of your claims point by point and never mentioned Bush once. Thus, your interpretation of my extensive rebuttal/ "answer" is inane and completely inaccurate.

"Thank you. I've been wasting my time."

You're a WingNut coward that runs away when presented with facts. You cannot support your own claims with facts and, when confronted, you toss out your strawman and run.

March 18, 2013 at 8:59 p.m.
timbo said...

Sounds like an Obama campaign commercial. Lie, lie, lie...

March 19, 2013 at 5:21 p.m.
timbo said...

slEasy321...Let's see.. who is the wingnut here? We believe in spending within our means, the constitution, private property, self-reliance, being able to defend oneself, principles and freedom.

You liberals believe in huge deficits, spending like crazy, a nanny government, controlling personal behavior, increasing welfare, believing in global warming fantasies, gun control, etc. etc. etc.

The only crazy, immature idiots here are liberals. You guys are bizarre.

March 19, 2013 at 5:29 p.m.
Easy123 said...

timbo,

"We believe in spending within our means, the constitution, private property, self-reliance, being able to defend oneself, principles and freedom."

No, you don't. Spending within your means is simply something Republicans say. They never put it into action. You don't believe in the Constitution. You only use the Constitution and the "support" of it in an attempt to further your agenda. Republicans have a hard time with the First Amendment, the 15th Amendment and many more in between.

Who doesn't support private property, self-reliance, being able to defend oneself, principles and freedom? Show me one Democrat that doesn't advocate all of those things.

"You liberals believe in huge deficits, spending like crazy, a nanny government, controlling personal behavior, increasing welfare, believing in global warming fantasies, gun control, etc. etc. etc."

False. Deficits are inevitable and necessary sometimes. Spending is as well. Nanny government is a myth. Republicans want to control personal behavior, not Democrats. Democrats do not want to increase welfare. Global warming is real, verifiable, and fact. Gun control is necessary and highly sensical. Would you like to try again?

"The only crazy, immature idiots here are liberals. You guys are bizarre."

I take that as a compliment coming from a proven idiot.

March 19, 2013 at 5:46 p.m.
timbo said...

slEasy321.. you are so delusional you think this drivel that you post is THE LAW. It is just the ravings of a lunatic. The saddest thing of all is that you just don't think what you write is "spin," you actually believe your fantasy is true.

March 19, 2013 at 6:04 p.m.
timbo said...

By the way, defending North Korea or justifying this lunacy by comparing it with the US is pretty crazy. That is why liberals are such a threat. These mentally ill people get to vote.

March 19, 2013 at 6:05 p.m.
Easy123 said...

timboner,

"you are so delusional you think this drivel that you post is THE LAW."

No, they are simple facts. Anyone, even a fool like yourself, can look them up. Go ahead, Google it. Oh wait, you seem to have a problem with the truth.

"It is just the ravings of a lunatic."

That is a very accurate portrayal of nearly every one of your posts.

"The saddest thing of all is that you just don't think what you write is "spin," you actually believe your fantasy is true."

It isn't "spin". My statements are accurate. Sorry to burst your deluded, WingNut bubble, but you're the one spinning and believing the fantasy.

"By the way, defending North Korea or justifying this lunacy by comparing it with the US is pretty crazy. That is why liberals are such a threat. These mentally ill people get to vote."

No one defended or justified anything North Korea has done.

Yes, mentally compromised people like yourself still get to vote, but you aren't a threat anymore. Your ilk has sealed its fate.

March 19, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.
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