Friday, November 18, 2016

Some Propagandists Are More Equal Than Others

President Obama momentarily forgot his conciliatory overtures to President-elect Trump the other day as he grasped at yet another straw man to blame for the ignominious defeat of Hillary Clinton.

Not only did the Real Media fall down on their assigned job of propagandizing Hillary or Bust, complained Obama, but something called "Fake News" has arisen from the Internet swamp and gobbled up all our brains. This sad state of affairs has even taken the self-burnished luster right off his own final propaganda tour of the globe.

As a stalwart example of Real Media in the service of the powerful, the New York Times was its usual commiserating self as it reported on Obama's joint press conference Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel:
But instead of basking in the glow of his valedictory tour of Europe, Mr. Obama used the moment to make a passionate and pointed attack on bogus news stories disseminated on Facebook and other social media platforms, twice calling such false reports a threat to democracy in his hourlong news conference.
 “Because in an age where there’s so much active misinformation and its packaged very well and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television,” Mr. Obama said. “If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect.”
Thank goodness that Obama's own packaged reporting on the Athens leg of his grandiose tour was so outstanding. His press office sent out the equivalent of millions of pretty "wish you were here" postcards of him touring Greek ruins and antiquities. Recipients of his travel diary were gratifyingly shielded from unpleasant scenes of 7,000 desperate and angry Greek citizens being tear-gassed and beaten in the streets mere blocks from his heavily fortified seaside hotel. The people were democratically protesting both American militarism and the austerity measures inflicted upon them by the global banking elite, which Obama has so ably represented and protected during his eight years in office.

Obama knows very well what, and whom, to protect.

So here's what he wants you to watch on TV and read about on the Internet:

The Well-Packaged President
 “And so when you visit a site like this not only are you getting a better understanding of Greece and Western culture but you’re also sending a signal of the continuity that exists between what happened here, the speeches of Pericles, and what happened with our Founding Fathers.
“And it’s a very important role for the President of the United States to send a signal to the world that their culture, their traditions, their heritage, their monuments, are something of value, and are precious, and that we have learned from them." 
 Despite all the noise from the Real Media, its Nate Silver-ized signalling of probabilities and statistics failed abysmally during the recent election. But never mind all that. Obama will keep sending out his own magical signals in hopes of beating alt-Fake News in the brain-gobbling sweepstakes.

And here's the part of the presidential visit that your virtue-signalling Tour Guide to Democracy studiously ignored, and what he'd prefer you to miss as well. Monuments and statues and ancient literature co-opted in the service of self-serving American propaganda are apparently more valuable and precious to Obama than hungry and desperate modern-day human bodies:

From Reuters:
President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece on Tuesday was met by angry protesters held back by riot police firing tear gas. About 7,000 people marched through central Athens while Obama attended a banquet at the presidential mansion just a few miles away. Hooded protesters and members of the Communist Party held up signs reading “We don’t need protectors,” “Yankees go home” and “Unwanted,” while some demonstrators tried to break through police cordons to get to the U.S. embassy. The protest saw violent clashes, with some demonstrators throwing petrol bombs at police. While Obama met with Greek leaders to express support for the debt-stricken country, the protesters appeared to be angry about the timing of the visit. Obama, the first U.S. president to visit Athens since Bill Clinton in 1999, was in town just two days before the anniversary of a 1973 revolt that helped oust a military junta backed by the U.S.
And from Obama's rarified alternate universe of approved bogus news:

 Above, Beyond, and Away From It Alla

 "Because what that does then is send a strong signal around the world that we view ourselves as part of a broader humanity and a community of nations that can work together to solve problems and lift up what’s best in humanity.”
 And the last signalling word from the Real World:

1 comment:

Ste-vo said...

I shared via FB, the article concerning the protests surrounding Mr. President's Peace Prize's European Victory Lap in Greece, with a comment something like this: "I do think these people have a legitimate gripe." A friend, and I use that term lightly, from high school days, who requested my friendship and I agreed replied, something like this. "How awful. Americans should stop visiting and supporting them."