When I did my satire post of propornot, part of me couldn’t believe they were real. Their site itself is so transparently, so blatantly U.S. imperial propaganda that it seemed impossible that anyone could read it and see it as legit.
Well either they’re doubling down on the satire to continue to make me look like an idiot, or they figure that their average reader is already cradling their copy of Red Dawn and bemoaning the good ole days when men were men, women were women, and Russians were coldly psychotic commie savages. NoSoyYo in the comments over at Tarzie’s blog mentioned the YYY Campaign, which I hadn’t looked into until today, and it’s pretty unbelievable.
As in my first post, every single thing they point out as a ‘tell’ on Russian propaganda applies equally to their own stuff, and any number of the news outlets they recommend. As an example:
“Check to see whether the social-media account/commenter/outlet has a history of generally echoing the Russian propaganda line by using themes, arguments, talking points, images, and other content similar to those used by obvious Russian propaganda outlets.”
Ok, so let’s apply that to some U.S. news and see what happens. From the headlines this morning: “Cubans line up to bid farewell to Fidel Castro“.
Here we have the WaPo (who propornot recommend as a proper source of journalism) doing some seriously good propaganda in the very vein that propornot is calling out. Some quotes from the story:
“If Cubans’ true feelings and emotions about the man who ruled this country for 49 years are complex and conflicted, this was not the place to express them. Just as Castro’s one-party socialist state imposed ideological and political conformity on the country, the public response to his death on Friday night at age 90 has been one of emotional uniformity, at least at the surface.”
Because, you know, they couldn’t POSSIBLY actually miss Fidel, it’s clearly staged. Or course, there’s no actual evidence given that it’s staged. But wait, they interviewed some Cubans, so maybe that will help us understand how this is staged grief:
““He’s our commander, and I wanted to say goodbye,” Sofia Morales said, with little apparent conviction.”
I’m glad that our intrepid WaPo reporter was able to discern the inner mind of someone who says they are grieving to tell us the truth that they were just lying about their grief.
“Others in the crowd exhibited evidently genuine feelings of sorrow. Castro had an intimate psychological relationship, for better or worse, with three generations of Cubans, having reshaped the entire country in the name of the socialist-nationalist system known simply as “the Revolution.””
Look at the language here. From the “evidently genuine” (all bemused, the WaPo can’t understand people actually grieving for Castro), to the “had an intimate psychological relationship” (clearly, the WaPo implies with a raised eyebrow, they’re suffering from some sort of Stockholm Syndrome). The language of the entire piece is either of contempt/bewilderment for any actual grief, or suggestion that everything is staged.
“The government has ordered nine days of mourning that will end Sunday”
Because no one would grieve for this monster unless they were ordered to!
Go through all of their YYY points for yourself and you can see this pattern repeated over and over with the very outlets they are suggesting. They did get one thing right though:
“Given all of that, check to see whether the social-media account/commenter/outlet qualifies under our definition of propaganda:
A systematic form of persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specific target audiences for political, ideological, and religious purposes, through the controlled transmission of deceptive, selectively-omitting, and one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels.”
I’d say that they themselves very much fit that: instead of taking on cataloging propaganda in general, they start from the implied assumption that U.S. news outlets are paragons of journalist integrity, while those dirty Russians are out to get our Lucky Charms.
I leave you with this screen-cap from the first link I happened to click when I saw that Castro had died. But I’m sure that USA Today isn’t propaganda, no sir.