+ What is Propaganda? The manipulation of public opinion. An attempt to change opinions by persuasively presenting new ones. Can range from Public Service Announcements to Political Campaign Ads.
+ Common Propaganda Techniques Word games Name-calling Glittering generalities Euphemisms False connections Transfer Testimonial Special Appeals Plain Folks Bandwagon Fear Logical Fallacies Bad Logic Unwarranted extrapolation
+ Word Games: Name Calling Words that link a person, or idea, to a negative symbol. Examples include: Commie Fascist Pig Yuppie Bum Queer Terrorist Traitor
+ Word Games: Glittering Generalities Words used to make us approve and accept without examining the evidence. Examples include: Civilization Christianity Proper Democracy Patriotism Motherhood Fatherhood
+ Word Games: Euphemisms Words used to pacify the audience in order to make an unpleasant reality more palatable. Examples include: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Collateral Damage Certified Pre-Owned
+ False Connections: Transfer Use the respect we hold for one authority to sell an idea or cause. This type of propaganda often uses symbols. For example: Nazi propaganda used science and religion to justify anti-Semitism.
+ False Connections: Testimonial Using the words of a celebrity of political figure to sell an idea or product. This technique can be used to create a well-balanced argument if the source is qualified to make judgments about a particular topic. If the source IS NOT qualified to offer an opinion, the testimonial becomes propaganda.
+ Special Appeals: Plain Folks Used to convince the general audience the speaker is “one of them.” Examples include: Bill Clinton ate at McDonalds and confessed a fondness for trashy spy novels. George Bush Sr. hated broccoli, and loved to fish. Ronald Reagan was often photographed chopping wood. Jimmy Carter presented himself as a humble peanut farmer from Georgia.
+ Special Appeals: Bandwagon “Everyone else is doing it, and so should you.” Appeals to people as a group, for example: Catholics Jews Housewives Farmers
+ Special Appeals: Fear A technique used to convince the audience something bad will happen if they do not follow a particular course of action. Four elements of a fear appeal: a threat a specific recommendation about how the audience should behave audience perception that the recommendation will be effective in addressing the threat audience perception that they are capable of performing the recommended behavior
+ Logical Fallacies: Bad Logic Using an argument that makes huge predictions about the future on the basis of a few small facts. Examples include: If the United States approves NAFTA, the giant sucking sound that we hear will be the sound of thousands of jobs and factories disappearing to Mexico. The introduction of communication tools such as the Internet will lead to a radical decentralization of government, greater political participation, and a rebirth of community.
+ Logical Fallacies: Unwarranted Extrapolation Logic is the process of drawing a conclusion from one or more premises. Propagandists deliberately manipulate logic in order to promote their cause. Example: Premise 1: Hillary Clinton supports gun-control legislation. Premise 2: All fascist regimes of the twentieth century have passed gun-control legislation. Conclusion: Hillary Clinton is a fascist.
+ 10 Commandments of Propaganda (1937 - Institute for Propaganda Analysis) Divide and conquer Use "expert" testimonial. Tell the people what they want. Always refer to the "authority" of your sources. The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. Stack the cards with "information." Always appeal to the lowest common denominator. A confused people are easily led. Generalize as much as possible. Get the "plain folks" onto the "bandwagon."