comments_image Comments

Goebbels is Smiling: The Greatest Generation Could Defeat the Nazis, But Somehow They Have Been Conquered by the Right-Wing Media

The Right-wing media machine cannot resist an opportunity to connect the 70th anniversary of D-Day with the faux Bergdahl “scandal”.

The Right-wing media is comprised of various elements such as think tanks, websites, social media, talk radio, and of course, Fox News.

Their collective goal is to disorient the American people by creating an alternate reality for conservatives—one that exists separate and apart from empirical reality--while advancing their political agenda.

My claim is not conjecture: research has shown that watching Fox News actually leads its viewers to be less informed about current events, as well as less knowledgeable across a range of other issues.

As such, the Right-wing media’s desperate efforts to smear Barack Obama are obvious and lazy.

For example, on Friday the Drudge Report and the Right-wing "news" site Weasel Zippers featured a story about how Barack Obama was shown—oh the horror!—apparently chewing bubble gum at some point during the D-Day ceremonies in France.

For the White Right, Barack Obama is an illegitimate black usurper who stole “their” White House. Thus, all of his actions stink of “incompetence” and “disloyalty” towards the United States of America.

No effort is too great for the White Right in its "struggle" to "take their country back".

In the post civil rights era, the Republican Party is sick with white racism; movement conservatism is intoxicated by white supremacy. For that political imagination, the gum chewing black president is “disrespectful”, “arrogant”, “low class”, and “uppity”.

The “black dandy” man child cannot, by definition, be President of the United States of America.

Historically, “their” country was white by law. Slavery and white supremacy were birth defects of the Constitution and Founding. Jim and Jane Crow remained the rule of the law until they were torn down by the Black Freedom Struggle.

As made clear by both their rhetoric and behavior since the election of Barack Obama, the White Right is desperate for a return to that world of white lies, white dreaming, white violence, patriarchy, female subordination, and white domination over people of color.

The National Review participated in the Right-wing media's "smear Barack Obama on D-Day" campaign as well.

They managed to find a disgruntled D-Day veteran at the anniversary celebrations in France.

Mr. George Ciampi declined the White House’s invitation to attend a private meeting with President Obama honoring America’s D-Day warriors. When queried by the National Review about his non-attendance at the event, Mr. Ciampi responded in the following way:

George thought about it for awhile and concluded he just couldn’t. “I have so many issues with the president’s policies, including the most recent ones,” he told me ruefully. “I just couldn’t convince myself to do it.”

He is not alone. The recent Bergdahl prisoner swap in which five hardened Taliban terrorists were released from prison is rubbing a lot of the military veterans attending D-Day events the wrong way. “It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief,” one told me sadly. “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”

The members of the “Greatest Generation” are the most loyal consumers of Fox News and the Right-wing media.

Its fictions of Birtherism, “Benghazi”, the Tea Party political Right-wing paraphilia, clamors for impeaching Obama, histrionics about “Obamacare” and “death panels”, and now the “Bergdahl scandal” have sucked them into a dreamworld.

Sadly, too many members of the Greatest Generation are victims of a disinformation campaign that would have made Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister for the Nazi Party, proud, validating his dictate that:

“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”

Goebbels’ rules for propaganda are the foundational principles and reason d’etre driving the Fox News Right-wing media.

Furthermore, Goebbels suggested the following rules for manipulating the public:

Black rather than white propaganda must be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.

Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.

Propaganda must be carefully timed.

The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.

A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment.

A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness.

Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.

They must evoke responses which the audience previously possesses.

They must be capable of being easily learned.

Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

Inevitably, some readers will retreat to "Godwin's Law", crying foul, that a reference to the Nazis was evoked in a discussion of the Right-wing media machine.

Protests and complaints do not by themselves invalidate a claim.

Fox News's slogan is "fair and balanced". In reality, their coverage of the news is neither fair nor balanced. More broadly, the Right-media tells its devotees that they are offering the "truth", acting as an “antidote” to the liberal media. But, there is no liberal media, only a corporate mainstream media.

The Right-wing media presents itself as an antidote against “liberal bias”. In reality, the Right-wing media is a toxin to American civil society and the public sphere, poisoning them through extreme political polarization and disinformation which is designed to generate rage and alienation among voters.

The rage which is created by the Right-wing media machine is not unfocused: it is directed at some type of Other such as people of color, the poor, working classes, immigrants, women, gays and lesbians, Muslims, etc. who are depicted as enemies of "real (white) Americans".

It is unfortunate that the Greatest Generation were able to beat the Nazis and their allies during World War 2, but in so many ways their clear thinking and common sense have been defeated and broken by Fox News and the Right-wing media machine.

Goebbels must be smiling.