Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nova ScienceNow provides a textbook example of propaganda

Nova ScienceNow is the video magazine spinoff of Nova, the eminent public television science series. Nova ScienceNow recently re-aired a segment on Dr. QuiƱones, a brain surgeon who had emigrated to America illegally. The segment played up his contributions, his "American dream," the poverty of his childhood in Mexicali--and of course his illegalness.

As is true of most such anecdotal propaganda, it was left to the viewer to draw the intended conclusions, to wit:

1. One (1) of the millions upon millions of illegal immigrants became a brain surgeon. Therefore all the illegal immigrants who become strawberry pickers or hotel maids or ruthless gangbangers must be given citizenship.

2. One (1) person's heartrending/heartwarming story is more important than all those dry statistics about how immigrants depress working class Americans' wages below the poverty level, the numbers of illegals in state and federal prisons for horrible crimes, the havoc wreaked by endemic identity theft. the contribution to rich peoples' profits while the immense social costs are outsourced to ordinary taxpayer--none of that matters if this one person is a nice guy who's an asset to our country.

Right wing propaganda usually takes the form of inciting fear and anger. Left wing propaganda works more on middle class guilt, sob stories, special pleading. The biggest victims of right wing propaganda are working class folk who support right wing politicians. The biggest victims of left wing propaganda are the same. The middle class Democrats who support illegal immigration are rarely victimized by their support--since the main victims are working class folk, whether right or left wing. So for affluent lefties it's a freebie, with the social cost outsources to someone else. Guilt was never so free.

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