|1965 GOP billboard|
However, media--TV, internet etc.--make it possible to brainwash some from a distance. That's how we get a few Islamofascist terrorists becoming radicalized primarily through jihadi website that feed them a powerful diet of propaganda videos showing how evil we are to the viewer's religion & community (as he sees it), and seals the deal by tying his masculinity to his faith--a Real Man's gonna go blow himself up and kill as many pregnant women & little children as possible.
Al Qaeda's normal M.O. with suicide bombers is to isolate them while they're preparing the person for the mission and have them online via cellphone right up to the moment of explosion if possible.
In every case the idea is to convince someone that (1) something awful and scary is going on; (2) you can't trust what the mainstream says; (3) here's an emotionally cogent narrative that's better than reality; (4) and here's constant reinforcement of the cult's message, 24x7, on the Internet, on TV, on radio.
Nobody does this better than the oligarchs who own the Republican Party. The Democrats try, but they're like cats in a sack. Whereas Republican rank and file, being monarchists rooting for King George in their heart of hearts, are easier to get to fall in line.
If you watch Fox for a day, what you'll see is all the major news of the day presented and instantly spun by mouths-for-hire into the Fear Them Trust Us narrative. So a news show does two crime reports. One is the murder of a white woman by a black physician, to give a recent example. The second is the killing of a black youth in a gunfight with the cops (another example). They never identify the race of those involved, of course. They don't need to. The pictures say it all.
The metamessage is that blacks are dangerous and the Democrats are on their side. Fox is the white man's hope. For plausible deniability, half of the 100 black conservatives in America are Fox employees who can be seen through the day repeating the party line.
The rest of the news falls under the heading of Bad Obama and Bad Democrats. The reportage has the appearance of news programs--including the ones that aren't pundit shows like O'Reilly and Hannity. Only they aren't, because they repeat proven lies constantly, as shown by the fact checking sites. In this sense they are to news programs exactly what late night infomercials are to late night talk shows--you know, the ones with the smooth pitch man and his zany sidekick in front of the Stepford Audience, talking about buying gold or some miracle wax or timeshare condos or or or...
They're cult programming shows instead of news shows not because they represent a conservative viewpoint, but because they say things that are factually incorrect or unproven as fact, and all in the service of a carefully shaped propaganda narrative designed to divorce the viewer from having any trust in any but Party Approved Media Sources, and to propel the viewer in one direction only--right now to vote for any Republican against any Democrat and to view the President of the United States as someone who if not replaced with Any Republican (that would Mitt Romney, since he has no actual political identity), America will erupt in flames and sink beneath the waves.
This is not accomplished by saying so in so many words. Rather it's done by herding--the way a sharp sheepdog gets a passel of sheep to go where the sheepdog wants them to go, running around them, nipping at their heels if they stray from the path, but all so smoothly that the sheep can almost thing they're going where they want to go.
And all the time flattering the sheep into thinking anyone who isn't a sheep is a sheep; anyone who disputes anything Fox says is spouting propaganda and must himself be brainwashed; just as anyone who complains about the fact that wealth is now concentrated in America the same as in Russia and Mexico is waging class war...that is, every single propagandistic trick they're using they accuse their opposition of using, so loudly and so frequently it puts the liberals on their back foot, trying to deny that they're waging class war instead of accusing the oligarchs of waging class war, as is actually the case.
Lastly, propaganda isn't really about ideas. It's about creating fear and personifying it. If President Obama walked down the street towards you you'd instantly recognize him. If the CEO of Exxon did you wouldn't. Nor the owners of Walmart, nor the Koch brothers, nor any of the nameless faceless oligarchs who are pulling the strings.
So they're focusing their victims' fear and anger on people. On an endlessly repeated mantra of people and their faces--Obama/Pelosi/Holder/Frank/Soros and a few more--while our counter is vague abstractions because the oligarchs really, really don't want you to know anything about them. Just as their "ideas" are bumper sticker slogans, while the counter is professorial lectures about the credit default swap chicanery etc.
Watch Fox for an hour and you'll see everything I've described here, hard at work. Watch it for a day and you'll see how everything is carefully coordinated from on top--and if you listen to the innumerable right wing talk shows provided by the handful of media companies that now own most of the airwaves, thanks to the privatization of them under President Reagan.
Yes, MSNBC tries, but it isn't backed by the bulk of the oligarchs, and while it does dip into propaganda--especially where illegal immigration is concerned--it just isn't the precisely honed and hurled spear that Fox is.
Just remember, Fox isn't the one pulling the strings. It's the sock puppet. You'll never see the ones actually holding the strings.