Blog Archives

Front page Times article on Wal-Mart exemplifies major propaganda technique: selection of facts to distort reality

The front page of Saturday’s New York Times displayed an egregious example of perhaps the most utilized propaganda technique other than the big lie: selection of details, facts or experts to distort reality.  It works best, as in the Times

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Social & Political Issues

Mass media barrages young people with messages that even if school is good, learning is not.

I like to collect examples of the ideological subtext hidden in mass media documents such as TV shows, advertisements, movies, cartoons and news stories.  Today I would like to share some recent examples of one ideological message embedded in the

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Social & Political Issues

Pundits use extreme and extremely unrealistic Tiger Mom as a straw man to support American anti-intellectualism.

My initial reaction to the Tiger Mom concept of parenting that Amy Chua presented in early January in her Wall Street Journal article titled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” was to dismiss it as the ranting of a neurotic mother

Posted in Ideological Subtext

Leftovers from the New Year’s weekend: slipping in the propaganda and guess who turns to pay-for-play?

The New York Times rang in the New Year by trying to connect a few statements in a paragraph and create a greater meaning that runs counter to reality.  It was buried on the page A3 continuation of the first

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Media & Marketing Matters

A.P. headline writer decides to take an unfair pot shot at President Obama for his so-called “entourage.”

The Associated Press, which supplies virtually all of the national and international news to thousands of newspapers across the country, published an article early this morning about the upcoming winter vacation to Hawaii that President Obama and his family have

Posted in Ideological Subtext

Chip may be a little slow on social trends but he certainly gets the ideology.

“The Born Loser” comic strip is Chip Sansom’s often funny take on living in a Rodney Dangerfield world in which the main character never gets any respect. Yesterday’s strip, carried in hundreds if not thousands of newspapers, is a sweetly

Posted in Ideological Subtext

They say the devil is in the details, and all too often, so is the propaganda.

The old expression, “the devil is in the details,” certainly applies to propaganda.  Writers, editors, publishers, photographers, filmmakers and illustrators often will pretend to be objective in their communication while loading up the details with images, statements and facts that

Posted in Ideological Subtext

Some examples of how to control the outcome by controlling the selection of the facts or options.

This weekend brought two classic examples of controlling the outcome by controlling what facts are selected for consideration or what options are available for action. The first example began a week ago, when The New York Times presented readers with

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Social & Political Issues

Parade Magazine asks 3 celebrity chefs to plan a Sunday dinner that raises cholesterol and pads tummies.

In its latest issue, Parade Magazine features an interview of three female celebrity chefs, Daisy Martinez, Lidia Bastianich and Paula Deen, on how to make Sunday dinner more meaningful for the family.  Just in case we didn’t notice, the article

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Social & Political Issues

Advertisements try to sell values that enhance products, but do they reflect the market’s values or shape them?

Most advertising, no matter what the medium, tries to attach a value beyond the inherent value of the product or service being shilled.  According to standard ad theory, you do research to find out what values are of importance to

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Media & Marketing Matters