Montana Politics

Romney Campaign on Propaganda

Shares

Hey, everyone’s doing it:

Struggling to justify a recent television spot that reached new heights of deception, a top operative in Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign put it plainly, while insisting on anonymity:

“First of all, ads are propaganda by definition. We are in the persuasion business, the propaganda business…. Ads are agitprop…. Ads are about hyperbole, they are about editing. It’s ludicrous for them to say that an ad is taking something out of context…. All ads do that. They are manipulative pieces of persuasive art.”

I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about. He’ll oppose it by next week.

Advertisements

Subscribe to our posts

Join a discussion of this (and all of our post) at our Facebook community page.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

27 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • He’s merely being honest. What he said is accurate. It’s true of ads that use truth, and of those that lie. They are agitprop.

    The very idea that we use professional advertising to make voting decisions ought to be upsetting. Why isn’t it?

      • You do not see it. I’ve never read a comment from you objecting to the propagandisitic nature of campaigns. You’re just doing what you always do, pretending you already knew things you just discovered. Your question is insulting. We all know what to do about it, but it cannot be done through your parties.

        • Mark, you are very hasty to tell others what they know and don’t know, yet have the audacity to claim that “We all know what to do about it”.

          If you’ve never read a comment of mine favoring public financing of political campaigns, and/or the repeal of ‘Citizen’s United’ personhood rights, then you are either blind, illiterate or delusional. You know which option I find obvious. At the core of your delusion is the idea that anyone who challenges *you* must think that party can solve the problem. I’ve written many times that no elected officials will favor cutting an easy source of campaign finance; and at no time have I claimed that a particular party would be better at that effort than another (save the Greens who are inveterate liars and hypocrites about the situation we face as regards their own corruptibility. Didn’t your beloved Nader take money from Republicants fueled by PAC dollars to attack Democrats? Why yes, yes he did.) The only time I’ve brought “party” into the equation is that there is a better chance of denying corporate personhood with a left leaning SCOTUS, and we will only get that with Democratic Presidents and a Democratic Senate. Not that you would notice, of course, because you haven’t a clue where I’m coming from. You’ve written so yourself.

          My question was not insulting. It was very direct and you are waffling again. You continue to avoid answering it like it is the plague. Just, for once, pull your head out and answer a question: what is your proposal to change the situation?

          • Tedious. Per usual. You are deep into the interwoven thought processes that produce you as you imagine yourself.

            If you’re saying I don’t read your stuff, well, damn, ya got me. If it is more than a short paragraph or two, you lose me. For one, you’re not a very good writer. For another, you tend to spiral inward, explaining and justifying your own grand existence rather than just saying things.

            This idea that I must produce a solution to an obvious problem with an obvious solution is part of your grandiosity as you project it on me. I can’t do anything. I can only observe, and what I see happening is very good, with OWS for the time being eschewing the Democrats. Whatever is to be done will come from such movements.

            You pejoratives about Nader are so lame. What did he do? For one, he supposedly stopped the great Gore, an unknown quantity; and for two, he didn’t even do that. Gore did that by campaigning as a light Republican, by being Gore. Why is Nader so hated? becakuse the jreal mission of Democrats is to precent the rise of a second party. They are sending a message – don’t f*** with us.

            Anyway, you read this far because I can engage via written word while you cannot. Now go play with your friend. If you have one. Otherwise, Kenny.

            • Mark T: “You pejoratives about Nader are so lame. What did he do? For one, he supposedly stopped the great Gore, an unknown quantity; and for two, he didn’t even do that. Gore did that by campaigning as a light Republican, by being Gore. Why is Nader so hated? becakuse the jreal mission of Democrats is to precent the rise of a second party.”

              Quoting a movie: English, ************! Do you speak it?

              I love Pulp Fiction as much as the next guy, but I felt like I had to edit this because I edited Mark’s comment.
              ~The Polish Wolf

              • Again, typing on an iPad, you’ll never have that experience. Not on your salary. Two factors: one, it sits in my lap as I relax here, and I often hit an ‘n’ or ‘m’ instead of space bar, as it is at an odd angle; two, Jobisms, where the spelling program interferes and injects words, making the writer override the iPad, which most of us don’t do by habit.

                Anyway, you could easily see through all of that had you a nuanced arrow in your limited quiver.

                I have carefully examined this entry now, so you are reduced to substance. End of your evening.

                I edited the last line. It was profane and juvenile, and served only to bait your opponent into further ad hominem attacks, which is not conducive to intelligent discourse. ~The Polish Wolf

                • Thanks, you’re right. But please don’t accuse me of baiting him. I leave him alone in total, and only answer his comments when he makes them to me. That is our only interaction. I’ll stop doing that. Won’t happen again.

              • No problems at all, Pwolf. To be honest, I expected you to delete it in entirety.

                Mark, millions of people communicate with hand-held devices every single day. The majority do so without the result being gibberish. Being pretty humorless as you are, you can only imagine my mirth when you apply your gibberish to insult my writing.

                As to the topic, you still spectacularly miss my point. I don’t lightly ask you what the ‘obvious solution to the problem’ is. You ponce all over the Internets telling everyone else what they know and what they don’t, sneering that ‘no one else gets it’, and then state that we all know the solution. Those opinions are contradictory, Mark. I know you won’t see that, because it doesn’t fit your illusion of yourself as an “iconoclast”. That just offers more evidence that you are the authoritarian you are so quick to accuse others of being.

                Furthermore, your opinions are counterproductive. You are essentially telling allies that they aren’t smart enough to join your holy and apostolic “organizing”. You are the poster-child for Groucho’s dictum: “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members”. You’ve convinced me, Mark. I don’t care to belong to a club that would have people like you as member, either. That’s why I ask you for obvious answers to simple questions, specifically knowing that you will never give them. What is obvious to you is not the answer to the question, but your own importance in the discussion. You’re trying to solve a problem no one else cares about (your importance in the world) by telling the rest of us what is wrong with our efforts to solve the problems we do care about. If you don’t understand why that’s counterproductive, then I can’t help you.

                Finally, a little experiment: “I’m typing on an iPad. You’ll never have that experience, Mr. Wal-Mart employee or Chinese laborer who built it. Not on your salary.”
                Does that actually read to anyone as coming from someone who actually cares about the concerns of economic justice? No? No. You’re a hypocrite, Mark. That was my point about Nader. You needed to come up with rationalizations and foolishness to explain away the hypocrisy. That is what authoritarians do.

                • If you leave me alone, our entire dialogue disappears, and we no longer drag down otherwise interesting logs. Get it? I never engage you – I respond to you. Yes, I should not do that, as it is a downward spiral. But you bait me. Stop doing that, and ID is again a wonderful and interesting open forum.

                • I haven’t “baited” you, Mark. I’ve challenged you, something you cannot abide. A “forum” is about give and take. My point concerning you has been very clear – all you do is take. You tell others what they know, and then have a tantrum when they disagree. But you never deal with the challenge, and then blame others for ruining your pleasant experience of dropping your crap in comments to another’s post. By way of analogy, you’ve poisoned more wells than fracking has. That isn’t “we”, Mark. That’s you.

                  Don’t tell me not to challenge you. This isn’t your webspace. If you don’t find this venue to your liking because I’m allowed to challenge you, don’t blame the venue, and don’t blame me. The problem really is you. If you don’t find ID “wonderful and interesting”, then leave. That is your choice, not mine or the hosts. Quit begging others to take responsibility for your behavior.

  • Again and again and again I like to think about these difficulties. Actually it was not even a month ago that I last thought about this very thing. Honestly, what is the answer though?

  • For my own part, I find that far too often important human and ethical questions are avoided by the claims (mostly by the politically liberal) that the question is strictly a religious question abortion being the most obvious issue. Most religions have profound thoughts, beliefs, and creeds based upon hundreds and thousands of years of human experience. These deserve a place in the dialogue of humanitys future.

/* ]]> */