Romney Campaign on Propaganda

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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.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an 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.

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Mark Tokarski
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Mark Tokarski

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?

Rob Kailey
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It is, Mark. That’s your blind spot. The real question, one you avoid like the plague, is this: what is your proposal to change the situation?

Mark Tokarski
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Mark Tokarski

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.

Rob Kailey
Guest

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… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
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Mark Tokarski

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… Read more »

Rob Kailey
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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

Mark Tokarski
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Mark Tokarski

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.… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
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Mark Tokarski

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.

Rob Kailey
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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… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
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Mark Tokarski

Tedious.

Rob Kailey
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Mark Tokarski:

“I leave him alone in total, … I’ll stop doing that. Won’t happen again.”

Mark Tokarski = liar.

Mark Tokarski
Guest
Mark Tokarski

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.

Rob Kailey
Guest

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.… Read more »

Brenton Hullinger
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