A CIA and Pentagon Production

Source: Antiwar.com

While I expect yawns of disinterest, stories of government participation in our entertainment industry deserve to be contemplated.

The reason is straightforward: Entertainment shapes our thinking; to the extent that participation in entertainment allows government to shape our thinking we should know about it and, potentially, try to prevent it.

Of course, most of us assume we are too smart to have our thinking shaped by anyone. But pride of this sort is actually hubris, which can be the cause of tragedy.

If it turned out the entertainment industry was producing an abundance of films, TV shows and news using government support (and creative direction), would that not be concerning?

8 thoughts on “A CIA and Pentagon Production

    1. I think it is hard for people to credit that their own minds are subject to powerful manipulations to which they succumb.

      It is probably not wrong in some sense for the Navy to facilitate a movie like Top Gun: Maverick, but it is Mockingbird.

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      1. One of my uncles wanted not be a Navy physician as a career. The plan was to enlist and have the Navy put him through medical school. To this day, he maintains he was turned down due to a surge in enlistments following the release of the original “Top Gun.”

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    1. RE: “Propaganda is not a new invention by the CIA.”

      No, it isn’t. New, however, are the breadth and depth at which propaganda can operate.

      By way of analogy, Henry V in Shakespeare’s play delivers the St. Crispin’s Day speech to his noblemen, a relatively small audience. A comparable motivation today would target millions, using focus-group tested talking points tailored to multiple demographics, and all orchestrated within a single event-management application where expert teams collaborate across time zones to gather and respond to public behavior in real time.

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        1. That’s fair. I don’t mean to diminish the point you make. I really just want to emphasize that propaganda today is different from propaganda in the past. As rhetoric there is no difference, but as mass communications and as applied psychological technology the differences are profound.

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  1. Maybe I a missing something, but the hypocritical irony (is there such a thing?) seems hard to miss.

    We are told to mistrust the government due to propaganda infiltration in entertainment. Some examples given seem like smoking guns. And most are during the Red Scare and Cold War.

    Yet, whenever we bring up the infamous syphilis experiment on American Blacks as a reason for minority suspicions particularly regarding vaccines, the reaction from the right wing is “that is ancient history” or words to that effect.

    How many Americans died because of award slights for the movie High Noon?

    Goose and gander come to mind.

    Bit, the reality is that conspiracies from the right are eroding American trust and values as we debate.

    No doubt we had excesses from the military-industrial complex after WW2. And the surveillance machinery from both government and, to a much greater degree, the private sector, is real.

    We need to get a grip, folks. We are going down rabbit holes daily, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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