Final For Com220 Essay

3991 words - 16 pages

Propaganda, Media, and the Making of a President

August 27, 2010
COM/220

Propaganda, Media, and the Making of a President

August 27, 2010
COM/220

Propaganda, Media, and the Making of a President
Dr. Joseph Goebbels
Dr. Joseph Goebbels
The use of propaganda is as popular today for swaying public opinion as it was from 1933 to 1945 in war ravaged Germany. If Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels were alive today, he would be proud to see his propaganda machine being utilized by the U.S. Government to manipulate the masses and used by political parties to elect presidents. From mass print to the “tenth great power” the internet, the persons in control manipulate the masses ...view middle of the document...

Black propaganda consists of mass persuasion through blatant lies and deception. Grey propaganda is characterized by half-truths, distortions, and omissions. Finally, white propaganda portrays the truth.
“At the heart of true propaganda are three key elements: rhetoric, myth and symbolism” (Propaganda, 2006, para.3). These three elemements set the stage for The Big Lie to be presented and accepted as truth. These elements are used to devise the lies and implement them through mass communication: print, radio, television, movies, and the internet.
The Biggest Lie
The biggest lie is the one that people tell themselves, the one where they walk around with blinders on thinking that the information that they are fed is truthful. The average American lives under the grand misconception that propaganda is a term that is associated with Nazi Germany (Propaganda and Mass Persuasion, 2003, para.10). This misconception is far from the truth.
American Propaganda Poster
American Propaganda Poster
During World War II, the U.S. Government used news reels that were shown before movies to broadcast propaganda. Frank Capra’s “Prelude to War” is one of the most evident uses of propaganda by the United States government. These short documentary films ran during World War II in movie theaters before the feature film. These documentaries were created to gain the support of the American people toward the war effort.
American Propaganda Poster
American Propaganda Poster
In these propaganda based documentary films Hitler and Mussolini are portrayed as anti-Christ type dictators that were worshiped by the masses. Between 1943 and 1945 the U.S War Department commissioned Capra to produce nine propaganda documentaries that were widely viewed by movie goers all over America. The propaganda documentaries that Capra created for the U.S. War Department included: The Nazis Strike (1943), Divide and Conquer (1943), Prelude to War (1943), The Battle of Russia (1943), The Battle of China (1944), Tunisan Victory (1944), Know Your Enemy: Japan (1945), Two Down and One to Go (1945), and War Comes to America (1945).
America and the Machine
Many Americans act as if Homeland Security is a new thing. Little do they know the Department of Homeland Security was established after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941? The department’s mission was to insure that American borders remained secure and the people stayed quiet. During World War II the Department of Homeland Security was called the U.S Ministry of Homeland Security.
World War II Propaganda Poster distributed by the United States Ministry of Homeland Security
World War II Propaganda Poster distributed by the United States Ministry of Homeland Security
In retrospect, should the U.S. Government have led the American people to believe that Homeland security was a “new” idea? Despite the “should have’s”, “would have’s” and “around to it’s”; the powers that be needed for the public to support the systematic...

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