Propaganda inundates entertainment and mainstream news, but emails released recently by Judicial Watch as part of its FOIA lawsuit show how insidiously pro-establishment agenda has marked Hillary Clinton’s first presidential run and career as secretary of state — as well as Pres. Obama’s tenure in office.
In a memo dated January 18, 2009, addressed to Secretary of State-Designate Hillary Clinton Transition Team, Jin Chon — Clinton’s 2008 campaign specialty media spokesman — writes about the ‘underutilization’ of nontraditional media by the State Department for promoting its agenda. And though not entirely subtle, the language Chon employs certainly points to the inextricable connection between corporate media platforms and the government using them to foist its foreign policy goals on less than keen populace.
Discussing specialty media such as talk show, The View, Country Music Television, and a smattering of foreign outlets, Chon explains [with all emphasis added],
“[T]he thirst for access from these outlets puts the State Department in a position of strength in negotiating amount of coverage and topics to be discussed. Many will agree to do a written Q&A or restrict questioning to previously approved topics. These outlets can create vital support for official policy or pending legislation among key domestic constituency groups but also create momentum for policy abroad. As the media environment continues to become more and more globally interconnected, it will be critical for the leadership of the State Department to leverage all of these media opportunities to amplify and deliver messages that advance policymaking.”
Though it isn’t surprising — given the vast majority of media in the U.S. is owned by a handful of corporations with both murky and direct ties to the government — such outlets would fawn over the chance to proffer government-approved propaganda, the flagrance of Chon’s proposal is.
What he suggests is the use of platforms Americans turn to for entertainment, as secondary news sources, be manipulated to advance whatever governmental agenda needs to be legislated — and that approval from a wide audience would assist. But Chon’s memo doesn’t stop there — its text also obviates this exact government handling of the media that has been typical for an unspecified time. The memo continues:
“For the most part, specialty media outlets have been vastly underutilized by the leadership of the State Department, instead relying heavily on the Sunday shows and network and cable news to communicate the administration’s foreign policy agenda […]
“Unlike previous Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton will come to the State Department with a national constituency who can be grassroots voices to their Members of Congress and the White House. She will have unparalleled star power and abilities to use her brand to turn good policy ideas into concrete programs. Specialty media can be an important tool in achieving this vision. This memo … outlines opportunities for the incoming leadership of the State Department to fully leverage the unique opportunities presented by specialty media outlets.”
Specifically because the United States populace has been conditioned over time to trust celebrity and fame, recognizable names in these specialty media programs — Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Whoopi Goldberg are specifically mentioned — can facilely manipulate the unsuspecting. As if on cue, Breitbart noted Ellen tweeted on Tuesday that Clinton would be appearing on her show.
Under the guise of debating issues or by presenting an interview with a politician like Clinton as ‘exclusive,’ audiences can be bamboozled without so much as a hint it’s happening.
Such stacking of the deck wouldn’t only affect policy, but the money driving its implementation. Noting Clinton’s purported advocacy of women’s rights and both educational and economic opportunity, Chon notes:
“[I]n order to increase funding for these types of programs, she will need the help of supporters from around the country to secure Congressional approval.”
Addressing the use of daytime talk shows, in particular, for agenda advancement, the memo states:
“Politics and public policy have become staple topics of daytime talk shows like no other time in history. The line between daytime talk shows and hard news becomes more and more blurred as headlines in one realm make headlines in the other.”
Inarguably, the same memo shows the blurring between hard news and outright propaganda.
Chon uses The View as exemplifying “a media echo chamber based on intense discussions,” which would allow a soft audience to align behind Clinton on policy.
Despite the sometimes derisive edge by programs like The Daily Show, it is also mentioned as a platform to harvest — along with The Tonight Show and even MTV.
Professor Noam Chomsky once aptly observed, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”
Hillary Clinton and her staff apparently made great use of the limiting of the spectrum, though they are by no means unique in opportuning the media as a bullhorn for promoting a one-sided agenda — however sad a commentary on the landscape of corporate media that might be.