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:: Edward Bernays : on Propaganda and Public Relations ::
Edward Bernays on propaganda and public relations with a polemic insert from Steven Pinker's 'The Staff of Thought'. Can elite bards and scribblers create new metaphors to manipulate public opinion? I think they can, and apparently they do.
According to the The Government Accounting Office, the Bush administration spent $1.6 billion over the last two and a half years on public relations operations. That's $1.6 billion of our tax money commandeered for, among other things, O.T.I.-style partisan propaganda here at home, aimed at affecting domestic elections. Included in this figure is a mysterious $15 million paid directly to individual members of the media.
This information comes on the tail of previous disclosures concerning covert propaganda operations including the production of fake TV news stories and Bush administration payoffs to crooked journalists to slant stories even further in a pro-Bush direction than the normal corporate media spin.