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Mon Jul 15, 2013, 04:32 PM

'Anti-Propaganda' Ban Repealed, Freeing State Dept. To Direct Its Broadcasting Arm At American Citiz

'Anti-Propaganda' Ban Repealed, Freeing State Dept. To Direct Its Broadcasting Arm At American Citizens
from the 'our-top-pre-approved-story-tonight...' dept

The US government has a bit of a PR problem at the moment, thanks to Ed Snowden's leaks and a decade-plus of general antipathy towards its constituents' rights and liberties growing out of its War on Terror.

Fortunately, the government now has a chance to aim its official version of today's news at US citizens, thanks to the repeal of a so-called "anti-propaganda" law earlier this month.

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.

The Broadcast Board of Governors, which produces programming like the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, has been prevented from aiming its programming at Americans since the 1970's when the Smith-Mundt Act (which authorized the State Dept. to communicate with foreign audiences via many methods, radio being one of them) was amended to prohibit domestic dissemination of the BBG's broadcasts. This was done to distance the State Department's efforts from the internal propaganda machine operated by the Soviet Union.

Now, the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 (part of the National Defense Authorization Act) has repealed the domestic prohibition, allowing the government's broadcasting to be directed at/created for Americans for the first time in over 40 years.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130715/11210223804/anti-propaganda-ban-repealed-freeing-state-dept-to-direct-its-broadcasting-arm-american-citizens.shtml

12 replies, 1085 views

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Reply 'Anti-Propaganda' Ban Repealed, Freeing State Dept. To Direct Its Broadcasting Arm At American Citiz (Original post)
The Straight Story Jul 2013 OP
Demeter Jul 2013 #1
WestStar Jul 2013 #2
AllINeedIsCoffee Jul 2013 #4
WestStar Jul 2013 #5
cali Jul 2013 #6
SomethingFishy Jul 2013 #3
90-percent Jul 2013 #7
cprise Jul 2013 #8
struggle4progress Jul 2013 #9
struggle4progress Jul 2013 #10
struggle4progress Jul 2013 #11
Rex Jul 2013 #12

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 04:51 PM

1. And did the People ask for this? I think NOT!

We don't want it, we don't need it, find some other way to waste time and money.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 04:55 PM

2. I eagerly await the delivery of my new 60" Telescreen

 

No really, I do. Can you hear me yet? I can't wait....

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Response to WestStar (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 05:02 PM

4. That originated on a RW site. Fuck off. nt

 

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Response to AllINeedIsCoffee (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 05:12 PM

5. I'm pretty sure that Techdirt isn't a RW site

 

but I appreciate your concern.

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Response to AllINeedIsCoffee (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 05:30 PM

6. bzzzt giant fail. Not a right wing site. feel free to try again.

lame-o.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 04:56 PM

3. So as an example...

We are now going to spend money convincing everyone that Social Security is insolvent and needs to be cut. Instead of actually spending the money on Social Security.

Yeah I get it.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 11:08 PM

7. this is news?

I though we've been psy-oped by the pentagon and cia and FBI and other paid for by taxpayer agencies for at least three decades and very heavily in the 21st century.

Most of our MSM is very favorable to the military-industrial-Congressional-surveillance-complex. Planted stories, journalists on the payroll, leaks, disinformation. We have been soaking in it for a long time.

I guess this is for existing propaganda agencies aimed at foreign nations?

This news in the OP is kinda like elimination of posse-comatatus for news and public relations?


-90% Jimmy

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 01:18 AM

8. K&R

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 01:21 AM

9. Smith-Mundt reform: In with a whimper?

02:50 PM - January 21, 2013
It’s now legal to broadcast Voice of America stateside, but few seem to notice
By Emily T. Metzgar

... When President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law in early January, he authorized implementation of the Smith Mundt Modernization Act, eliminating the domestic dissemination ban. In contrast to the alarmist punditry that surfaced last May—critics said that a repeal would allow the US to subject its own citizens to propaganda—the actual change has prompted little discussion outside of public diplomacy and international broadcast circles.

As of July 1, 2013, content produced by the five US government-sponsored broadcasters, all overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, will no longer be subject to the ban. In practice, not much will change. As one longtime US international broadcasting expert observed, the legislation simply changes the legal status of an already hard-to-enforce ban, “allowing de jure to catch up with de facto.” A formal statement from Voice of America, the flagship US international broadcaster, praised the change, emphasizing both the resulting transparency and the opportunity it now offers for Americans to learn more about this US foreign policy tool. As one board member declared, “All Americans will now have access to the vital and informative reporting of our accomplished journalists around the world who are working under difficult circumstances in closed societies and developing countries.”

Spurred by a line in a New York Times article that called the US government “the largest broadcaster that few Americans know about,” I did a LexisNexis search for and analysis of major American print media outlets’ coverage of Voice of America over a recent two-year period. Both as a subject and as a source of news, it was only mentioned 188 times during the two-year period considered. (A similar search for “CNN” yielded more than 2,000 mentions—in The New York Times alone.)

Seventy-six percent of the VOA mentions referred to the organization itself, providing context about VOA, mentioning its relationship to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and alluding to the role of VOA in inspiring the audiences of less-than-free societies. There was frequent reference to VOA’s role in the Cold War, particularly in the presentation of profiles of dissidents and leaders from that period. There were also several mentions of Voice of America’s continued efforts to provide content to audiences in China and Iran in addition to those governments’ ongoing efforts to block delivery of such content ...


http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/smith-mundt_modernization_pass.php?page=all

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 01:21 AM

10. Much ado about State Department 'propaganda'

Posted By Josh Rogin
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 6:28 PM

... On May 18, Buzzfeed published a story by reporter Michael Hastings about the bipartisan congressional effort to change the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 (as amended by the Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987). The story was entitled, "Congressmen seek to lift propaganda ban," and focuses on the successful effort by Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Adam Smith (D-WA) to add their Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 as an amendment to the House version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

The new legislation would "authorize the domestic dissemination of information and material about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences." The Buzzfeed article outlines concerns inside the defense community that the Pentagon might now be allowed to use information operations and propaganda operations against U.S. citizens. A correction added to the story notes that Smith-Mundt doesn't apply to the Pentagon in the first place.

In fact, the Smith-Mundt act (as amended in 1987) only covers the select parts of the State Department that are engaged in public diplomacy efforts abroad, such as the public diplomacy section of the "R" bureau, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the body that oversees the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other U.S. government-funded media organizations ...

The Defense Department, meanwhile, has its own "no propaganda" rider, enshrined in the part of U.S. code that covers the Pentagon, and that is not affected in any way by either Smith-Mundt as it stands or by the proposed update now found in the defense bill. The only reason the Smith-Mundt modernization bill was attached to the defense bill was because that bill is one that's sure to move and Congress hasn't actually passed a foreign affairs authorization bill in years ...


http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/23/much_ado_about_state_department_propaganda

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 01:26 AM

12. So they are going to give their other branch

the M$M some competition? I doubt most people will notice a difference. Well, maybe a little.

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