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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:40 PM

The absence of news that used to be hot and heavy in news cycles heavily suggests propaganda

-Does anyone remember a flurry of articles about "steganography" just after September 11th, 2001? This was said to be secret code imbedded in otherwise harmless computer files, like a .jpg photo, and it was how Al Qaeda was planning to secretly communicate. They would just send one another pictures, and in so doing, communicate their secret plans to kill the Great Satan, etc. I've never heard another word about this since that initial flurry of stegomania.

-Next: we're no longer afraid of a smallpox attack. Recall, before September 11th, it was common knowledge that only two samples of smallpox remained on the planet: one at CDC in Atlanta, and one in Russia, wherever they keep their nasty stuff. Then 9/11 happened, and we were bombarded with scare stories about al Qaeda attacking us with weaponized smallpox. It was never explained how AQ was to have gotten their hands on smallpox from one of the two ultra-high security places where it still existed, but no matter, it's gone again, and we don't talk about it anymore. At all. Ever.

-Anthrax. I'm still convinced this was a complete Cheney operation, and I'm not terribly conspiracy-minded (although I have my moments). This one is a little different in nature. They blamed a guy. He killed himself. It's over. Except that I have serious doubts that the guy who apparently killed himself actually did this.

-Email Spam: this isn't exactly a political issue, but the nimrods in congress from time to time used to try to make it an issue, as did media outlets. The efficacy of spam filters is more or less the same as it was when it was being breathlessly reported that spam was a giant issue clogging the tubes, etc. Experts were interviewed, and we needed to do something right away if the Internet was to remain a viable communications medium. This no longer matters, for some reason that hasn't been explained to us.

-Nuclear power plants, hydro dams, and the like, will be hacked from the Internet, causing mayhem, death, and financial collapse. They never got around to explaining just exactly why the hell a nuclear power plant operator would put their control systems on the Internet--maybe it was so that Homer Simpson could VPN in from home. But again, no matter. We don't talk much about that anymore.

I realize these don't come as any surprise to regular readers of this website--we've known about the catapultin' of propaganda for a long time. But it would be nice if the media were called to account on some of these bs stories. If you have more examples of here-and-scary-today, but gone-and-never-mentioned tomorrow, I'd be interested in seeing some more examples.

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply The absence of news that used to be hot and heavy in news cycles heavily suggests propaganda (Original post)
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 OP
BlueIris Apr 2012 #1
Whisp Apr 2012 #2
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #24
quinnox Apr 2012 #3
catbyte Apr 2012 #4
quinnox Apr 2012 #6
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 #10
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #25
Journeyman Apr 2012 #5
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 #11
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2012 #7
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 #12
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2012 #17
just1voice Apr 2012 #8
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 #13
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #26
MineralMan Apr 2012 #9
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 #14
MineralMan Apr 2012 #15
JackRiddler Apr 2012 #16
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 #19
JackRiddler Apr 2012 #20
DisgustipatedinCA Apr 2012 #22
sendero Apr 2012 #18
JackRiddler Apr 2012 #21
sendero Apr 2012 #23
Cali_Democrat Apr 2012 #27
Robb Apr 2012 #28

Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:47 PM

1. I notice there's been no "flu season of DEATH" scare this year.

And yes, I know the threat of a flu pandemic actually is a real risk, but I considered a lot of the scare tactics used during the infamous swine-flu panic in particular to be pure propaganda.

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Response to BlueIris (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:50 PM

2. the fear of vaginas and African Americans have now fully replaced those.

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Response to BlueIris (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:25 AM

24. Doctors were genuinely concerned about swine flu, it wasn't propaganda.

We were just lucky that it's virulence declined as fast as it did.

Ever read The Hot Zone by Richard Preston? We has several close calls that could have caused a global Ebola pandemic that would have killed most of the world's population.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:52 PM

3. they do post these scare stories on occasion

 

probably it helps to get ratings/sell newspapers.

The BS-ing really goes into overdrive during military conflicts, like the Jessica Lynch fake story is a notable example.

The military knows they can tell lies because the American public by and large are patriotic and will believe it.

Another one I find fishy is that Saddam was found hiding in a hole, for example. It was a perfect tv moment, almost like what you would want in a climactic movie scene, and I think it was very likely faked. There was a story from a marine that was supposedly there who said it was a set up, but it ran in dubious sources and so didn't get much attention.

A more recent one that I had questions about was the killing of bin Laden. I don't know what really happened there, but I doubt we will ever find out the truth. No body, quickly disposed of at sea, no camera shots of him dead, "Oh, we can't release the picture, it would be too traumatic! Think of the children!"

Give me a friggin' break, that makes zero sense. Something stinks about everything surrounding bin Laden, not just his death either.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:07 PM

4. Probably dusting off their shark attack templates too--summer's right around the corner!

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Response to catbyte (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:26 PM

6. lol, no doubt

 

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:43 PM

10. I'd wager every cent I've ever owned and I'll that I'll ever earn that photos were taken of OBL

If the operation went down remotely close to the way we were told it did, there's no way they didn't take numerous photos of him, both at the compound and on-board the naval vessel that apparently dumped him at sea.

Of course, I could never win that bet, because we'll never see those photos, but they were taken.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:28 AM

25. Take off the tin foil.

I don't get the belly-aching over Osama, I think it's pathologically paranoid people making a ruckus over nothing.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:24 PM

5. My favorite remains the "al Qaeda frogmen" who were going to blow up ships in ports. . .

And remember when Washington asked Hollywood scriptwriters to join the "Homeland Team" and help devise possible terrorist scenarios for al Qaeda attacks? It was shortly after that call went out that the most outrageous claims began to appear -- the frogmen, the "al Qaeda shoppers" who were determined to blow up malls and destroy our economy, and the terrorist screenwriters who set off the second-largest cinematic bomb in history, the disastrous re-telling of the Alamo story in 2004.

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:46 PM

11. Incidental to the point you're making, but do you remember Ky Senator Jim Bunning?

Your AQ-at-the-mall mention made me remember Bunning asking for a security detail (homeland? secret service? don't recall), because he was worried that al Qaeda would attack him while he was back home in Paducha. Of course, he was so addled that I consider him another victim of propaganda, and not so much a catapulter himself.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 03:27 PM

7. Actually infrastructure and net attacks

Is kind of a real threat.

I will leave it at that.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:49 PM

12. I'm certain that there are some vulnerable systems attached to unsafe networks

And I'm aware that, very likely, either the US or Israel compromised the Iranian nuclear program by writing and delivering tailored malware into some of their controller systems. But it's just a basic point of common sense that you don't order cable internet and roll a Comcast truck to the Hoover Dam to hook it up. I still do believe that this was largely Bush Admin / media hype, with a nod to the immutable fact that all the best propaganda has elements of truth to it in order to sound more believable.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 05:54 PM

17. 1997 california power outrage

Again, I will leave it at that.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:21 PM

8. The entire color coded "terror alerts" system the Bushies used to terrorize Americans

 

Pure propaganda invented to terrorize the American people for what the Bushits thought were better polling numbers. Tom Ridge and John Ashcroft should be tried for terrorism for threatening the lives of Americans for political gain.

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Response to just1voice (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:50 PM

13. Agreed. And we had a faulty terror sensor anyway. It was stuck on orange. n/t

.

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Response to just1voice (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:29 AM

26. That was so blatant BS it was pathetic.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:29 PM

9. The media is fickle and isn't much interested in following up things

beyond a period of time.

Steganography is still around, I suppose, but nothing has apparently come of it.

Smallpox is still gone, and I don't think anyone is messing with it any more, if they ever were.

Anthrax is still a threat, and we still see "white powder" stories from time to time. I can't remember any of them that really involved anthrax. A friend of my ex-wife, though, died of anthrax. She was a weaver and spinner of wool, and got it from some imported wool she bought. Very tragic. 1970s.

Email Spam has actually decreased in its amount since they arrested and convicted the "Spam King," but it's moved on now to text messages on cell phones as its new target. There was just a story about that this week in the media.

I'm not sure about nuclear power plant control vulnerability. That may have been solved, but the real problems with nuclear power generation are still real and make the news when something happens. We're still hearing about Fukushima when there's news.

I think the media does a blitz on novel stories and that's all we hear about for a while. Then, there's nothing new to report, and they don't have the staff anymore to do serious followup. I think that's what's happening, really. Frustrating. But, there's still the internet, if you can break out the wheat from the chaff.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 04:58 PM

14. I largely agree wtih your points

The media is fickle...check. And for what it's worth, I wasn't really even considering Fox News when I wrote the OP--this stuff is SOP for them. I was referring more to mainstream news outlets, the big 3, NPR.

I did some reading during the anthrax attacks and scare, and did learn about some of the natural ways to be exposed and harmed. But the aerosolization and weaponization of anthrax always seemed to be the domain of Ft. Detrick in my view, and I'm sure in similar places in Russia and China. A case of protesting too loudly, in my opinion. Cheney job.

Yes, the spam king did have a pretty decent market share on spam, with commensurate bandwidth wasted. But it was never something that threatened the integrity of the Internet, at least not from anything this 15-year network engineer can tell.

Agreed that nuclear power is a problem--I'm against it, but not because I believe that terror mastermind hackers are disabling control rods from their PS3's.

I partially agree and partially disagree with your last point. The media does love their shiny objects, the newer the better, but follow-up isn't needed so much when there was never anything there to begin with. Rather, I think that on the front-end, they should strive to do a better job in deciding whether government officials, military leaders, et al, are trying to gin up a propaganda story, or if they actually have an item of concern that needs to be reported.

Have a good weekend.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 05:02 PM

15. The media seems more interested in capturing an audience than

educating it. We seem to like big scary stories in the US, and the media's happy to feed them to us. As you say, often there's no substance in them, and they fade quickly.

I'm not optimistic that this will change, sadly.

Thanks. Hope you have a good weekend, too.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 05:25 PM

16. Right on all counts except spam...

I've seen a huge improvement in the filters.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:07 PM

19. I could be wrong about spam, but do consider the possibility...

...that what was made up for in detection and removal has been lost in increased volume. I don't actually know that for certain, but I am comfortable with the fact that spam was never a threat to the integrity of the Internet, and I'm really dubious about claims made in regard to spam cutting down on worker productivity by measurable, even large-ish, amounts. But on that particular count, I'd classify that more as malware/AV advertising propaganda--or just advertising--I'm being redundant.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:29 PM

20. All doubtless true, the point is that spam filters really are working well these days.

Although it was not going to break the Internet or end the economy, as the propaganda had it, pure spam was genuinely annoying almost everyone daily to a far greater extent 10 years ago than it is today with improved filters, or so I see it from my own inbox and reports from others.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:13 PM

22. (Facebook-like thumbs up here, indicating agreement (we need an ascii symbol for that)) n/t

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 05:59 PM

18. I think that some of these..

.. instances might have have been coordinate propaganda. But I think most of it is just lazy-ass copycat "journalists" at "news" outlets that are actually in the infotainment business.

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Response to sendero (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:33 PM

21. Infotainment is why propaganda monocultures dominate.

It's why all the outlets run the same bullshit stories at the same time. Whether purely commercial PR or top-down disinformation from a Pentagon-connected think tank, certain sources have the high ground. They inject the Bullshit of the Day (terror, murder, starlet slip, Irangonnakillyou, sports scandal, dumb thing someone said) and it rolls down the hill of the infotainment complex (which is about 90 percent of the media, at least, most of the time NPR as well).

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:13 PM

23. Can't ..

.... disagree with that assessment at all. Bottom line, there is no "news" any more, just an echo chamber.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:36 AM

27. K&R

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:39 AM

28. Just like that rainforest scare a few years back.

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