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RW propaganda tactic: Increasing the Noise to Signal Ratio.

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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 02:24 AM
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RW propaganda tactic: Increasing the Noise to Signal Ratio.
This is used when there is some bad news, some negative propaganda against your cause. So there is TRUE information, already in the public domain, which cannot be debunked or discredited, which is negative against your cause. The strategy here is to create a fog of information, by throwing some demonstrably FALSE information, ALSO negative against your cause, into the mix. Then, when the false information is debunked (either you or a stooge 3d party can do this), its association with the TRUE information has a generally discrediting effect on ALL information or propaganda against your cause, especially with those who follow the news or information only casually. At the very minimum, confusion is sown. The casual reader will say, "It's all so confusing. I don't know what to believe anymore."

The example RW "cause" I will use here will be, of course, the Bush Administration Invasion/Occupation of Iraq.

Example 1: Controversy over flag draped coffin photos. Publication of photos of coffins of war dead tends to have a negative propaganda effect against the cause. In response to FOIA request for photos, photos of NASA astronaut coffins are also included, whether on purpose or by mistake, and are published along with the "real" war dead coffin photos. News stories appear focusing on the NASA astronaut photos being mistakenly released and published. RW echo chamber shows and websites trumpet these stories. Of course, none of this actually changes the fact of Americans and Iraqis dying in the war, but the focus is now on a nonstory about astronaut photos. Furthermore, the propaganda value of the photos is diminished because there is some general doubt and confusion sown about whether any of the photos are actually of war dead, even though most are.

Example 2: Abu Ghraib prison abuse/torture photos. Release of these photos is a huge negative propaganda event against "the cause" both internationally, and, most importantly, at home. Some websites appear which show not only the "real" released prison photos, but also have mixed in (whether by mistake or on purpose) photos from porn sites that appear to depict rape by U.S. soldiers but are actually just manufactured porn. (Note that there are apparently ACTUAL authentic photos depicting rape at Abu Ghraib prison, as yet unreleased.) The "fake rape" photos are widely disseminated and discussed. The inevitable news articles appear noting the existence of these photos and debunking their authenticity. In fact, a "reporter" even brings this up during a WH press gaggle on Abu Ghraib, adding a veil of legitimacy to this "noise". (Search for "Worldnet" in the page below and you'll find the "plant" reporter question).
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/2004051...

The allegedly faked British abuse photos also falls under the category of noise/signal. The net effect is that the casual observer may well conclude that ALL the photos were some kind of hoax and not be aware of the reality of some. Furthermore, the casual observer/media customer may be innoculated against the eventual release of REAL photos of rape by US servicement. "Wasn't it shown that all those rape photos were fake and copped from some porno site?"

More on this later when I've had some time to sleep.

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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 02:28 AM
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1. Rove loves doing this but it's getting obvious to anyone with a brain...
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:54 AM
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2. Another example, not exactly the same category, is the treatment of
Kerry's Vietnam service. There are several different propaganda techniques at work here. But since the "propaganda negative" for Bush is the contrast of Kerry's service, bravery and decorations to Bush's lack thereof, the solution is to sow doubt and confusion on Kerry's service and medals. Did he just get scratched to earn a Purple Heart? He requested out after 3 Purple Hearts and a few months in country, so did he just serve to get decorations and get out? Did he throw medals or ribbons over that wall?

These are designed to affect the casual news watcher, especially those who may be mildly inclined to vote for Bush, but could be easily dissuaded from voting at all. The slightest research or scrutiny will reveal the nature of Kerry's service and decorations. But the point is to create the situation where, for those who don't really care to know the real truth, when they hear "Kerry" and "Vietnam" they will think not about a rich guy VOLUNTEERING for 2 terms in VN and performing bravely, but about these stupid pseudo controversies.
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linazelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:11 AM
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3. Very good analysis. I understand this ploy better now.
I actually heard my local "echo chamber" discussing the mixed porn tapes with the actual prison abuse images. I'd never considered the significance or impact of these mixups.

And yet, anybody with half a brain would now see that for all the negatives BushCo is aiming at Kerry regarding Kerry's protesting the wrongs of the war, the prisongate scandal actually vindicates Kerry. For the first time that I know of, there is widespread evidence of military wrongdoing.
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