Government propaganda has no clothes

If you know the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes," by Hans Christian Andersen, you understand the meaning of propaganda: a mass campaign of deception meant to cause people to act in certain ways.  (Read it if you haven't.)  As the story goes, the people were afraid to speak the truth in spite of an obvious fact because they were led to believe the truth is less important than the perception of a lie.  The propaganda campaign in the story convinced the townspeople that if they dared to point out the truth of the naked emperor, they were stupid and incompetent fools.  One day, a young boy blurted out, "The emperor has no clothes!"  At that moment, the propaganda scheme was exposed.  Truth set the people free.  The story is a perfect allegory of mob psychology and how effective it is.  Sadly, most people don't want to be the lone voice in the wilderness shouting out the truth.  They are afraid to speak up.

Fast-forward to 1948.  The era of the Cold War begins, and the United States Congress along with the State Department sets up Voice of America to send radio messages to the rest of the world.  The messages could be biased information or disinformation, more commonly known as propaganda.  At the same time, in order to protect the American people from their own government, Congress passed the Smith-Mundt Act, which prohibited our government from using our departments, agencies, and tax dollars to propagandize the American public.  Our media outlets were intended to be a "free press" as stated in the 1st Amendment.  Smith-Mundt was designed to protect that right from our government.  Without that protection, all manner of media can be usurped by political operatives within our government. 

Fast-forward again, this time to 2012.  Under the Obama administration, Congress reversed the Smith-Mundt protections.  Lawmakers buried the "Smith-Mundt Modernization Act" in the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed and was signed by Obama in 2013.  "Modernization" meant they dropped the propaganda protections and allowed government agencies and bureaucrats to create media "news" and opinion to feed to the American public.  It is written in typical convoluted legalese, but it nonetheless creates a huge loophole for the State Department and the Board of Broadcast Governors to create and disseminate all the propaganda they want toward Americans using taxpayer funding.   

Fast-forward once more to today.  In the age of too much information, how is it that the mainstream news outlets are parroting the same exact talking points verbatim at the same times?  You can't help but see it and hear it.  It's coordinated.  So much news doesn't match the reality on the ground.  And so much news is now opinion rather than facts.  Have the news agencies become the media arm of the government?  Looks like it.  Is this mob psychology an operation that you dare not question?  Looks like it. 

Too many examples to cite, but probably the most glaring example of this propaganda machine would be the "global warming" hype.  When that didn't become reality, they changed it to "climate change."  Within that idiocy, CO2 has been declared a threat to the planet, when in fact it is a trace gas and without it there would be zero plant life.  We do exhale CO2, by the way.  If I didn't know better, I'd think some purveyors of this propaganda have a personal agenda to kill the population.  Ahem...

Today, we have the media "yelling fire in a crowded theater," causing panic and promoting the shutdown of our livelihoods and normal activities due to a virus.  Hospitals were told to focus entirely on this coronavirus and close all other health-related activities, including serious surgeries that people need.  Hospitals are empty and furloughing medical personnel due to this "focus on this one virus" panic.  If I didn't know better, I'd think some purveyors of this information have a personal agenda to wreck the U.S. economy and completely co-opt our health care decisions.

This time, we have most definitely been had by a mass propaganda scheme gleefully delivered by the mainstream media.  The tell is the reality on the ground.

There are around 10,500,000 people in North Carolina.  We have been told there are 314 deaths due to COVID-19.  That's 0.00299% of the population.  Yet, our state has been under an arbitrary shutdown of supposed non-essential businesses and activities.  Our hospitals are nearly empty, with medical personnel being furloughed.  Use your eyes and ears and brains!  Yes, I'm yelling that this emperor has no clothes. 

The utterance from the boy in Andersen's story needs to be said here and now in America.  "The propaganda is exposed!"  Repeal the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act!

Cheryl Pass is a writer of opinion essays reflecting her passionate defense of liberty, published in local newspapers.  She is a wife, mother, grandmother, and artist whose work you can see at www.

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