Facing Journalistic Fraud

From the Occidental Observer at http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Kurtagic-Journalistic-Fraud.html 


Facing Journalistic Fraud

Alex Kurtagic

July 25, 2010 

Propaganda is associated in the popular mind with totalitarian regimes. The truth is, however, that examples of propaganda can be found as far back as Antiquity, and that the activity is as much a feature of liberal democratic societies today as it was of National Socialist Germany, Maoist China, and the Soviet Union. In fact, the advent of the information age has made propaganda much more pervasive than it ever was in any of those societies. What is more, despite the constant development of ever more subtle applications of propaganda techniques, modern manifestations in the ‘free’ mainstream Western media can be just as crude as the worst examples ever to appear under the yoke of Eastern Communism.

Case in point is Michael Sheridan’s recent article in the New York Daily News, reporting on Ryan Murdough’s Republican candidacy for a seat on the State House in New Hampshire. Murdough has been targeted because he is running on an explicitly pro-White platform, and has been endorsed by an explicitly pro-White political party, the American Third Position. The article is so obviously propagandistic that it seems superfluous even to state it. But, still, even readers of this website might be surprised to learn that in his 550 words, Sheridan managed to deploy no less than 25 known propaganda techniques.

Yes. 25.

And the 16-word title alone deploys no less than 10 of such techniques (ad hominem, name-calling, stereotyping, demonizing the enemy, lying, appeal to fear, appeal to prejudice, labeling, and thought-terminating cliché), some of which are later redeployed in the main text. If you consider that out of the 16 words 8 are names, that means that there is more propaganda in the title than there are actual words.

I had initially intended to dissect the article and highlight each and every one of the techniques. It then occurred to me, however, that not only would my readers think that I was beating a dead horse, but the exercise would accomplish nothing of value: even if my article succeeded in showing readers how to recognize, name, and highlight to others even the more subtle deceptions, that would cause no real damage to the enemy. It would be just another verbose response with zero political impact.

And that would miss the point.

The whole point of responding is to deliver a political punch.

The whole point of analyzing is to learn how best, and where, to deliver that punch.

It is important to internalize this, because when competing for popular goodwill a proxy for power in democratic societies intellectual resources must be deployed with this single purpose.

Similarly, it is important to learn how to do this before one comes under attack, because thinking quickly and clearly when one is under pressure is considerably more difficult than when one is commenting as a detached observer.

How to respond to attacks like the one in the New York Daily News?

When faced with a damaging collection of false claims, the immediate urge is to rebut them at length. But that, I fear, is a complete waste of time. Coming from an unpopular faction, long rebuttals tend to be either be ignored or dismissed as excuses, obfuscation, or damage limitation. In fact, when an attack is particularly outrageous it is not unlikely that it is intended as bait, rather than as a news item that readers will take seriously; Josef Goebbels used this technique while campaigning in Berlin, and his aim was to get his opponents to bog themselves down with long denials and explanations while he concocted a fresh attack. The aim is to keep the target on the defensive, because this makes him look weak and in a state of panic. Readers generally being too lazy or too preoccupied with their own affairs to investigate a claim will generally believe whoever looks to be in control of the situation. This is probably because the need to issue denials and explanations is read as an admission that the claims are to be taken seriously: if unworthy of attention, there would be no need to deny or explain anything.

This is the reverse of the ‘no platform’ policy, which was long and to a significant extent still is favored by the incumbent media: dissident viewpoints are excluded so as to imply that they are beneath contempt. When the ‘no platform’ policy becomes unsustainable and is finally abandoned, the incumbent media shifts to a policy of outrageous attacks. We saw this last year when the British National Party’s chairman, Nick Griffin, was invited to participate in the BBC’s Question Time. It was feared that having him on a discussion panel alongside mainstream politicians and commentators on national television would suggest that voting for the BNP was now normal. Thus, the BBC’s strategy was to stack the cards against Griffin, deliberately re-arranging the program’s format in order to publicly humiliate him: most of the program was spent tricking Griffin into stammering denials and explanations, which were then swiftly interrupted by a fresh volley of stupid accusations, as nobody was interested in hearing Griffin anyway. (See my article "BBC's Question Time: A Shameful Spectacle.")

The very structure of the attack smear with bogus claims, ignore response, smear again with new bogus claims; then repeat the smears over and over again shows that its purpose is not to disprove something, but to discredit someone. When the target of a propaganda attack responds with denials and explanations, he is acting as if he were engaged in a contest for the truth; in fact, he is engaged in a contest for power. For a large part of the audience, the truth is unknowable: fully uncovering it and understanding it takes more time, effort, and intellectual subtlety than they are willing to invest and/or is available to them. A smear, moreover, is not only easier, but often is also much more fun to conceive, consume, and circulate that the truth; the truth is nearly always laborious and boring, and fewer people read the correction than they do the lie. Scandalous gossip rags are not more popular than serious news analysis magazines without a reason.

This is why the $PLC’s attacks against Kevin MacDonald have not focused on attempting to disprove his theories, but rather on attempting to malign his character in order to get his employers to revoke his tenure. Theories developed by a tenured professor in a large, mainstream university have credibility; theories developed by an unemployed pensioner who was fired on grounds of moral turpitude can be dismissed as a crank’s ravings. A man who is widely dismissed as a crank – made homeless and destitute, as they would love to make MacDonald – has limited prospects of gaining political power. 
We know Sheridan’s article in the New York Daily News, like the one in the Huffington Post, are about limiting Ryan Murdough’s access to power. Hence, on the basis of his enjoying support from the American Third Position, of which Kevin MacDonald is a director, Sheridan attempts to make Murdough guilty by association by painting MacDonald as a crank. MacDonald is

a professor whose theories range from claiming Jewish people are genetically designed for greed, and [sic] African Americans and Hispanics are intellectually inferior to whites.

Notice the capitalization.

Never mind that it is Richard Lynn, not Kevin MacDonald, who has written about race differences in IQ. Sheridan knows that his Black and Hispanic readers (not to mention most of his deracinated White readers) will not bother to look it up – let alone examine the literature – before getting offended. Reading MacDonald’s trilogy and Lynn’s books takes several weeks and a university degree; getting offended takes only an instant and anybody can do it.

An effective response, therefore, needs to be mostly about attacking the attacker, not the attack itself. The attack itself can be ignored for the most part if the attacker can be successfully discredited.

What is more, a counter-attack needs to turn the tables in a manner that is at least just as memorable, and that elicits an emotional response that is at least just as strong, as the original attack. It should also, ideally, introduce new information about the attacker. David Duke’s confrontation with Wolf Blitzer’s on CNN in December 2006 is a good example of how a lone dissident, representing an unpopular minority view, can turn the tables on the hostile mainstream media machine.

Although Duke was clearly nervous and the program makers had stacked the cards against him, on this occasion he came out on top because he focused most of his energy on discrediting his opponent(s). He spent very little time responding to specific accusations, and no time at all on an arcane argument about the Holocaust. Most importantly: the tired, old news about Duke’s past was not as interesting as the unexpected revelation that Blitzer has an anti-Iran bias because he is a former Israel lobbyist.

Thus any response to journalistic propaganda needs to target the propagandist, not necessarily anything he said.

For example, in his website Sheridan claims to be a “detail-oriented creative writer and designer.” Yet, although he gleefully reports on Sarah Palin’s poor grammar on her Twitter page, he cannot even smear Kevin with a grammatically correct sentence, makes trivial factual errors, capitalizes incorrectly, gets dates wrong, and after 12 years of journalism and web designing has website stats that look like a morgue.

And did you notice that the stock photograph illustrating his excretion in the New York Daily News is titled ‘alg_neonazi_illinois.jpg’? Is not the article about a New Hampshire candidate?

But never mind the failed scribbler at the New York Daily News. Frauds like him are a dime a dozen, and if it is not him, it will be some other talentless hack, screaming ‘Nazi’ for some random White-hating rag or some sordid, money-grubbing race racket like the $PLC.

The sad reality is that publications like the New York Daily News and the Huffington Post operate on the patronizing assumption that its readers do not really want to be educated that they want, instead, to be entertained, given something to talk about by the water cooler in the office, and have their opinions formed for them so that they may be spared the effort of actual cognition. Articles about pro-White advocacy are very clearly all about entertainment and about indulging a 9-to-5 journalist’s mean-spirited nature: probably frustrated in his dreary office cubicle, going through a mid-life crisis, suffering from erectile dysfunction, secretly addicted to hairy gay porn, and perhaps even a friendless, Twinky-munching compulsive hoarder living in a beehive-like tower block, the egg-laying hack finds it gratifying to spew his venom against ordinary White folk, secure in the knowledge that even if they complain they can be muzzled with legislation or a timely email to their employers. Even a fugitive child molester [ a Jew - Editor ] and a Black Supremacist seem more deserving of carefully balanced reporting from the word-processing spider.

 The point is that accusations of racism ought to be met with derision, and the accusers with exposés about their lunatic affiliations, individual corruption, criminal record, missed alimony payments, bizarre financial arrangements, weird sexual preferences, drug addiction, and irregular tax returns. Let them explain themselves for a while, and let us talk about real issues. The debate should never be allowed to descend into arcane arguments about whether or not one is 

That is what they want, because it prevents discussion about embarrassing topics having to do with where the West is heading, why it is heading in that direction, and who benefits from current policies.

Frankly, I found the anti-Murdough articles rather comical. They reeked of desperation. I hope, therefore, that our side keeps them irritated so that they write more in this vein. The more they scream racist, hater, Nazi, whatever, the more they will devalue these terms and render them meaningless. Perhaps they have already become meaningless. From what I have seen, people are already beyond tired of racism controversies. Whenever a new one erupts (and Google Alerts sends me dozens of links every day), the most common reaction I encounter is a fed up moan and a rolling of the eyes. So I have to wonder, once people stop caring altogether, what else are professional ‘anti-racists’ going to say? What else are they going to do? Maybe they will be forced into earning an honest living for once and for all. 

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Alex Kurtagic (email him; follow him on Twitter) was born in 1970. He is the author of Mister (published by Iron Sky Publishing, 2009) and the founder and director of Supernal Music.

Permanent link: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Kurtagic-Journalistic-Fraud.html 

PS Journalism is not always easy-


Watergate Reporting
It was not pretty. The Main Stream Media were howling for blood. Their hate followed him to the grave. It contrasts with their undying love for Bill Clinton.


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Updated  on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 18:38:31