U.S. Lifts Propaganda Ban, Will Now Go For It

by
Abby Zimet

Because the government doesn't already wield enough power over what we see and hear, the reform of a decades-long ban on domestic propaganda will this month unleash thousands of hours a week of government-funded TV and radio programs trumpeting, of course, their singularly patriotic point of view. The reform of the Smith-Mundt Act, once famously urged by Sen. William Fulbright to "take (its) rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics," will allow "a vast ocean" of programming by Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other media, now heard in over 100 countries, to be heard as well at home. Some critics worry expanded U.S. programming may be used to influence public opinion to "protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will," or to "shape the essential narrative of a conflict" - a.k.a., lie about how well our wars are going - but a spokesman insists the agencies will "present fair and accurate news." So not to worry.

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