Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Tale Of Two Propagandists?

Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945)
Each era of history is in some ways unique, and none of its chief players are identical. Let's start with that. 

But when Steve Bannon of Breitbart News, known for his incendiary rhetoric and frequent disregard for the truth, was named as chief strategist for the new president-elect, I couldn't help but ask whether this in any way resembles a development in Germany in the thirties.

Consider the following bit of history

"In 1933, the year Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) became chancellor of Germany, he named Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), his trusted friend and colleague, to the key post of minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. In this capacity, Goebbels was charged with presenting Hitler to the public in the most favorable light, regulating the content of all German media and fomenting anti-Semitism."

Stephen Bannon
Fast forwarding 86 years, history could record the following:

"In 2016, the year Donald Trump became president-elect of the United States, he named Steve Bannon, his trusted friend and colleague, as his chief strategist. In this capacity, Bannon was charged with presenting the Trump agenda to the public in the most effective way possible, influencing the content of US media and fomenting anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant attitudes."

Of course its too early to judge the effect Mr. Bannon will have on the President or how he will attempt to influence the media and the public to support the new administration's plans to "Make America Great Again". But if the tenor of "Breitbart News" is any indication, we might witness a level of propagandist rhetoric never before seen coming out of the White House.

In all fairness, Mr. Bannon is no longer responsible for all of the content of Breitbart News, but here is a sample of some of the more misleading, totally unproven and/or inflammatory headlines found recently on the site and which have been circulated widely on social media:

Hillary Clinton Screaming Obscenities And Throwing Objects In Election Night Meltdown

Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew

There's No Hiring Bias Toward Women In Tech--They Just Suck At Interviews

Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage

Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive And Crazy

The Solution to Online 'Harassment' Is Simple--Women Should Log Off

Trump 100% Vindicated--CBS Reports 'Swarms' On Rooftops Celebrating 9/11

Planned Parenthood's Body Count Under Cecile Richards Up To Half A Holocaust

"Love compels us to respectfully and humbly show all high officials what the Word of God commands them, how they should rightfully execute their office to the glory and praise of God... to punish the transgressors and protect the good; to judge rightly between a man and his fellows; to do justice to the widows and orphans and to the poor, to rule cities and countries justly by a good policy and administration, not contrary to God’s Word but to the benefit of the common people."

- Menno Simons, 16th century Dutch reformer
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