Editorial: Must See Television, Propaganda 

Editorial: Must See Television, Propaganda 
Posted by FoM on January 28, 2000 at 08:06:04 PT
Staff Editorial, U. Illinois
Source: U-WIRE
 You'll be happy to know that none of this editorial has been influenced by the U.S. government or its "drug czar" Gen. Barry McCaffrey. It's unfortunate, many television shows can't say the same. According to online magazine Salon, networks have been avoiding running otherwise mandatory public service announcements by slipping anti-drug messages into the plotlines of their prime-time programs. 
For the last two years, scripts have been arriving at McCaffrey's office for approval and, subsequently, airtime that was once used for PSA's has been freed up for things like deodorant commercials. The great expanse of nothingness that is television is vapid enough, need it be subversive, as well? Moreover, doesn't the Federal Communications Commission have rules that advertised content must be designated as such? If we define advertising as a paid-for message delivered through some medium, aren't the Feds breaking their own rules? If this is not ruled as advertising, then it is most certainly propaganda. While this is certainly not as patently offensive as anything the Third Reich ever broadcasted, it's the principle that's at issue. The government is, in effect, bribing a segment of the entertainment industry to artificially foist White House-approved messages to the general public. Even free democracies, apparently, are not above using propaganda to further their agenda. At the same time, no one is putting a gun to television producers' heads. It was their choice to trade their artistic integrity for a quick buck. And compared to what their respective networks pull in every year in profits, that "buck" probably isn't too far from the truth. After the public learns of the orchestration, who's going to take any of the anti-drug themes on television shows seriously? The whole plan will backfire. In the end maybe public service announcements don't do the drug prevention job any better. Maybe the government should use that money for grassroots drug education and prevention programs. Come on, Two Guys and a Girl is bad enough as it is. Published: Janauary 27, 2000(U-WIRE) CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (C) 2000 Daily Illini via U-WIRE Related Articles:When Conspiracy for Good is Bad - 1/28/2000 Just Say No - 1/27/2000
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Comment #1 posted by observer on January 28, 2000 at 10:10:21 PT
free democracies ...
> Even free democracies, apparently, are not above using propaganda to further their agenda.Hmmmm. Maybe the question should be raised: "Is the U.S. a free democracy?" When rulers over a people pre-decide how the people should think and vote, to the point of disallowing plebescite results that disagree with the rulers, then many would argue that such is not a "democracy" at all (though it may pay lip service to being one).
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