Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930's Germany
a book by Kelly Carey
(our site's book review)
Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930’s Germany is a brief, 152-page comparison of propaganda tactics from Hitler’s Third Reich to the right wing news machine that drove information in the 2016 election. Kelly Carey’s expert comparison includes broken political parties, power vacuums and decades of false news, leading to unlikely and dangerous leaders in Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. The reader will be introduced to the history and methods of Nazi propaganda and the mind of Josef Goebbels, the propaganda minister and the sick bastard that thought up the Holocaust. Carey explains the similar propaganda tactics used by Steven Bannon and right wing media corporations for two decades and how they have mimicked Hitler’s fake news machine. It would be instructive to find out how many of these extremists have read Mein Kampf, Hitler's playbook.
The uniformity is shocking and telling. The direct quotes by both leaders and their emotional inadequacies are alarming at best and guide the reader through the tangle of facts and fiction, as directed and disseminated by each leader. Carey explores why propaganda works to fool people into believing harmful agendas that rape the climate and the environment while plunging us deeper in debt and raining more of our U.S. wealth all over the already filthy rich billionaire oligarchs. The lies of the right have catapulted America to the brink of history in the same manner propaganda allowed the Third Reich to rise and change the world forever. It's time we all stood up to their lies and resisted their attempt to dump a century of progress. We need to tell them that we get that they'd love to become kings while we serve as their oppressed serfs, BUT WE ARE HAVING NONE OF THEIR SICK DREAM.
Feudalism: serfs carry royalty
It is imperative that we resist the greedy aspirations of the .001%—their dreams are AT OUR EXPENSE
Edward Bernays is the author of a book entitled Propaganda. "Propaganda becomes vicious and reprehensive only when its authors consciously and deliberately disseminate what they know to be lies [fake news], or when they aim at effects which they know to be prejudicial to the common good." This is Bernays recognizing propaganda's potential for misuse, for evil.
"It was, of course, the astounding success of propaganda during the war [WWI, 1914-1918] that opened the eyes of the intelligent few in all departments of life to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind. . . . Political campaigns today are all side shows, all honors, all bombast, glitter, and speeches." (It was 1928 and Bernays had no idea of the Nazi horrors to come.)
In 1928, Bernays saw political campaigns as clown shows, but in the 21st century, the possibilities of regimenting the public mind for political purposes is not lost on anyone with a pulse
Says Bernays: "The only propaganda which will ever tend to weaken itself as the world becomes more sophisticated and intelligent, is propaganda that is untrue [fake news] or unsocial." True, but only because some of the forces outside the mainstream media report more honestly than those controlled by the corporatocracy. If we ever lose our alternative media websites and publishers, all is lost and fascistic stormtroopers will be goosestepping their way to our door. And, unfortunately, in 2016, the world seems to be LOSING sophistication, wisdom, and intelligence, not gaining it. So fake news rules the day. See The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics and Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era.
The colonists rebelled against aristocratic thinking when they rejected England's rule by King George, so why are we not rebelling against oligarchal rule in modern USA?
And the Republicans are trying to drive us headlong in the most regressive direction ever attempted, wiping out a century of progress just to enrich a few immoral, greedy oligarchs, all the while lying through their teeth saying they're making America great again. And they're letting the environment and the climate be colateral damage—casualties of insane levels of blind, rabid, snarling greed in which the good of the many is sacrificed for the good of the very few. Isn't this the aristocratic thinking the colonists rebelled against when they rejected England's rule by King George? Are we in the USA condemned to have to go through all that once again in order to create the United States of America 2.0, only this time it's oligarchs, not kings, we must resist? See Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power.
If we ever lose our alternative media websites and publishers, all is lost and fascistic stormtroopers will be goosestepping their way to our door
In the context of the United States of America and its election processes in the 2010s, fake news generated considerable controversy and argument, with some commentators defining concern over it as moral panic or mass hysteria and others worried about damage done to public trust.
There was a fake anti-German atrocity propaganda news story in WWI which alleged a "German Corpse Factory" in which the German battlefield dead were rendered down for fats used to make nitroglycerine, candles, lubricants, human soap, and boot dubbing. In the Second World War Joseph Goebbels used the story in order to deny the ongoing massacre of Jews as British propaganda. According to Joachim Neander and Randal Marlin, the story also "encouraged later disbelief" when reports about the Holocaust surfaced after the liberation of Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps.
Hitler's tyrannical nature and hatemongering led to the Holocaust. What will Trump's tyrannical nature and hatemongering lead to?
Writing for The New York Times, Walter Duranty denied the great famine in Ukraine known as the Holodomor. After Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany in 1933, they established the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda under the control of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The Nazis used both print and broadcast journalism to promote their agendas, either by obtaining ownership of those media or exerting political influence. Throughout World War II, both the Axis and the Allies employed fake news in the form of propaganda to persuade publics at home and in enemy countries. The British Political Warfare Executive used radio broadcasts and distributed leaflets to discourage German troops. It's true what they say: truth IS the first casualty of war.
In the 'good' old days kids were supposed to absorb and believe everything and question nothing, like sponges with ears. The 21st century demands much more from us—if we don't wake up, the demagogues will take us all down.
Bernays, an insufferable egotist, braggart and bore, says that engineering consent of the masses is vital for the survival of democracy. He put a positive spin on the concept but he did mention it could be used as well for bad as for good. Then along came Communism and Fascism both of which exploited propaganda's potential for subjugating and oppressing the masses for the good of a few even though the people are told it is for their own good. This was ugly, and democracies looked down their noses at these totalitarian states which were disasters full of murder and intimidation. Propaganda got a very bad name for itself. We were told it was something that only Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba and Nazis and other fascists did. But we were NOT told how mercilessly the CIA installed propaganda into U.S. media as a universal but unacknowledged given. See Mass Control: Engineering Human Consciousness and Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion.
The propaganda used by the German Nazi Party in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler's leadership of Germany (1933–1945) was a crucial instrument for acquiring and maintaining power, and for the implementation of Nazi policies. The pervasive use of propaganda by the Nazis is largely responsible for the word "propaganda" itself acquiring its present negative connotations. Hitler said to tell big lies, not small, and tell them often until even fools will have gotten the message. (He of course never mentioned that only fools would believe any of his lies in the first place.) Massive propaganda in many forms convinced Germans to support Nazi policies and hate Jews. Hitler knew that to unite a people behind a cause, it was important to find an enemy—a villian to hate, a villian to blame their problems on, a scapegoat. It didn't matter if the accusations were true, only that they got repeated endlessly.
Hitler knew that to unite a people behind a cause, it was important to find an enemy—a villian to hate, a villian to blame their problems on, a scapegoat
Edward Bernays, considered the father of Public Relations (and Sigmund Freud’s nephew), turned down P.R. work which he was offered by Germany in the 1930s, as he was concerned about how his work would be used—particularly by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. His concerns were later justified a trillion-fold.
Note that Trump has followed Hitler's and Joseph Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda's example, not because Trump reads history books (fat chance) or has read Mein Kampf, but because Trump seems to have a natural authoritarian demogogue's instincts for propaganda, fake news, and public relations, and he admires tyrants because they're powerful and they WIN, which is a critical element to Trump. By combining propaganda, fake news, and public relations with a snake-oil salesman's flair and panache, a genius for self-marketing and self-promotion, and a genius for branding, Trump was able to keep the media attention directed on him before, during, and after his successful presidential campaign. Trump is either the center of attention and happy, or not the center of attention and unhappy—i.e., he is a narcissist. Not a complicated man! Find enemies and demonize them, Trump instinctively knew, repeating the message often so his base sees scapegoats to hate. Enemies like nonwhite races, Muslims, the mainstream media, the NY Times, CNN, crooked Hillary, and the establishment elites. Goebbels and Hitler would have been proud! Which is the subtext of Carey's book Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930's Germany.
Trump has a snake-oil salesman's flair and panache, as well as a genius for self-marketing and self-promotion, and a genius for branding
Trump seems to have a natural authoritarian demogogue's instincts for propaganda
No one is saying Trump is a Hitler or genocidally inclined or desirous of becoming a ruthless dictator—he isn't. But this book is a serious comparison of what happened in 1930s Germany and what happened in 2016, as well as an in-depth study of the type of fake news and propaganda that can lead authoritarian, narcissistic demagogues to incur way too much more power than their warped minds can safely handle. Trump can run companies, but is in way over his depth in trying to run a country—which is why chaos reigns at the White House.
In the 21st century, fake news abounds. Fake stories consistently appeared in Google's top news search results, were shared widely on Facebook, and were taken seriously and shared by third parties such as Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Eric Trump, ABC News, and the Fox News Channel. During the 2016 United States presidential election, the fabrication and coverage of fake news increased substantially. This resulted in a widespread response to combat the spread of fake news. Numerous political commentators and journalists wrote and stated in media that 2016 was the year of fake news and as a result nothing will ever be the same in politics and cybersecurity.
Governmental bodies in the U.S. and Europe started looking at contingencies and regulations to combat fake news specially when as part of a coordinated intelligence campaign by hostile foreign governments. Online tech giants Facebook and Google started putting in place means to combat fake news in 2016 as a result of the phenomenon becoming globally known. (Source: Fake news)
According to CBS's 60 Minutes, President Trump may use the term fake news to describe any news, however legitimate or responsible, with which he may disagree
"With the economic barriers removed, 2016 proved a much more fertile breeding ground for fake news than previously, with the narrative of the 2016 election campaign providing a near perfect topical backdrop. The event would be discussed globally, while the debate was polarised in numerous ways, allowing for greater polemic against either candidate. Donald Trump has been seen as a key ingredient. His campaign waved an anti-establishment banner, undermining the 'dynasty' candidate Hillary Clinton by repeatedly calling her 'crooked', and proclaiming that he wanted to 'drain the swamp' of Washington.
Trump keeps proclaiming that he wants to 'drain the swamp' of Washington, but if he does, there'll be no one left!
Fake news helped elect Trump, and now it is a weapon in his war on the mainstream media
"He also courted conspiracy theories. Initially he suggested Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of JFK, perpetuated the myth of Obama not being born in the United States (which he later conceded) and repeatedly claimed climate change as a hoax. Such a wildcard candidate attracted massive media attention, itself fueled by a series of controversial policy suggestions—like building a border wall between Mexico and the US or 'a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.' Trump's unpredictability and his fueling of distrust of his opponents led to a growth in fake news that was supportive of him. In an atmosphere where you never know what might happen next or what to believe, you're going to be more receptive to hyperbole and truth distortion.
"'Pope backs Trump', 'Hillary sold weapons to ISIS', 'FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead'—these fake headlines all went viral on Facebook in the run up to the election, gaining such high engagement that BuzzFeed published an analysis on how they had outperformed real news on Facebook." (Source: What is fake news? Its origins and how it grew in 2016, James Carson, The Telegraph)
Sharyl Attkisson, author of The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, thinks there’s an agenda to censor the news as opposed to actually trying to eliminate fake news—which is merely the cover story