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This illustrates how a trusted profession such as medicine, can be used to enforce a particular system by basing itself on what experts “know to be true” - of course we knowtoday that it was not true The point to be made though is that people at the time assumed it was true, actually had to be true. Cartwright’s diagnosis was both the explanation and the solution to the problem of runaway slaves in his own terms. “Truthiness” Randall Marlin coined this term in order to better understand the relationship between truth and propaganda Example: There was a speech scheduled at the University of Ottawa with Ann Coulter who has extremist views on all things non-white and non-Christian When the speech was canceled, people accused the school of not allowing her to express her right to freedom of speech The real reason it was canceled however is because the speech was so popular that the amount of people who would have attended would have violated safety and fire regulations For Marlin, it was a case of deception by Ottawa media, which framed the situation as one of freedom of speech when it was a clear case of observance of fire regulations “Deception is not merely to be tolerated as an occasional prudent aberration in a world of truth telling: it is rather an essential component of our ability to organize and shape the world.” (Marlin)Disinformation vs. MisinformationAn important technique of propaganda today is disinformation (different from misinformation)Misinformation: inaccurate or invalid information disseminated without malicious intent Disinformation: calculated and deliberate Disinformation is purposely used as an effort to have adverse effect on an enemy’s population in order to demoralize them or on one’s own population in order to gain theiracceptance of something It could also be used to deceive the enemy and purposely get a reaction out of them - based on a lie or manipulation It can also be seen internally - one can simply look to the Iraq War and what has becomeknown as the search for weapons of mass destruction - over time this was shown to be false and thus an example of disinformation by a government to sway its citizens to support the war Seeing is Believing Ellul says that for propaganda to be successful it must have some validity in experience Uses “accuracy of facts” and “accuracy of reality” to replace the word truth 16
Believes that we must recognize something we know to be true in terms of our belief or experience, otherwise we will not believe the propaganda message because we will assume it is untrue Critics of Disinformation Critics of disinformation claim that such thinking borders on conspiracy theory and should thus be dismissed Information as a Weapon Lesson 7: Trigger Rush to Judgement Princess Diana of Wales died in 1997 in a car accident in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi Perception of the paparazzi is that they are seen to harass people and impression is fundamentally negative