CNN Presents... Propaganda


On June 2nd, 1996, "CNN Presents" repeated a propaganda piece dealing with the Patriot Movement in America, entitled "Patriots and Profits." The main thrust of the piece was that most "patriots" were only in it for the money, trying to profit from the Patriot Movement.

Also thrown in for good measure was the assertion that the fictional novel, The Turner Diaries had somehow inspired Patriots to acts of violence. It was reported that Timothy McVeigh had read The Turner Diaries and perhaps even sold it at gun shows.

Morris Dees, the so-called "expert" on militias, was trotted out, to tell how Chuck Harder, radio host of a Patriot radio station in Florida, had brought in $4 million dollars the past year; implying that Harder was only in it for the money, and exploiting the Patriot Movement.

What CNN and Dees did not mention was his own fund-raising efforts, which have reportedly given his Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) something on the order of an $80 million dollar surplus. In one case, a Black woman who engaged the Southern Poverty Law Center saw Dees pull out of the case, only to continue using it as a fund-raising device. Many of his former associates at the SPLC have quit in disgust at his emphasis on fund-raising, and his obvious racism and prejudice.

This "expert" on the Patriot Movement and militias has also been accused by a former wife (in legal papers filed in divorce proceedings) of wife beating, adultery, homosexuality, and child molestation. Yet the major media have continually presented Dees as a truthful and credible source.

If we are to place credence in the theory that works of fiction do indeed inspire action in the real world, then how about this report from the Internet, concerning that wonderful piece of fiction, Earth In The Balance by Al Gore?

"The FBI has discovered that suspected Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was an intense reader of Vice President Al Gore's ecological warnings," says The American Spectator.

"FBI agents on the scene are telling colleagues they were amused when, while tearing apart the shack of [the] suspected Unabomber ... they came upon Al Gore's 1992 eco-tract, Earth in the Balance," reports the conservative opinion journal in its June issue.

"Many sections were underlined in pencil, and there were copious notes in the margins," says an item in the journal's "On the Prowl" section.

The magazine notes that Gore's title has not appeared in any previous press reference to the 80 or so books found in the cabin.

Some FBI agents, says the item, "assume the title was clearly suppressed to avoid embarrassing Gore and the administration."

Another work of "fiction" that has obviously inspired real-world action is the Report From Iron Mountain on the Possibility & Desirability of Peace. The original Dial Press edition described the report as a leaked government study by a "brain trust" that attempted to find a substitute for war as a "stabilizing" function in society. "No modern political political ruling group has successfully controlled its constituency after failing to sustain the continuing credibility of an external threat of war."

Now that the so-called "Cold War" is over, a substitute was needed - an external threat that would unite the people and occupy their thoughts. The one credible external threat found was the environmental - pollution model - "...gross pollution of the environment can eventually replace the possibility of mass destruction by nuclear weapons as the principal apparent threat to the survival of the species." Pollution might even be selectively increased to "make the threat credible much sooner."

We are now told that the report is only political satire, and not to be taken seriously. If so, why has the plan it lays out been followed so completely? Since the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, the Great Threat to the people of the Earth has been "The Environment," and we are all supposed to unite in a "New World Order" and give up our freedoms and sovereignty in order to combat this bogeyman.

According to CNN's argument, does it matter if it is a work of fiction, if it seems like a workable plan, inspires people to take action, and enact the events therein described? Shall we then outlaw all works of fiction, because people may get "ideas"???

I'll go along with CNN's premise: Ideas do indeed inspire people to do things, from works of fiction or non-fiction. But the originators of the idea are not responsible for the actions of others. Free Speech demands that we hear diversity of opinions, in a free-marketplace of ideas.

"Conspirators" may indeed borrow ideas from works of fiction, and many people attempt to profit from any new idea or movement that comes along. Look where the big money is, such as in the environmental movement, with many millions of dollars at stake (hundreds of millions in land swaps, donations, etc.), and you will see who really cares... and who is in it for the money.

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