There is a fine line between PR and propaganda. I’ve heard that public relations was a phrase that was adopted after Hitler ruined the word propaganda, which at one time was innocuous.
Here is a link to the New York Times where you’ll discover just how much influence money can have in America. Rich people are paying to have their points of view worked into T.V. shows. This is a very slippery slope – so when you watch a TV show like 30 Rock and they position the flu shot as something everyone wants, but few can get just months before the H1n1 Swine Flu outbreak of 2009 . . . it is okay to wonder just what the hell is going on. Anyway, here are some excerpts form the article, starting with one about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
foundation money was used for another cause: it helped develop the script for a recent episode of “ER” that featured the return of George Clooney.
The foundation also has the support and billions of Warren Buffet behind it:
It is less well known as a behind-the-scenes influencer of public attitudes toward these issues by helping to shape story lines and insert messages into popular entertainment like the television shows “ER,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Private Practice.” The foundation’s messages on H.I.V. prevention, surgical safety and the spread of infectious diseases have found their way into these shows.
Now the Gates Foundation is set to expand its involvement and spend more money on influencing popular culture through a deal with Viacom, the parent company of MTV and its sister networks VH1, Nickelodeon and BET. It could be called “message placement”: the social or philanthropic corollary to product placement deals in which marketers pay to feature products in shows and movies. Instead of selling Coca-Cola or G.M. cars, they promote education and healthy living.
The article also says that these methods have been effective in influencing public views and behavior. There you have it – your views and behavior are being purposely influenced. Now Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are good guys right? Who cares? Well what if they aren’t? What if they believe strongly in population control, or have family that are involved in planned parenthood, or eugenics. Would the use of the Gates’ billions being overtly used to influence what Americans think, and how they behave be bad?