Is it OK for networks to feed on revenue derived from running ads that are clearly outright lies?  2012 is 1984.  Is it good to sit around a table in front of a national audience and parse lies on Sunday mornings?

These are important questions to answer with the future of our Republic on the line like never before in my lifetime, based on all the turmoil from within.  The real threat to our Republic today is not from enemies on the outside or Middle East Terrorists, it is from Americans who pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist ahead of their own country.  The real threat is from fallacious economic theories which promote narcissist sociopathic greed; and from the imposition of religious value judgments from the Dark Ages when almost everyone was a “creationist,” or risk being burned at the stake as a heretic

The real threat is from within.

This was the central message from George Orwell in 1984, when the concern/paranoia was Communism.  Orwell knew he was dying and wanted to warn that unrest from within a country was far more dangerous than enemies on the outside.  It is like a marriage going down the drain; it is the relationship between the two people within the marriage that comes unglued, just like the relationships of fellow countrymen coming unglued.  Remember all the pilgrims were English before they decided they needed a divorce.

All the Television Networks are running political ads, and are bombarding the nation with political ads based material lies like never before.  Ads which contain significant lies do not need fact checking by anyone who cares about empirical reality or anyone who remembers what the lair said yesterday on national television which changed with each new day’s dawning.  Lies that are easily checked by what Romney and Ryan have said in public at various times – lies that were recorded and are irrefutable; lies that are clear from their historical track records.  Lies about what a sitting President of the United States either did or said, lies about a sitting President which are self evident.

The primary method of refuting the lies apparently is more ads which point out the lies. And these ads are characterized  by members of the 4th estate as negative – rather than as truthful rebuttals. (Does the media prefer revenue from rebuttal ads to confronting the liars directly in the act of lying?)

So is repetitive lying in political ads protected under the First Amendment?  Here are some facts:

Exceptions to free speech in the United States are limitations on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and expression as recognized by the United States Supreme Court. These exceptions have been created over time, based on certain types of speech and expression, and under different contexts. While freedom of speech in the United States is a constitutional right, these exceptions make that right a limited one.

Restrictions that are based on people’s reactions to words include both instances of a complete exception, and cases of diminished protection. Speech that involves incitement, false statements of fact, obscenity, child pornography, threats, and speech owned by others are all completely exempt from First Amendment protections.

I understand the First Amendment, but is Free Speech protected when it is propaganda at a level Josef Goebbels would have been proud of,  along with his boss.

Nazi Propaganda by Joseph Goebbels


For further information on the German Propaganda Archive, see the FAQ.

His work as a propagandist materially aided Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. When Hitler seized power in 1933, Goebbels was appointed Reichsminister for propaganda and national enlightenment. From then until his death, Goebbels used all media of education and communications to further Nazi propagandistic aims, instilling in the Germans the concept of their leader as a veritable god and of their destiny as the rulers of the world.

A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.

a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses

b. They must be capable of being easily learned

c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations

d. They must be boomerang-proof

Now you know, from the exceptions to the First Amendment, the networks do have a clear responsibility to not allow self evident lies (false statements of facts) permeate our airways?  Airways belong to the public and require a license from the government in order to use.  The FTC and the FCC will not get involved, because there is too much big money behind the concentration of power in the hands of too few owners.  Fox News/faux views should have been shut down for news, and possibly allowed to be a dark comedy show not presented as factual but as a play in the Theater of the Absurd.

The only thing that matters is that all the messages run and get paid for.

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  1. Thomas I. Hausman

    Right on point. Bout time someone tells it like it is.