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August 04, 2004

Propaganda Tactics and Fahrenheit 9/11

A very good paper (here's the pdf, here's the site) asking the question of whether F9/11 is propaganda or documentary by a professor of psychology. The author lays out traditional propaganda techniques and analyzes the occurance of these techniques in F 9/11. His conclusion is, obvious to anyone with a brain, that it is pure propaganda. One thing said that is true of people as a whole but more true of Moorephiles;

Research has shown the quality of an argument is largely irrelevant. Professor James Stiff, a leading judgment researcher, found a wimpy overall correlation between quality evidence and attitude change. He found that humans don’t pay much attention to argument validity—rather, they pay attention to the argument’s claim or conclusion, and how closely that claim or conclusion matches their prejudices. If a poorly argued message concludes with what a person already believes is true, he’ll buy it. On the other hand, most powerfully reasoned arguments with ample supporting evidence will be rejected, if the conclusion doesn’t match what the listener wants to hear. Don’t accuse humans of being logical—they’re not. They’re psycho-logical, which is something else entirely. That’s why it’s so common to see people giving faulty reasoning and invalid conclusions a pass: as long as the propagandist arrives at the “correct” conclusion, it really doesn’t matter how he got there. Mere insinuation will serve about as well as solid evidence to prop up a prejudice.

It is also clear in this paper and by this article (concerning a headline that Moore doctored) that there are out-right lies in F 9/11. It is also clear by this article in the Daily Star that an argument Moore makes in the film has a racist subtext (though Moore, who flunked out of college, is not smart enough to recognize the inherent racism of this argument)

NOTE This piece contains the opinions and views of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the siteowners (I write this to protect GC and Razib from Moore's sue-everyone-who-questions-him machine)

Posted by scottm at 07:26 PM