Home > Contemporary Theory and Issues in PR > War, Propaganda and, “Like big Hollywood Movie…”

War, Propaganda and, “Like big Hollywood Movie…”

America & Propaganda. Shock horror! Well actually – not.

Our fictitious land of Abracadabra, had gone to war with the scumbags of the universe. They have WMD’s and are threatening our nation with a terrorist attack or two. So, whether war is good, bad or even criminal, we need to send our men out, make it look like they want to go and make it look like we’re going to win. In fact we will win. Let’s ignore the homegrown threat for now, I mean, the public don’t need to know that there are actual terrorist affiliations in THIS country – we’ll deal with that when London’s burning. By then, we’ll have won. Let’s just focus on the international threat, let’s go in with the big guns, and the big helicopters – actually cancel that because we can’t afford it. But we’ll still win. We’ve just bought the RBS for crying out loud, and we need to save that money for the Kraft/Cadbury’s transaction – that will pay off in the long run. Hmm Chocolate. Winning Chocolate. Winning Soldiers. The War, sponsored by Kraft.

Okay, so my random rant above is more of a reflection of what our beloved politicians in the UK have been up to. But it’s sprung from the War Spin video we watched on Wednesday – the story of how Saving Private Ryan, I mean Lynch was so valiantly executed by gun brandishing soldiers.

It doesn’t surprise me that propaganda occurs, although what does surprise me is how much the then American Republican Government, in a democratically elected government are allowed to get away with such behaviour, without the United Nations batting an eyelid.

Looking at the article on the BBC written after War Spin was made, it specifies that the Pentagon Propaganda was influenced by Hollywood producer, Jerry Bruckheimer. Tapping into American Citizens via possibly the only penetrable way: television, the use of gritty documentary style reporting was used to produce a primetime documentary following soldiers in Afghanistan.

Pam & Michaela made me think about the decision making process involved in a war spin strategy. Effectively – this is what it is, it’s war that needs spinning. But at what point does the spinning web become tangled forcing the truth to unearth from a vast web of fabrication…?

Sir John Chilcot, Chair of the Iraq Inquiry

Ironically, the Chilcot Inquiry is taking place now. And while the nation urges Prime Minister Gordon Brown to give evidence, considering he was there when the decision was made, Sarah Brown twitters and totters in her butterfly printed dress designed by Issa to the National Television Awards. Although I am aware that Sarah and old Gordy are not one in the same, the point is that Mrs Brown, is a key part of UK politics just as much as Gordon Brown is.

Sarah Brown’s appearance at the NTA’s albeit a tad strange, was an apt way of regaining the public’s attention, and she managed to produce a key moment – reminding the audience and viewers at home of the Soldiers away from home. It may well have been a pseudo event to divert the nation’s attention from loathing her husband, however what point is that, if the soldiers themselves are dying before the message gets to them.

For the War Spin documentary transcript click here.

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  1. January 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I almost forgot about that Hollywood producer taking part in making the department of defence film. I was really shocked while watching the War Spin film and I felt sort of amazed on how government is trying to hide and change stories into something else, and at the same time I thought how pitiful all of this is. Because after people find out the government looks just silly and pathetic… Especially if it comes to that Hollywood film style action American soldiers presented when they invaded that poor hospital in Iraq.

  2. February 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Aneta, it’s not unusual for ‘Democratic’ government to use slightly more sophisticated tactics than, undemocratic governments. What shocks me is that they are using it! I mean, back then Bush kept throwing around the word democracy like it was a frisby.

    It’s not just the States – take a look at Gaza and Israel. Pro Israeli Lobby groups are always challenging what they deem to be ‘negative’ media portrayal of the Israeli government. In 2008/2009 when Israel launched their offensive, the BBC was the only channel that didn’t put out the DEC disasters appeal – for fear of these monitoring groups.

    Channel 4’s Dispatches team and Peter Osborn did a documentary on it, questioning why politicians avoid challenging the issue.

    Here is the link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-42/episode-1

    With or without spin, the media has a huge part to play in the way footage especially visual, is edited. And I’m glad that the BBC War Spin doc was made, I love the fact that it applied Mr. Bruckheimer’s own tactics of Hollywood action to it – it certainly makes more sense to me now!

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