Friday, September 08, 2006

Indotru-Cation - Leave no Truth Behind

To survive people conformed. They kept silent. And the continuous propaganda worked.

(from Propaganda in the Propaganda State)

In the USSR, Lenin and Stalin cultivated their power with the aid of the media. Sure, media was less sophisticated in those days: radio, newspapers, and the movies were pretty much it. But with willing propagandists at the media helm, tyranny was certainly an easier ride - for the tyrants.


Function: noun


3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

Propaganda was the pretty face painted on brutality. It was able to whip up boogey men in an instant, regularly trumpeting the latest "enemy of the state," as if the poor victim was the political equivalent of the day's biggest fashion faux-pas.

But propaganda laid out in sheets of a newspaper or floating freely across the radio waves could only carry them so far.

Follow me below the fold...

[cross-posted from Green Mountain Daily]

What was needed?

Well-indoctrinated kids brimming full of propaganda could be mustered to help the Bolshevik leaders deal with their fundamental problem-that the masses, the older generations, remained backwards.

(from Propaganda in the Propaganda State)

They needed to cultivate crops of believers. They needed indoctrination.

To survive people conformed. They kept silent. And the continuous propaganda worked.

As a schoolgirl in the 1950s Tatiana Vorontsova remembers she learned the Morozov lesson in the fourth grade. "... We, of course, would also have liked to be heroes and at that time if I had been in the same situation, and my father had done something against the Soviet state, of course, I would simply have gone and reported him, just like that."

(from Propaganda in the Propaganda State)

And this brings us to a modern tale of propaganda.

Next Monday, is the 5th anniversary of 9/11, the day thousands of Americans were murdered in cold blood by fundamentalist religious zealots. Our President says they did it because they hate America, they hate our freedoms. He says we should: ...uphold the values of America, and remember why so many have come here.  We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them.

Next Monday, ABC plans to show a fictionalized "docudrama," written by Rush Limbaugh's friend Cyrus Nowrasteh, with the help of the Thomas Kean, appointed by the President to be the figurehead at the helm of the 9-11 Commission (which Bush didn't ... want to happen ... at all).

ABC claims that the movie is "a dramatization of the events detailed in The 9/11 Commission Report and other sources," implying that if it's in the movie, it's real, and came from a credible source. That claim is a lie of omission, because it leaves out vital information that, if known, would drastically change the perspective of the viewer. 

The most popular scene in right-wing blog land is one in which (try to follow me here, it's a bit convoluted) the Northern Alliance, which doesn't have bin Laden surrounded, doesn't have a CIA official ask a White House official for permission to bomb the not-surrounded bin Laden. The call was never made, but in the non-call, the CIA official is told by the administration official whom he didn't call, that they can't bomb the bad guy they don't have surrounded.

But of course the scene replaces all the parts that didn't happen in real life, with stuff that does happen in Disney life.

And that's not the only scene that pushes history through the looking glass.

Remember the definition of propaganda?  That whole thing about furthering your own cause while hurting your opponent's?

It sure sounds like this movie uses a whole bucket of paint in a flimsy attempt to blot out the truth of Democratic [.wav sound file] competence, while tossing a big ol' throw-rug over the Republican incompetence.

One of the biggest roadblocks to actually protecting us against terrorists was the Republican Congress, which was so obsessed by the trivial matter of two consenting adults "diddling," that they refused to see terrorism as the crucial life-and-death issue it was. In fact, they seemed to relish using a movie title as a metaphor to imply fighting terrorism was a diversion from  the real business of hanky panky in the oval office: 

"Look at the movie 'Wag the Dog.' I think this has all the elements of that movie," Rep. Jim Gibbons said. "Our reaction to the embassy bombings should be based on sound credible evidence, not a knee-jerk reaction to try to direct public attention away from his personal problems."

Massachusetts acting Gov. Paul Cellucci, a Republican and a movie buff, said: "It popped into my mind, but I do hope that that's not the situation and I trust that it isn't."

One of the first questions asked of [Clinton's] Defense Secretary William Cohen at a nationally televised Pentagon [briefing] was how he would respond to people who think the military action "bears a striking resemblance to 'Wag the Dog."'

"The only motivation driving this action today was our absolute obligation to protect the American people from terrorist activities," Cohen said. "That is the sole motivation."


Anything Can Come True, If You Wish it Hard Enough

They believe they can wipe the slate clean, perhaps?  They know the short attention span of the American public. Maybe, if they can tell big enough lies on the TV, they can fool enough people to bring them to victory in November.

They don't want people to remember their failure to protect us. They want people to forget that President Bush, the man who did a little landscaping while terrorists prepared to kill thousands, the man they have supported in every failed policy, every bungled action, every stupid move, let 9/11 happen on his watch, then promptly ran the ship of state aground in the desert of the Middle East, without any strategy, without caring enough about the lives of our sons and daughters to have devised a definition of success. So now our kids and those of all the innocent civilians in a country that posed no threat, have merged into an endless stream of blood and death half a world away.

But Wait! There's More!

Remember that propaganda through the media can only be "so" effective. The "masses" tend to be too cynical to buy it all (except that inexplicable 35% Bush base). But there is a way to cultivate a crop of true believers. To grow a corps of followers who won't know any better.

Send the Propaganda to School via Indoctri-Cation[tm]! Now with Leave no Truth Behind!

When ABC decided to make this propaganda piece, they also partnered with Scholastic to make a curriculum that requires students to watch the movie and answer "discussion" questions, which are not at all misleading or propagandistic (yeah, that's the ticket!).

Samples (from>:

  • Accompanied by a Bush 9/11 Bullhorn Picture, states that Afghanistan is "increasingly stable and independent"

    Timeout for Truth:

    Friday September 8, 2006

    Nato's top commander appealed yesterday for helicopters, planes and hundreds of extra troops to reinforce the alliance's Afghan force against the Taliban. Returning from a visit to Afghanistan, General James Jones admitted he had been taken aback by the ferocity of violence in the south of the country.

    (from Guardian UK)

  • encourages students to debate "whether the media helps or hurts our national security."

    Hmmm... debate whether the media is a threat. I can just hear whoever cobbled this dreck together: "Does it get kids to question the Constitutional right to freedom of the press? Yessir! Check. Next..."

  • Lists all the pertinent government agencies, stating that the CIA and FBI were accused of not doing enough to prevent the attacks. No such reference is included in the "National Security Council" section or the "NSA" section.

    Note: NSA was run by Condoleeza Rice when 9/11 occurred, and she insisted that she ignored the plan to prevent terrorist attacks, which had been provided by the Clinton transition team, because it was an "historic" document. As if having been written in the past magically removes its value. Hint for Condoleeza: all documents were written in the past.

  • Gives a rundown of each country involved in the movie, no mention is made of Clinton's attempts to get bin Laden in Afghanistan. Rather, it states that "after 9/11", we asked the Taliban to hand him over.

    Leaves out Saudi Arabia, which provided 15 of the 19 hijackers. Also includes Iraq as a country that was part of 9/11. Also ignores Taliban offer to hand over bin Laden pre-war.

  • Under "Iraq", the document states that the U.S. "believed that Hussein had been developing weapons of mass destruction that he planned to use against Americans and other targets."  But, conveniently, there is NO mention that WMD were never found, leaving students with the impression that the war was justified.
    See here for a discussion of Just War Principles v. Iraq

  • Also under "Iraq", the document states that the US is still in Iraq, "battling insurgents who want the United States to pull out."  No mention of civil war, no mention of how Iraqis want us out, no mention of anything but a phrase which leaves students thinking that if someone suggests a pull out, they are siding with the insurgents.
    I don't really need to comment here, the original says it all.

  • Under "Pakistan," you'll find glowing praise for Pervez Musharraf.

    The Musharraf dictatorship doles out ostensible support in the war on terror to keep it in the good graces of Washington, while it presides over a society that fuels and empowers militants at the expense of moderates. And the political madrasas, which I spent years as prime minister dismantling, flourish and grow under the military dictatorship. Why is it that the terrorist trail always seems to lead back to Pakistan? Why are second-generation Pakistani emigres far more attracted by this pattern of terrorism than other disillusioned Muslims in the west? What is it about Islamabad that puts it at the centre of terrorist plots?

    - former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

The curriculum has reportedly already been shipped to 100,000 teachers around the country.

What Can We Do?

Propagandizing is bad enough, but indoctrinating our kids with it is beyond the pale. Making their class grades depend on learning the propaganda is abhorrent.

Cheating our children out of the truth and betraying their trust is not an American value.

Covering up failure makes it impossible to prevent a repeat. This dishonors all who have died, it is  not an American value.

If you're as pissed off about this as I am, there are a bunch of easy steps you can take.

Make at least two phone calls, send 2 faxes, or send 2 emails, one to an ABC affiliated company and one to an advertiser

DO IT TODAY! The Movie is slated to air on Sunday and Monday. There is time to stop it, but only if we act NOW.

Be sure to be polite!  The people answering the phone or reading the email are not the people who are trying to promote blatant propaganda and force feed it to our children, plus you "attract more flies with honey" and all that...

If You Are a Parent with Kids in the Public Schools - A Special Task

Please contact your school board, the school principle, your child's history and reading teachers, and your PTA. Let them know you do not want your child to be subject to this propaganda.

Ask the school to contact their Scholastic sales representative to discuss changing distributors unless this is corrected.

I know this is a VERY long post, but it only scratches the surface and barely sketches out a hint of the outright falsehoods in this movie. Please see here for a list of articles debunking the movie's claims.

ABC Companies
(from dailykos diary)


ABC Television Network

Phone: 212-456-7777

77 West 66th Street, New York, NY 10023-6298

Robert Iger, President


Anne Sweeney, President of Disney-ABC Television Group

Fax: 818-560-1930

500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-9722

Executive Offices: 818-560-1000

Kevin Brockman, VP for Publicity

Phone: 818-460-6655

ABC Audience Relations: [Must navigate phone tree, to leave a 30-second message in their ‘specials’ voicemail box. Be sure to reference ‘the path to 9/11’ in your voicemail.]

Phone: 818-460-7477

ABC Media Relations staff for this "movie":

Patrick Preblick: 212-456-7819


Jonathan Hogan: 818-460-7016


Touchstone TV Media Relations: [A division of Disney]

Erin Felentzer: 818-460-6642


Network News desk: 212-456-2700

Fax: 212-456-4866, 212-456-2795


Disney Shareholder Services: [For Disney stockholders, the best call you can make is to shareholder services... let them know you are very unhappy with the decision that YOUR company made on this whole issue. 30 MILLION DOLLARS worth of propaganda?]

Phone: 818-553-7200

Fax: 818-553-7210

611 N. Brand Blvd. Suite 6100, Glendale, CA 91203


ABC Contact webform: [use this to send messages to many of their programs, including some news shows]

ABC News Comments email:

Nightline email:

Primetime email:

20/20 email:

World News Now email:

This Week email:

ABC FAQ page: [scroll down for a big list of production companies for individual shows]

Important Action to direct at local ABC stations

[To make a big impression with your local affiliate, be sure to combine writing/emailing/calling them with a clear reference to let them know you are also corresponding with the FCC also on this issue, FCC info is provided below.

A great way to do this is to write an email to station with your complaint and CC to the FCC... making sure you indicate the following very prominently: FCC-Please place this message in the station's "FCC LICENSE PUBLIC COMMUNICATION FILE." In phone calls, tell them you are sending complaints to be placed in that file. That will get their attention like nothing else, their license is their life.]

Webpage for locating local ABC affiliates:

Or you can use the Wikipedia list of ABC affiliates: http://en.wikipedia....

Federal Communications Commission - FCC

Phone: 888-225-5322

Fax: 866-418-0232

445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554


Complaints Page:

Kevin J. Martin, Chairman

Phone: 202-418-1000

Contact webform:

Michael J. Copps, Commissioner

Phone: 202-418-2000

Contact webform:

Jonathan S. Adelstein, Commissioner

Phone: 202-418-2300

Contact webform:

Deborah Taylor Tate, Commissioner

Phone: 202-418-2500

Contact webform:

ESPN Contact webform: [ESPN is a high-traffic Disney property]


ESPN Public Relations:

mPRm Public Relations

[A PR firm working with ABC on this project. As press agents they should be able to answer questions like: Why did Right wing blogs get advance copies of the dvd while Clinton and Albright were denied copies?]

Phone: 323-933-3399

Tom Chen


Theresa Black


Jennifer McIntosh


BBC Television

[They are slated to show the "movie" as well on Sunday 9/10, on BBC 2]

Phone: 08700 100 222

BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Glasgow G2 3WT

BBC "Path to 9/11" page:

BBC Complaints webform:

Editor's Blog [commenting here is the same as making a complaint]


[A partial victory here, they are going to drop the original classroom companion guides and replace them with materials stressing critical thinking and media literacy. Time to contact Scholastic again to reinforce our point... Let's reward good behavior too, but it is even more important is to stress that they must take drastic action to make sure the replacement materials are in place and adequate communication with teachers on the replacement are done before the show airs. And keep up the fight to get the damn "movie" pulled altogether!]

Phone: 212-343-6741, 212-343-6100

557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

Richard Robinson, CEO


Jeffrey Mathews, Vice President, Investor Relations, or Tonia Bellamy

Phone: 212-343-6741


Kyle Good, VP of Corporate Communications: 212-343-4563

Customer Service:

Phone: 212-343-6741, 800-724-6527 (toll-free)

M-F, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sat., 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, CST

[Tell Scholastic that they have rewarded the trust they have with a generation of teachers and parents with this action.

Clinton Foundation

[Bill Clinton has released a statement, but it is a bit underwhelming. See the top of the diary for info. Should we continue to use this contact? What do you think?

President Clinton is malignly portrayed in this "movie" and we would like to see him speak out on the many inaccuracies found in the storyline, as Madeline Albright and Richard Clarke have.]

Phone: 212-348-8882

Fax: 212-348-9245

Website contact form [sorry, but this is a long one]


Democratic National Committee

[They have now sent a letter to ABC with objections and posted a petition to sign too... but consider asking the party to tell ABC/Disney they will not advertise on their properties.]

Phone: 202-863-8000

430 S. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC 20003

Website contact form:


Your Local School Board

[Parents of--or those who care about--highschoolers: Consider contacting your school board to let them know you are not pleased to see propaganda pushed to your children--a "captive" audience. I can't list that info obviously, but the action is well worth the time.]

Unions - AFL-CIO and Change to Win

[Union members--use the webform or email to contact the right site and tell them to use the threat of those big pension plan investments on the fund managers listed below to help pressure ABC]

AFL-CIO, 815 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006

Contact webform:


Change to Win, 1900 L Street, NW Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 721-0660

Fax: (202) 721-0661



[Steve Jobs is Disney's biggest personal shareholder and he sits on their board as a result of Disney acquiring Pixar, where he was CEO. In his case, I think it is matter of educating him, because otherwise he is one of the good guys politically speaking. So don't growl at him.]

Main phone: 408-996-1010

1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014

Steve Jobs, CEO


Public Relations:

Katie Cotton, Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications


Steve Dowling, Corporate PR: 408-974-1896


Media Helpline: 408-974-2042

Apple investor relations:


[Besides the Steve Jobs connection, iTunes is slated to offer the "movie" as a free download. Again my opinion leans toward the "we need only educate this company" angle...]

Simon Pope, Public Relations: 408-974-0457



[Disney acquired Pixar--where Jobs was CEO, now he is Disney's biggest personal shareholder and sits on their board. Same comment as for Apple entry.]

Main phone 510-752-3000

Fax: 510 752-3151

Steve Jobs


Public Relations


Pixar Animation Studios Press Contacts:

Steven Argula 510-752-3947


Angie Bliss 510-752-4123


Investor Relations:

Phone: 510-752-3720

Fax: 510-752-3442


The Walt Disney Company

[Disney owns ABC and Pixar, this is where to spend your anger.]

Phone: 818-560-1000

Fax: 818-560-1930

500 S. Buena Vista St. Burbank, CA 91521-0931

Robert A. Iger, President and CEO

Zenia Mucha, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications

Asst. Anne Wolanski & Elisa Chacon

Phone: 818-560-5300 CA, 212-456-7255 NY

Fax: 818-846-7319 CA, 212-456-1424 NY

Investor Press Contacts:

David Caouette, 818-560-8543

Teri Klein, 818-560-6267

Disney Board of Directors

George Mitchell, Chairman (contact info at DLA Piper)

Phone: 212-335-4600

Fax: 212-335-4605

1251 Avenue of the Americas, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10020-1104


John E. Bryson

John S. Chen

Judith L. Estrin

Fred H. Langhammer

Robert Iger (President, CEO)

Steve Jobs (see Pixar and Apple)

Fred Langhammer

Aylwin Lewis Monica C. Lozano

Robert W. Matschullat

Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J.

John E. Pepper, Jr

Orin C. Smith


[Perhaps these big shareholder groups would wonder as we do why ABC is basically throwing away 30-MILLION DOLLARS on an obvious sham of Republican propaganda? If you can, cite some of the poor reviews coming in for the "movie" along with the drumbeat of possible legal action coming from maligned persons portrayed badly in this bad "movie."]

FMR Corp. (Fidelity Management & Research Corp)

Phone: 800-343-3548, 617-563-7000

Fax: 617-476-6150

82 Devonshire St., Boston, MA 02109

Edward C. Johnson III, Chairman and CEO

State Street Corporation

Phone: 617-786-3000

225 Franklin St., Boston, MA


Ronald E. Logue,Chairman and CEO

Investor Relations - S. Kelley MacDonald, Senior Vice President


Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd

Phone: (+44) (0)20 7116 1000

1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP

John S. Varley, Group Chief Executive and Executive Director

Investor Relations Email:

Press contact info: (+44) (0)20 7116 4755

Wellington Management Company, LLP

Phone: 617-951-5000

Fax: 617-951-5250

75 State St., Boston, MA 02109


Perry Traquina, CEO

Legg Mason Inc

Phone: 410-539-0000, 877-534-4627

Fax: (410) 454-4923

100 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Raymond A. Mason, Chairman & CEO

Corporate Communications: 410-454-2616


Web form for PR: http://www.leggmason...

Vanguard Group, Inc.

Phone: 610-648-6000, 877-662-7447

Fax: 610-669-6605

100 Vanguard Blvd., Malvern, PA 19355

John J. Brennan, Chairman and CEO

Southeastern Asset Management, Inc

AKA Longleaf Partners Funds

Phone: 800-445-9469

6410 Poplar Ave., Suite 900, Memphis, TN 38119


O. Mason Hawkins, Chairman/CEO

Morgan Stanley

Phone: 212-761-4000

Fax: 212-762-0575

1585 Broadway, New York, NY 10036


John J. Mack, Chairman and CEO

Media Inquiries:

General Info:

Institutional Services:

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Phone: 309-766-2311

Fax: 309-766-3621

1 State Farm Plaza, Bloomington, IL 61710-0001

Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO


Capital Research and Management Company

Phone: 213-486-9200

Fax: 213-486-9217

333 South Hope St., Los Angeles, CA 90071


Larry P. Clemmensen, President

Media Relations:

Chuck Freadhoff, 213-486-9988

Kelly Malarky, 212-641-1721


Longleaf Partners Fund

[see Southeastern Asset Management above]

Vanguard 500 Index Fund

[see Vanguard Group above]

College Retirement Equities Fund-stock Account

Administered by TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC

Phone: 212-490-9000

Fax: 212-916-4840

730 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017

Herbert M. Allison, Chairman, President, and CEO

[NOTE: This company prides itself on being socially responsible]

American Balanced Fund


[see Capital Research and Management above]

Fidelity Magellan Fund Inc.

[see FMR Corp. above]

Van Kampen Comstock Fund

Administered by Van Kampen Funds

Phone: 713-993-0500, 800-421-5666, 800-847-2424

221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

Michael Kiley, Managing Director, President and CEO


Hartford Capital Appreciation Hls Fund, Inc.

Phone: 877-836-5854

Fax: 860-843-5775

200 Hopmeadow Street, C1W, Simsbury, CT 06089



Vanguard Institutional Index Fund-institutional Index Fd

[see Vanguard Group above]

Fidelity Capital Appreciation Fund

[see FMR Corp. above]

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund

[see Vanguard Group above]


Michael D. Eisner

Robert Iger

Thomas O. Staggs

Peter E. Murphy

George Mitchell

Sites to help you Get Out the Message easily / More Information

[A quick list of some tools and action popping up on the web to help with the fight, starting with the original project from Think Progress, which has an enormous amount of solid information and a quick way to email Iger of Disney. Remember to write your own letters in these tools, your own words are way more compelling than astroturf.]

Think Progress: Tell ABC to Tell the Truth About 9/11

The DNC: Keep "Path to 9/11" Propaganda Film Off The Air

Working For Change: ABC: Tell the Truth About 9/11

Congressional Action: House Democrats Demand Accuracy in ABC 9/11 Film

A great compilation of blog material: Open Letter to ABC: Don't Airbrush 9/11

ABC Advertisers
From this diary

Aloha Airlines
Mailing Address:
Aloha Airlines Customer Relations
P.O. Box 30028
Honolulu, Hawaii 96820
Telephone support: 888-771-2855 (or) 808-539-5994
Fax support: 808-539-5999

Sears National Customer Relations
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
Customer Service #: 1-800-349-4358

Mr. Clean and Swiffer
Divisions of Home Made Simple
Email Form

Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab Bank, N.A.
5190 Neil Road, Suite 100
Reno, NV 89502-8532

Email Page
Consumer Affairs Number: 800-962-1413

Chase Rewards Card
Email Page
Phone: 1-800-432-3117

Go to and enter your zipcode to find your state/local numbers

A division of Proctor & Gamble
Email page

World HQ (Cupertino, CA) #: 1-408-517-8000

Subway Franchise Headquarters
325 Bic Drive
Milford, CT 06460 USA
Tel.(203) 877-4281 / (800) 888-4848
Customer Service Form




399 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10043

Email Form

Product of Kraft Foods
Email form
Choose your age and "General Comment about Kraft" as the "subject"

Home Depot

Red Lobster
Corporate HQ:
5900 Lake Ellenor Drive
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 245-4000

Hyundai Motor America
HQ: 714-965-3000

A Division of First Bank & Trust
Customer Service: 1-877-525-2274

Email form

Media Relations: 1-706-243-8004
Customer Service: 1-800-992-3522
Admin Service: 1-877-353-9487

(800) NISSAN-1 (or 800-647-7261)
Email form - (start with the topic "general question")

Carl's Junior
(877) 799-7827
Email form

Progressive Women's Blog Ring

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