The Propaganda Model

Avid readers who have followed my two years of discovery will recall an article predicated on the narratives of Naom Chomsky who is unequivocally one of the greatest philosophers of our time (jj passim: Manufacturing Consent.) His seminal books with co-author Edward S. Herman have been a tour de force in critical thought leadership. The Propaganda Model is one of the highlights of their meeting of minds.

The propaganda model for the manufacture of public consent describes four editorially distorting filters, which are applied to the reporting of news in mass communications media. The original model had a fifth filter, namely Anti-Communism. This was included as a filter in the 1988 edition of their book but Chomsky argues that this has now been replaced by The War On Terror.

1. Size, Ownership, and Profit Orientation: The dominant mass-media outlets are large companies operated for profit, and therefore they must cater to the financial interests of the owners, who are usually corporations and controlling investors. The size of a media company is a consequence of the investment capital required for the mass-communications technology required to reach a mass audience of viewers, listeners, and readers.

2. The Advertising License to Do Business: Since the majority of the revenue of major media outlets derives from advertising (not from sales or subscriptions), advertisers have acquired a “de facto licensing authority”. Media outlets are not commercially viable without the support of advertisers. News media must therefore cater to the political prejudices and economic desires of their advertisers. This has weakened the working class press, for example, and also helps explain the attrition in the number of newspapers.

3. Sourcing Mass Media News: Herman and Chomsky argue that “the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access [to the news], by their contribution to reducing the media’s costs of acquiring and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become ‘routine’ news sources and have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers.”

4. Flak and the Enforcers: “Flak” refers to negative responses to a media statement or programme (e.g. letters, , lawsuits, or legislative actions). Flak can be expensive to the media, either due to a loss of advertising revenue, or due to the costs of legal defense or defense of the outlet’s public image. Flak can be organized by powerful, private influence groups (e.g. think tanks). The prospect of eliciting flak can be a deterrent to the reporting of certain kinds of facts or opinions.

Editorial distortion is aggravated by the news media’s dependence upon private and governmental news sources. If a given newspaper, television station, magazine, etc., incurs disfavour from the sources, it is subtly excluded from access to information. Consequently, it loses readers or viewers, and ultimately, advertisers. To minimize such financial danger, news media businesses editorially distort their reporting to favour government and corporate policies in order to stay in business.”

One only has to look at The National in Scotland for an example of following the SNP party line. Those who did not follow the party line, notably The Daily Record, are suffering the consequences with sales and advertising revenue falling off a cliff.

I believe I can make a cogent case for a fifth filter:

5. The Liquidation Lie:  The Rangers Football Club Ltd must be portrayed at all times as being a continuation of a club formed in 1872. Only The Operating Company/ Holding Company, which is referred to as Oldco, is being liquidated if one adheres to the lie.

Of course the prosaic facts of the matter are that Rangers (1L), which was incorporated in 1899 and later renamed Rangers plc, was subsequently given its ultimate title of Rangers 2012 Ltd and was placed into liquidation by Lord Hodge on October 31st, 2012. Its holding company, Wavetower, is not currently subject to liquidation proceedings.

My fifth filter is prevalent at BBC Scotland. The Liquidation Lie is strong in this one. A pundit on the BBC’s coverage of yesterday evening’s Partick Thistle v Rangers Lite game opined that if Lite scored eight without reply they would go top of the table. That’s the kind of logic that Big Fat Derek Johnstone would be proud of. But then accountancy was never BFDJ’s forte. He sired six children but could only account for four. How remiss of him. In the final analysis Primark Pedro’s charges scraped a draw courtesy of Thistle being reduced to ten men.

One of the most vocal advocates of The Liquidation Lie is the Auchenhowie Squatter, Jim ‘Slim Shady‘ Traynor. Slim in the manner one might describe a squat 300 pound Bear as ‘Tiny.’ Shady should be taken literally.

Traynor’s argument for liquidation, and against it, is predicated on his paymaster. If Trinity Mirror it was RIP Rangers. When on the payroll of Charles Green it was Rangers Then, Rangers Now, Rangers Forever. If you paid him enough this dyed in the wool hard-line Janus-faced Hun would support Celtic.

At a press conference where Supergrass Lee Wallace was at the lectern, one impudent journalist had the temerity to frame a question around liquidation. Traynor intervened to espouse the lie that Rangers have never been liquidated. He did not add the caveat ‘Not Yet.’

In an interview of Ally McCoist, Traynor disingenuously claimed that he had consulted solicitors and accountants to form his Damascene belief in continuation. One can but conclude that the assertions of judges in the highest courts in Scotland – that Rangers had no legal personality and were an ephemeral concept in the minds of supporters – passed him by. Was he in a diabetic coma at the time?

Chomsky is regarded as one of the pre-eminent voices in Cognitive Science. The Cognitive Dissonance  of Traynor is on a different level. Is there a Cognitive Dissonance Anonymous group in the Glasgow area?



24 thoughts on “The Propaganda Model”

  1. Why do Scottish clubs continue the Continuation Myth? Why not state that this is their second season in the Premiership in match day programmes?

    1. Didn’t Aberdeen do that last season?
      ‘ We welcome our opponents on their first visit to Pittodrie’ or similar?

  2. That’s what I love about this site, knowledge and humour combined to give a searing critique of our game currently. And, what other (mainly) football blog riffs on Naom Chomsky?? I am off to the library shortly. Great piece as ever JJ. The continuation nonsense really does make me laugh but it’s all they have now it seems. Next Sunday is also looking very critical for Pedro. Cheers, TS

  3. Has Matthew Lindsay at the Herald let his guard slip and told the truth by mistakes this morning?

    In his article about Rangers making money from selling the naming rights of Ibrox, there is a very interesting paragraph:

    “ALASTAIR Johnston raised quite a cheer from Rangers shareholders at an otherwise fractious annual general meeting back in 2009 when he categorically ruled out the possibility of Ibrox being renamed.

    “There is one issue which we will not be pursuing,” said Johnston, the then club chairman. “We have no strategy to sell the naming rights to our stadium. Ibrox is non-negotiable.”

    Oh how they applauded. Their beloved spiritual home was safe. Everyone could sleep soundly at night.

    Would those in attendance that day have been quite so ebullient had they known what lay ahead? Just three short years later the club was put into liquidation with estimated debts of £134 million.”

    Oh such a tangled web they weave…

    Here’s the link to see it for yourself:

    Be quick as I’m sure it’ll be removed or edited very soon once the threats and intimidation starts!

    1. Yes but as JJ’s piece explains, revenue is mostly derived from advertising.

      Circulation can be down by 14% but if advertising is up by 2% it covers the loss.

  4. Excellent piece. What we’re seeing is a blatant example of what our news media has always done, twist “truths” because of an agenda set by their owners, or in the case of tabloids, their advertises she and paying public. The blue pound as you will. It is just that now they do it openly and they expect us, like Paavlov’s pets, to follow their lead. Not today. Sadly too many still subscribe to their nonsense, either in belief terms or financially. It seems that no matter what proof you give them their beliefs are set in rocks. I remember once arguing with a neighbouring couple that the earth wasn’t flat. No matter what I said their beliefs told them the earth was flat. Head and brick wall their like thebcontinuation myth and the demand for an inquiry. Still, the fight goes on, thanks to the bloggers. Without them there is no game.

  5. Incredibly good article today. Shining a torch on the failings of the media with an article of better quality than any they carry has a certain extra enjoyable irony. As an aside, if wrote a bit about governance yesterday but don’t see it. Did I fail to send it properly?

  6. May I ‘Posit’ that the Liquidation Denier, Mr James ‘Blood-Vessel’ Traynor finds himself “NEEDED” when things aren’t going TRFC ‘s way. Why any so called ,:'”***JOURNALIST***”‘:, takes a ‘Lead’ from this man is beyond me.

  7. Great article JJ,

    Traynor has shown himself to be no more than a charlatan who has long since sold his soul to the devil. He now finds himself in a completely irredeemable position where his professional credibility could not be lower having become a permanent figure of fun.

    A spirited performance from the Jags last night will provide additional motivation for the cup rematch next week. While no doubt happy with a point last night they are bound to have reflected on how Erskine’s momentary mental aberration probably cost them all three points. Would Senhor Caixinha survive a cup exit followed by a heavy defeat at the hands of Celtic? It’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers facing media might spin that eventuality.

  8. The SNP is being run by the Daily Record chairman/RBS Banker JJ – every single political party is being run/advised by the same Bankers and is the reason they are all carrying out the same agenda/policies. Every political party is now bringing in Saul Alinsky Marxism brainwashing people in power in councils, police, health boards, government etc etc with Common Purpose drivel as exposed over at UK Column. More about the Daily Record/Banker control of the SNP etc here :

  9. Another outstanding article.
    Just read the Matthew Lindsay article. I thought is more notable for the line – – –
    “Just three short years later the club was put into liquidation with estimated debts of £134 million.”
    The club into liquidation? Good for him for stating the truth. A truth, that in Scotland, dare not speak its name! I’m sure the squatter of Murray Park will have something to say about that article right enough!!

    1. OIS
      Not so sure I would give jim any credit . He is a mega TRFC man
      I am my re in the camp of those who believe this is King via L5 and traynors pet press poodle softening up the fans for his get out of jail card ?
      Even a few million for selling the rights on a crumbledome would be mega for them.
      The Liquidation reference in the article could be thrown in there to make it look like it isn’t a leak
      Every single TRFC article has a dry specific purpose
      Lindsay hasn’t an original thought in his head!

  10. Why doesnt a moderately wealthy citizen or group just take the “same club” myth to Judicial Review for £25k and be done with the whole nonsense?

    Zero titles for anyone to argue over.

  11. Hi JJ,
    Made my first donation today. Please kindly confirm. 7DK83447D5082xxxx

    JJ: Received with thanks. A warm welcome to The Sitonfence Speakeasy.

  12. A brilliant article today and your reference to Noam Chomsky, my favourite linguist, writer and philosopher, made for terrific reading.

    Do you think that James Traynor uses any of Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures (1957) in his daily PR assault? No, me neither.

    You MUST be up for another award this year. You will be strongly supported by contributors to this site who continue to be stunned by articles which are rich in excellence, fact and insight.


  13. there is a man who knows a man who knows another man who said in relation to clubs and ebt’s- ” they all had them”

  14. Last night on BT sport, during the Jags game, the commentator remarked that if the visitors scored four they could RETURN to the top of the SPL. “Return”!!?? What did I miss?

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