The Propaganda Industry
issue 314 - July 1999
Illustration by STEPHANE DENIS
‘Right now the environmental movement is a perfect bogeyman for us.
In order to get people to join and donate money [to us] we need opposition.’1
Alan Gottleib, Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and a propagandist for the Wise Use movement
‘Failing to provide witnesses... will lead to media efforts to obtain interviews on their own,
either outside the gates or at the local watering hole. Control is the important element here.’2
Harold Burson of Burson-Marsteller, the world’s largest PR firm
‘Persuasion, by its definition, is subtle. The best PR ends up looking like news.
You never know when a PR agency is being effective; you’ll just find your views slowly shifting.’4
A PR executive
‘The daily tonnage output of propaganda and publicity... has become an important force in American life. Nearly half of the contents of the best newspapers is derived from publicity releases; nearly all the contents of lesser papers... is directly or indirectly the product of PR departments.’3
Fortune magazine 1949
‘Activists who want progress have to reward progress... I certainly remember that I became a feminist in order to get laid. The women I found attractive liked feminist men. So I thought, “Well, I know I can do that”, and you know it worked on them and it worked on me.’5
Peter Sandman, PR Consultant
‘It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words and words can be molded until they clothe ideas in disguise.’
1 Beder, Sharon, Global Spin, Chelsea Green Books, Vermont, 1997
2 Beder, op.cit.
3 Beder, op.cit
4 Stauber, John, Toxic Waste is Good for You, Common Courage Press, Maine, 1995
5 PR Watch, First quarter, 1999.