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The Play by Play: Political Propaganda Analysis

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by

Arik Durfee

on 5 February 2016

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Transcript of The Play by Play: Political Propaganda Analysis

Glittering
Generalities

This technique uses positive-sounding words that seem important but mean very little and are impossible to prove or disprove.
Ad Hominem
Personal Attack

This is a technique in which you argue against your opponent's ideas by attacking your opponent's character with claims that may or may not be true.
Recognizing Specific Propaganda Tactics
Political ads are filled with misleading propaganda. But sometimes it's difficult to identify what is misleading about it.

So let's learn about some of the most commonly used propaganda strategies.
Transfer
In this technique, you try to take the positive or negative feelings associated with a particular symbol or image and tie those feelings to a candidate--either yourself or your opponent.
Card Stacking
This technique refers to arranging a deck of cards so that you end up dealing yourself all the good ones. It consists of focusing only on key words or statistics that help your case and leaving out any words or statistics that hurt your case. It's a way of telling half of the truth.
False Cause
This technique implies that because B came after A, A must have caused B--even though the two events might be completely unrelated. It's often a way of blaming an incumbent for things that happened during his first term that he had no control over.
Appeal to Emotions
In this technique, you try to incite strong emotions using specific stories or images. Often, an appeal to emotions takes the form of a tragic or inspiring personal story.
Red Herring
This is a technique in which you distract the audience from the issue at hand by changing the subject to a completely unrelated issue. It's a way of taking attention away from policy ideas that might not be popular.
Loaded Words
This technique relies on using words with strong positive or negative connotations. Name calling is an example. So is any use of a word that has a powerful emotional connection.
Appeal to Fear
With this technique, you persuade people with fear by saying, "If you vote for my opponent, something terrible will happen!" .
Quotes out of Context
This technique consists of using only part of a quotation from your opponent and editing it in such a way that makes the statement sound worse than it originally was.
Repetition
With this technique, you make a statement over and over again until it sticks in people's heads (even if it isn't true.) In campaigns, these are often called "talking points"--simple, easy-to-remember statements that get repeated endlessly.
Arguing from Ignorance
This technique is a way of saying that your claim must be (or might be) true only because no one can prove that it isn't true.
Now It's Your Turn!
Using what you have just leared about misleading propaganda techniques, can you identify specific techniques in these eight presidential campaign commercials?

Give it a shot!
Full transcript