(Nov 29, 2011: scroll down to bottom to “Comments” regarding Bush Family history, with thanks to Alex James and Jim Vella.)
The use of propaganda in today’s world is a serious issue.
This CBC documentary sets the stage for this series of postings about propaganda and naiveté: http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/lovehatepropaganda/
“ … a six-part documentary series on the role propaganda played in World War Two. With newsreels, posters, speeches, rallies, songs and radio, entire populations were convinced to go to war. Hosted by Geo Stroumboulopoulos, Love, Hate and Propaganda is a primer on the art of mass persuasion, aimed directly at a media-savvy generation.”
“.. how the world came not just to the brink of madness but to a colossal state of madness, and it was all through messaging.”
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COMMENTS FROM TORONTO SUN & WINNIPEG FREE PRESS:
Stroumbo tackles WWII
‘The Hour’ host narrates documentary series
By BILL HARRIS, QMI Agency
Last Updated: March 3, 2010 12:19pm
George Stroumboulopoulos. (HO)
So what more can be said about the Second World War?
Well, quite a bit, according to George Stroumboulopoulos. He’s the narrator of the new six-part documentary series Love, Hate & Propaganda, part one of which debuts Thursday on CBC.
“I initially didn’t really see where I could bring something different, because so many documentaries have been done really well before,” Stroumboulopoulos said. “But then the idea came of dealing with propaganda, and how the war was sold, and how the world came not just to the brink of madness but to a colossal state of madness, and it was all through messaging.
“The German people didn’t want to go to war. The Americans sure didn’t want to go to war. Nobody wanted to go to war. Yet somehow, the Italians and the Germans and the French whipped everybody up into a frenzy, and the British, the Canadians, and eventually the Americans followed.
“It was just so fascinating to me to approach it from that perspective, which is, six parts on how propaganda defined this war.”
The six episodes of Love, Hate & Propaganda are titled The Strong Men; Selling War; Meet the Enemy; Truth and Total War; Hiding the Horrors; and Changing the Story.
From whose perspective are these tales being told?
“All of them,” Stroumboulopoulos said. “It’s not just the Germans, but how much the British used propaganda, the Canadians.
“Every side lied and tricked, and it wasn’t always for negative reasons. A lot of times it was governments doing what they thought they had to do to put their countries in the best position to achieve their goals.
“There was just a lot of stuff I didn’t know. We’ve heard a lot about World War II, but this was not written for any particular demographic and I think the audience is going to be really surprised by some of this stuff.”
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Wartime spin writ large
By: Brad Oswald
4/03/2010 1:00 AM |
Basil Fawlty once famously implored his staff not to mention the war, implying — to great Brit-com effect — that it was rude to do so and that the Second World War was a memory best left behind.
That was a different time, in a different generation and a very different TV genre. The producers of the earnest and approachably educational new six-part CBC series Love, Hate & Propaganda (which premieres tonight at 9 on CBC) have rightly decided that the time is right to revisit the history of this most massive global conflict and to introduce a new generation to its causes, consequences and the enduring social and political lessons left in its wake.
“This is a series about the psychology of war,” series host George Stroumboulopoulos explains, by way of introduction, “not the battles or military manoeuvres. It’s about people — how they were led, and misled.”
And that, perhaps, is the most valuable and engaging aspect of Love, Hate & Propaganda — in an era where instant communication and constant repackaging of images and information are the rule, this series opts not to exploit the often-revisited catalogue of footage and photos from battlefields and prison camps and instead explores the spin, manipulation and public-perception building that made the war happen.
Stroumboulopoulos, a clever fellow who can sometimes seem a bit too pleased with his own wit on The Hour, takes his hosting role straight-ahead seriously in Love, Hate & Propaganda, and he proves to be a good choice for the task. His presentation is measured and sincere, but brings a level of accessibility that might serve as the necessary bridge between the series’ mid-20th-century subject matter and the new-millennium viewership it’s trying to reach.
In tonight’s opener, The Strong Men, Stroumboulopoulos offers in-depth profiles of the three powerful leaders — Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin — whose lust for power and conquest set Europe and, ultimately, the world on a headlong rush toward war. Later in the hour, Japan’s involvement in the growing global conflict is also assessed.
In particular, the series’ examination of Hitler’s early political career — in the 1920s, he positioned himself as a right-wing outsider whose air-of-mystery strategy involved not letting anyone photograph him — is a fascinating series of revelations.
Hitler’s ability to manipulate public perception, as well as his willingness to embrace the emerging technologies of the day — he was an early adopter of air travel, motion pictures and radio as means of getting his message out — are shown as key factors in his eventual rise to power in Nazi Germany.
It’s a unique approach, in narrative terms, and Love, Hate & Propaganda is very successful in creating a modern context in which the series becomes a cautionary tale as well as a historical overview.
It’s a timely and well-considered documentary that deserves to be seen.