Video of journalist saying ‘propaganda’ is necessary goes viral, before being mysteriously disabled
Richard Stengel, a former editor of TIME magazine, has said governments “have to” direct “propaganda” toward their own populations, and he is ‘not against it’.
These comments were made at a talk called Political Disruptions: Combating Disinformation and Fake News, organised by the highly influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) thinktank.
“Every country does it”
The news editor and former diplomat is also a regular analyst at US news site MSNBC.
Basically, every country creates their own narrative story and, you know, my old job at the State Department was what people used to joke as the ‘chief propagandist’ job. We haven’t talked about propaganda… I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population, and I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful.
Stengel headed the US office for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department from 2013 to 2016.
Hundreds of people shared the video on Twitter.
At a Council on Foreign Relations forum about "fake news," former Editor at Time Magazine Richard Stengel directly states that he supports the use of propaganda on American citizens – then shuts the session down when challenged about how propaganda is used against the third world pic.twitter.com/ClAT5POv7G
— William Craddick (@williamcraddick) May 11, 2018
The video of the discussion appeared to be temporarily disabled on the CFR website and its YouTube channel after it went viral on social media.
The video seemed to be reactivated after The Canary contacted CFR’s webmaster on 29 May 2018.
Stengel makes his comments at 1:15:26 of the video.
Historian Dr Laurence H. Shoup, who wrote two books on the CFR, described it as:
the most powerful private organisation in the United States – and therefore in world history.
And former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton once told the CFR:
[I]t’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department.
We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.
Public diplomacy vs propaganda
Professor of Public Diplomacy Nicholas J. Cull, meanwhile, told The Canary:
It is not uncommon for the politically appointed folks like Stengel to understand their role as selling a set of ideas whereas the more experienced career diplomats… see their role as more long-term and based on the promotion of exchange and mutual understanding…
Public diplomacy rests on listening and listens to learn. Propaganda listens only to target, and that is quite different.
‘Global engagement’ or anti-Russian propaganda?
Stengel also “helped create and oversee” the Global Engagement Center at the State Department whose mission is to:
counter propaganda and disinformation from international terrorist organizations and foreign countries
(with a “special focus on Russia”, according to Stengel).
Amazingly revealing footage of the self-described former “chief propagandist” of the State Department’s $120 million Global Engagement Center ducking a critic. Stengel has said his job was to promote “counter-Russian voices” in the media. Who were they and how were they promoted? https://t.co/17UhKMZRE3
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) May 27, 2018
On 8 February 2018, the hawkish Atlantic Council announced Richard Stengel as a “distinguished fellow” with its Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab). And on 17 May, the DFRLab announced:
a partnership with Facebook to independently monitor disinformation and other vulnerabilities in elections around the world
Since the Obama administration lifted the prohibition on domestic propaganda in 2013, we must maintain an ever-more watchful eye on information that stems from the corporate state and its press.
– Support independent journalism at The Canary.
– Follow the work of US media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).
– Follow the work of UK media watchdog Media Lens.
– Learn more about British propaganda via Spinwatch.
Featured image via screenshot
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.