[I]t's as if a government agency hired a spokesman to go on TV and talk up its programs, but the spokesman never revealed to anybody that he was being paid by the agency. He just acted like everything he was saying, praising the policies, were just beliefs that he had come to, on his own, just his personal opinion.That's one segment of an episode of "This American Life" that's about the "Poetry of Propaganda." The entire thing is excellent. Transcript and audio at the link.
December 22, 2015
"Did you know that you have been perpetrating covert propaganda on behalf of the United States government?"
Ira Glass confronts some lady who tweeted "Clean water is important to me. I support EPA's efforts to protect it for my health, my family, and my community" — text written by the EPA, which it suggested that people copy and tweet as if it were coming straight from them. The Government Accountability Office ruled that the EPA violated federal law banning covert government propaganda. According to the GAO spokesperson, paraphrased by Glass: