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Welcome to the first in a sporadic series of posts about how films and TV shows use dramatic tools to provoke or suppress reactions to manufactured truth. The word Propaganda has such a negative connotation, doesn’t it? We’re going to take the mystery out of it. It’s a word innocently derived from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Uncountable publicists, propagandists, and PR men over the centuries have sympathy with the avaricious French poet who sarcastically declared “Here lies the Cardinal Richelieu. And—more’s the pity—my pension died with him.”
From time to time our clinical dissection of an ‘admirable’ bit of craftsman-like deceit is going to seem cynical, even amoral. It’s the old showbiz switcheroo: in Screwtape’s Screening Room, the Ricochet virtuous will pay a limited degree of ironic tribute to vice.