Doonesbury Propaganda

Garry Trudeau has done it again with his “Doonesbury” comic strip.  He has demonstrated once more that he has no more interest in anything as troublesome as actual truth than, say, Noam Chomsky or Oliver Stone does.  This time he prepared the ground for his propaganda by first spending all week currying favor with his left-liberal readership with a sort of consultant type character named “Austin.” Austin furnishes spurious “facts” on demand to people who we are supposed to gather are right-wing knuckleheads.  Among the previous “facts” that the consultant, who fashions his service “MyFacts,” has furnished to radio callers are those that would refute a couple of liberal shibboleths, that world temperatures are rising on account of carbon emissions by humans and that the proliferation of plant and animal species on earth is completely explained by the Darwinian theory of evolution.  His final installment in the series, on Saturday, March 2, 2013, went as follows:

Austin:  This is MyFacts, Austin speaking.

Caller:  My phone is tapped.  So I can’t tell you my name.  But I’m looking for fresh evidence that 9/11 was a government conspiracy.

Austin:  I’m sorry sir, but I’m showing our truther line has been discontinued.  Can I interest you in another elaborate hoax?

Caller:  Who paid you off?  It was Cheney, wasn’t it?  Just nod.

Austin:  How about Bin Laden.  We carry irrefutable proof he’s still alive.

What the astute reader will quickly notice is particularly creative use by Trudeau of numbers four and five of the “Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression.”  He has created the straw man of someone—who we are supposed to believe has no better grasp of reality than the 9/11 skeptic does—who maintains that Osama Bin Laden is still alive.  And he has called the skeptic the desperately-concocted name of “truther.”  He has to resort to such gambits, because he would have looked particularly bad attacking the doubters as unscientific as he did on the other issues.  The most relevant science to the 9/11 controversy is physics, and it is quite obviously all on the side of the skeptics.

The readers of Doonesbury might be a good deal more intelligent than average, but if they swallow all that he’s feeding them, they are not putting their brains to very good use.  They are either mentally lazy or afraid of confronting the truth. 

Everything else I have to say about Garry Trudeau and his devoted readership, I said back on September 10, 2009:

Et Tu, Trudeau?

Garry Trudeau, the creator of the popular "Doonesbury" comic strip, has demonstrated with his Sunday, September 6, 2009, offering that he is just another bought scribe for America's controlling criminal elite.  At bottom, he's little different from Edward Klein, the man behind the Personality Parade in Parade magazine or the host of other paid propagandists who people the dying mainstream "news" industry.  The primary difference between Trudeau and Klein is the audience for their material.  Klein manipulates the opinion of the broad base of the barely-literate public.  Trudeau appeals to the mainly college-educated crowd who consider themselves liberals, the sort of folks who listen to National Public Radio, many of whom even pay to have themselves propagandized by the state by caving in to periodic fund-raising appeals.

Lest you think I'm being too tough on Trudeau, what follows is the full tell-tale transcript.  His leftist talk-show host character Mark Slackmeyer is interviewing a college professor.  The first two panels show Slackmeyer pouring coffee and musing to himself as he begins to drink, "Wonder why coffee's so addictive?  Probably a government plot..."  

The following six panels go as follows:

Slackmeyer:  We're still talking to conspiratologist Page Griffin about American gullibility...

Professor:  It's quite remarkable, Mark...  Americans believe in many things that can't be verified.  For instance, almost half of us believe in ghosts and 40% in alien abductions.  And that availability to alternative reality is reflected in conspiracy theory.  From truthism, which holds that Bush was behind 9/11, to Birthism.  And, of course, we still have many legacy fringe groups like JFK grassy knollers, the staged moon landingists, etc.

Slackmeyer:  Professor, is there any counter to these powerful theorists?

Professor:  Not really, Mark.  Only the reasonists.

Slackmeyer:  Reasonists?

Professor:  They believe in an evidence-based world, something called rationalism.  But it's a tiny group, not so influential.

Unlike Al Capp, the L'il Abner creator who lost his sense of humor as he got older, Trudeau is almost as funny as he ever was, but like Capp, who defended the Vietnam War to his dying day and lampooned all opponents as nothing but a bunch of dirty hippies, the consistently anti-war Trudeau has shown with this pathetic invocation of  #5 in the "Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression" that, at bottom, he's just another member of the disgusting cover-up crowd.  Why, really, should we expect it to be any different?  He is permitted to have a national audience, and he did go to Yale, after all.

The propaganda technique here is quite clever, though hardly original with Trudeau.  He lumps together things like belief in ghosts, phenomena that cannot, by their nature, be verified, with high-level crimes, of which no total exposure is possible because the perpetrators hold the levers of power, including the power of the press.  With this method Trudeau and his cohorts are able to get quite a large but diminishing number of otherwise intelligent people to believe in such preposterous notions as Lee Harvey Oswald's magic bullet and super-human marksmanship and the demolition-like collapse of strong, steel-frame skyscrapers because of weak little fires in them.  Certainly, Trudeau and his handlers would like you to believe that the official stories of the JFK assassination and the atrocities of 9-11 are based upon evidence, but the method being employed here is to scare people away from looking into the evidence for themselves.  If you do so with an open mind you will be ostracized and ridiculed by the Garry Trudeaus of this world.  You will have learned too much.

With his Yale background, Trudeau might have used any number of the ivory tower crowd as his model for the professor in his intellectually insulting strip (They're every bit as sold out as the journalists, after all.), but the fit is best for the determinedly secular-establishment-defending "skeptic," Michael Shermer.  Shermer's particular flock to be herded into acceptance of official lies is the often highly educated crowd who have rejected all manner of religion, either organized or personal.  Shermer disciples, like Noam Chomsky disciples, tend to be smug, superior-feeling, and content with their beliefs, which makes them quite vulnerable to the ridiculing techniques of Trudeau's strip.  It's a different crowd from the average American one that they belong to, but they still want to fit in.

Is Michael Shermer truly a "reasonist," motivated by evidence and rationality?  One can see his method on display in his appearance on the Donohue show with the genuine Jewish holocaust skeptic, David Cole.  It very much resembles Truth Suppression Technique #14 as employed by the cover-up author, Dan Moldea, in the Vince Foster "suicide" case.  When presented with evidence contrary to the official line, Shermer readily gives ground, but then he comes up with a learned-sounding baloney expression which he calls the "fallacy of the slippery slope."  The "conspiracy theorists," he says, "might be able to say that this little thing is not true, or that aspect of the previously-accepted historical explanation has had to be modified, so they then jump to the conclusion that it's all false."

Well, yes.  Truly sensible people call that method reasoning from evidence. 

David Martin

March 5, 2013




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