The title comes from a post by ramboike at BirtherReport back in March of this year, and is characteristic of language he uses to describe us, for example here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.1 (Until I did this search, I had no idea that ramboike2 commented that much at BR about this site.) One of the tools of propagandists is repetition and I would certainly put the examples I linked to as an example of the use of repetition for a propaganda purpose. Another tool of the propagandist is rhetorical fallacy. In this case “Dr Con’s leftist propaganda site” is an example of the genetic fallacy, poisoning the well – “Don’t pay them any attention. They’re just a propaganda site.” That’s the pot calling the kettle black.
In times past, every Birther Report article has some footer material promoting birther themes; it was the same on every article and I called it propaganda. I can’t pick on them for this any more because the footer material has gone away. The only propaganda element I see in the frame of Birther Report is the graphic denigrating mainstream news, with the caption: “They ignore / We Report / You Decide.” In fact, birthers have gotten quite a lot of coverage in the mainstream media, continuing to this very day. Of course unverifiable claims and blatantly false material don’t make it into the mainstream media.
I think that if mine was an intentional propaganda site, it would look very different. A anti-birther propaganda site would repeat birther failures on every page. It would always refer to Birther Report as a right-wing conspiracy site.
I don’t have an editorial board to review everything I write for potential bias, and to enforce fairness, but it is my intent to inform through facts and rational argument. That’s debate, not propaganda. I try to put people that I disagree with in the best light I can (not always possible). I think that the facts speak for themselves, and there’s no need for me to attempt to push anyone in any direction through trickery.
When commenting on other sites, I do intentionally use repetition, for example the phrase “fell apart under scrutiny” when referring to the Cold Case Posse theories or “long debunked” for other conspiracy theories. In this case I do it to persuade, but not to mislead.
1I regularly download comments from Intense Debate, which allows me to search them for user and keyword. The URL’s under “here” in the list are correct for the comment, but Birther Report’s structure doesn’t allow the user to directly link to the comment. What a reader here would have to do is to follow the hyperlink, expand all of the comment replies, and search for the word “propaganda” in posts by ramboike.
2Ramboike is banned on this site because his comments are so outrageous as to provoke endless response, generally hijacking the site to be about ramboike rather than Obama Conspiracy Theories.