Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More Propaganda in the Wall Street Journal

I always find it interesting how propaganda is slipped into seemingly objective accounts.

Today the Wall Street Journal provides yet another example.

The article is titled "Japan's Nationalist Movement Strengthens" Aug 15, 2012 A8 b Yuka Hayashi.

The article begins:

[Excerpted] "Nationalist politicians and activists are wielding new clout in Japan, straining the country's ties with China and South Korea, and creating headaches for policy makers in Tokyo."

Majia here: The article is very vague about the policy agendas that are embraced by the "nationalists," but as you can see in the first sentence they are represented implicitly as childlike troublemakers for the parentlike "policy makers" in Tokyo.

One of the two illustrations used to demonstrate their troublemaking is a demand that Noda propose to purchase a chain of privately owned islands claimed by both China and Japan.

Hmmm. Can you think of some non-nationalist reasons why Japan might want to expand its territory right now? Perhaps the contamination of at least one half of Honshu might play a role?

I'm not endorsing the nationalists in Japan, China-bashing, or denial of the crimes against Korean women during World War II.

I'm just questioning how The Wall Street Journal is framing the movement given the lack of specificity about its goals and concerns.

What really piqued my concern about propagandistic framing is the following sentence (the sentence includes a typographical error so I'm typing it as it appears in the paper):

"ome see the nationalists as drawing from the same pool of disgruntled youth as the anti-nuclear protesters, although that movement has moved closer to the mainstream."

Majia here: Arnie Gunderson stated in his most recent interview that it is MOTHERS who are concerned about their CHILDREN who are leading the anti-nuclear movement.

To repeat: Mothers concerned about children are leading the anti-nuclear movement in Japan.  

So, why would the Wall Street Journal refer to the anti-nuclear movement as being extensively populated by "disgruntled youth"?

I think the answer is obvious:

The Wall Street Journal is once again acting as the agent of the pro-nuclear movement and has taken the opportunity to slip in a statement that implicitly characterizes the anti-nuclear movement as juvenile and disgruntled.

This statement is designed to shape, subtly, attitudes of readers everywhere. It illustrates one of the strategies employed by propagandists: poisoning the well.

I also note that the Wall Street Journal has failed to report on the widely discussed, academic, peer-reviewed research on the severely mutated butterflies found in Japan:

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