Propaganda in the heartland

Pro-war ads are nothing more than manufactured propaganda.

In a principled and just stand, the Minnesota ABC affiliate KSTP refused to air the controversial commercial known as ìMidwest Heroes” because it thought the ad unfairly was misleading citizens about the media and the progress in Iraq.

Kudos to KSTP for rightly choosing to not air the ad; other stations should follow suit. More than misleading, the commercial is a downright lie and nothing more than laundered propaganda for the Bush administration.

The pro-war ad recalls the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, with testimonials from soldiers who state the necessity of fighting terrorists in Iraq rather than in the heartland. They also state that much progress is being made in Iraq and lament the incorrect picture the media convey about the war. The ad gets instant credibility from some viewers because it supposedly features real families from the Midwest that have a military connection in Iraq, but when taking a closer look the ad is nowhere near authentic.

The ad was produced by the conservative advocacy group Progress for America Voter Fund, which is a national tax-exempt 527 organization closely linked to the Bush administration. The ads that for now are airing only in Minnesota supposedly feature Midwest families, but half of them are from Oregon. One woman, who is labeled as the mother of a fallen soldier, talks about finishing the job in Iraq for her son, but in reality she is the stepmother of the fallen soldier ó the real mother is against the war because she believes her son died for a lie.

This manufactured propaganda once again showcases the Bush administrationís utter contempt for real democracy and the level it will sink to to sell their failing policies. It is interesting to note that according to a congressional analysis, the Bush administration has spent more than $250 million from taxpayers on ìpublic relations” contracts during its first term, compared to the Clinton administration spent, which spent $128 million over the span of two terms.