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Monday, August 21, 2006

Is VOCM Being Used as a Propaganda Tool?

Recently VOCM radio has been airing a story entitled, “From the Daughter of a Soldier”. According to the station’s disclaimer, VOCM was simply sent the story and makes no claims on its authenticity. The piece is about the interaction of a child who’s Father is in Afghanistan and a Canadian soldier leaving for that part of the world. Its wording it contains and the timing of the release of the letter, when Canada is experiencing high mortality rates in the conflict makes the entire thing suspect at best and raises a lot of questions that should be answered. Here are some excerpts:

“…greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.”

“…When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Canadian who still loves this country…” “… I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal…”
“…thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be a Canadian.”

Is it just me, or is this thing dripping with the sort of cheesy, patriotic propaganda we often see from south of the border? I, like most people, support the men and women of the Forces and pray they return safely, but come on, “red blooded Canadian”, “…so we can go to school, work and home without fear of reprisal”, “It’s good to be Canadian”. Does anyone else smell something a distasteful here?

A request to VOCM for contact information on their source along with other research has been unsuccessful in uncovering the author. This leads my conspiratorial little grey cells to work overtime and they tell me there’s something wrong. They tell me there is at least a possibility that a federal government spin doctor is behind the pen and paper that created this story. I ask myself, “if it was a true story wouldn’t the author be more than willing to step forward?”

In the real world when any government begins taking heat for a military conflict, one of the first things they do is to rally support by bombarding voters with sappy, “wrap your self in the flag” rhetoric. This piece reeks of that and I suspect there is a reason for it.

I have no way of proving that there is anything unsavory about the letter, but then again VOCM admits they haven’t validated it either and that bothers me more than anything. It unnerves me that a radio station, especially one that with so many journalism awards and so well respected by its listeners, could be convinced so easily to promote this story.

The tale may be heartwarming and no doubt is being embraced by the public, but if it is pure propaganda, wouldn’t that be the reaction it was intended to produce. There’s a growing voice for power in Newfoundland and Labrador these days and the fact that this letter mysteriously arrived at a local radio station unsolicited leads me to suspect that it may be someone’s idea of the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone? Could this be an attempt to rally support for Afghanistan while fosteing feelings of Canadian patriotism in a Province with a high number of sons and daughters in the armed forces?

Granted this has not been presented as a news story by the station, but it is incumbent on all news agencies to ensure that high standards of integrity are maintained at all times. In this light, it might be advisable for VOCM and its award winning staff to dig a little deeper and to uncover exactly who or what is behind “From the Daughter of a Soldier”. If not to protect the public from potential manipulation then at least to protect their own reputation and ensure that they aren’t being used as a propaganda machine by the Canadian government or the military.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Because it's not anti-American or not against our troops fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, it must be false and made up? Where is your piece on all the liberal propaganda against America and the global war on terror (Yes, that includes us Canadians...all of us infidels)? Where is your piece on the media's love affair with the terrorists? How the media has been supporting the terrorists by always coming out against the West. There is ONE thing you see in the media that does not put a negative spin on the war and you are all over it.

You say, "I, like most people, support the men and women of the Forces...". That is bullshit! You guys who are against any military action always say you support the men and women of the Forces. You only support them when they are sitting at home doing nothing to help keep the world safer. You think there is no threat to world peace by these islamofacists...wake up!!!


"...but come on, “red blooded Canadian”, “…so we can go to school, work and home without fear of reprisal”, “It’s good to be Canadian”. Does anyone else smell something a distasteful here?" NO, I definitely don't 'smell something distasteful here. Yes, anything that is positive has to be some kind of conspiracy. What about the conspiracy of the media’s obsession with trying to turn everyone against the good that the Canadian military is doing?

no longer proud said...

What will happen to Canadian soldiers' mortality rates should it get passed that landed-immigrants will be able to sign up for military duty??? That's right... Ottawa wants to put newly-landed, non-citizens into the armed forces (I heard it on the news this morning). Canadian soldiers are exposed to enough danger as it is without the feds making it easier for enemy agents to infiltrate their ranks. A baboon wouldn't make such an idiotic proposal to parliament... What the hell is wrong with these people???

I guess 'Canuckistan' will soon no longer be just a derogatory term uttered by disgruntled citizens (like me), but is the actual country Canada seems determined to become.

no longer proud said...

As for the original article, given the level of opposition to Canadian involvement in the Afghan conflict the shadiness of parliament, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the story actually is propaganda to bolster public support for the war. I'm willing to give its possible lack of authenticity the benefit of the doubt, but under the circumstances, reading such stories these days does set off an alarm in the back of my brain (no offense indtended toward military personnel or their families).

Patriot said...

My guess is that the Canadian government plans to allow foriegn nationals into the forces for the same reason the French formed the Foriegn Legion so long ago. Simply put, a country would get too much backlash if they used their people for cannon fodder in a conflict. Doing that to someone from outside the Country doesn't infuriate the voters so much.

This is likely Harper's way to bolster troop numbers, take heavy casualties and keep the general public happy because they won't be hearing about Canadians getting killed. I hate to think the duties these non-Canadian troops will be given and the missions they will be sent on.

mt.pearligan said...

I'm not one for such conspiracy theories
but I can't see how our soldiers being in Afghanistan safeguards our freedoms and security. Maybe if we in the West realized that our wealth and lifestyle is propped up by human-rights abuses, incredibly cheap labour and resource prices (namely oil) that are too low, there would be no need to go to Afghanistan. You treat people like they're doormats and the result is resentment, hatred and violence and, yes, the need for "peacekeepers" to go abroad and quell what is essentially dissent. I'm not an advocate of violence or terrorism but it's not hard to see why such terrorist organizations sprout up. Don't be fooled, our
"peacekeepers" are in Afghanistan to defend our God-given right to have DVD players that cost less than a case of beer, $700 all-in's to Cuba and lettuce shipped in from California.

WJM said...

Is VOCM Being Used as a Propaganda Tool?

You ever listen to the "spontaneous" callers — the same names over and over again, often reading off of paper — who call in to sing the praises of Glorious Leader, Father of the Nation?

Of COURSE it's being used as a propaganda tool! Bill Rowe's show is unlistenable; too much slurping and slobbering.

(Hi, Liz.)

Anonymous said...

WJM since you know of all the "spontaneous" callers - the same names over again, often reading off of paper - who call in to sing the praises of Glorious Leader, Father of the Nation? And as you say the slurping and slobbering and you even know Liz,
then you must be an avid listener of VOCM as well.

WJM said...

And as you say the slurping and slobbering and you even know Liz,
then you must be an avid listener of VOCM as well.


What does being a listener have to do with anything? Does it make you somehow morally culpable in some way?

It's not avid listeners who have turned Voice of the Common Man into Voice of the Conservative Megalomaniac.

Anonymous said...

Patriot - To your question is VOCM Being Used as a Propaganda Tool?

I am not sure whether it is or it is not, but one thing I am sure of is VOCM allows too many Pills to be advertised on its site for my liking. I would like for VOCM to utilize advertisers with much more friendlier products than pills. I know the advertisers are the ones who enables such wonderful informative shows to be brought to the listening audience.

I have had two family members, who have purchased and tried those pills for some of the good effects these pills are supposed to provide. They have taken them right to the last pill and have felt none of the good effects those pills are advertised to do. Also one of the Pill Companies that advertises on VOCM says that it will give you a bottle of free pills to get you started, but when you call the number, the first thing the company ask you for is a Credit Card Number and before you get the free pills they cost you almost $50.00 to get them across the border. I wouldn't call that free.

Also one of the frequent well researched activists, who used to call the VOCM Open Line Shows daily to impart important knowledge on VOCM's listeners, doesn't call anymore, because she said VOCM does not give her the latitude to do so.

From what I deciphered from an article she wrote in a newspaper, she said that she was barred from VOCM for some sort of political reasons. She said that politicians didn't like what she was saying. From what I could determine she was imparting too much iimportant information on us, in other words. I am not sure myself for the reasons involved, I can only say what I read in a column. All I can say is that I dearly miss this activist who used to call the VOCM Open Line shows frequently to offer us information that was very critical for our ears to hear. Now, of course, that source of important information is lost to us because she doesn't call the Open Line shows anymore. We, the people of this provine, are the losers. And I am sure so is VOCM. We are hoodwinked once again.

WJM said...

Also one of the frequent well researched activists, who used to call the VOCM Open Line Shows daily to impart important knowledge on VOCM's listeners,

Sue imparts many things, but "knowledge" is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster, Sue backs up all of her postings with the particular references from which she writes to her blog. All one has to do to verify what Sue is writing is correct is click into the site from which she is writing her story. Sue adds each site of reference to her blog to guard against malicious statements like the one above. Researching articles written by the Government and in the National Newspapers is where Sue gets some of her valuable information and knowledge. And then she passes her information along to her reading and listening pubic. All that matters is that Sue backs up her articles with her research material.

As for the last poster to whom I am responding, one very recent poster to this site provided an address from which the person who wrote at the time; and lo and behold it appeared to be a Federal Government site. If this is true, it is terrible that the Federal Government has hired a mole to peruse this site, and other blogs written by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, to refute and dispute everything written that is true. This is one of the reasons, no doubt, Newfoundland and Labrador has not been able to move forward in any aspect over the past 57 years within Confederation. It is a tool to keep things non-transparent in this province. It is also one of the reasons Canada was downgraded by Transparency International, on two recent occasions, that Canada was practicing low grade transparency, not only in this province, but on the international scene as well.

All one has to do to see how non-transparent Ottawa operates is review the Myths that were posted on the Fishery, that DFO posted to its site. Sue took a copy of the posting and posted the Myths to her blog 2 days ago, so that they could be challenged as untruths . After people provided information to to the contrary to dispute the Myths, the Department of Fisheries and Ocean removed the site that contained the Myths. Why would DFO remove the Myth site if they knew what they had printed was true?

Please refer to some of the independant government Watchdog Agencies that look into the wrongdoings of Governments, yes even Canada.

Some of these sites are Probe International - Transparency International - Outsourcing and Outmigration, these are some of the ones out there.

I want to thank Sue for posting those Myths to her blog and to the people who knew the difference, who wrote and made calls to DFO with information to prove the Myths weren't true.

WJM said...

To the last poster, Sue backs up all of her postings with the particular references from which she writes to her blog.

Sue rants and is generally incoherent. Her research is garbage.

All one has to do to verify what Sue is writing is correct is click into the site from which she is writing her story.

And conveniently, Sue (hi, Sue) whenever anyone contradicts you by posting something disproving your nonsense, you won't let it through.

Sue adds each site of reference to her blog to guard against malicious statements like the one above.

Why are you referring to yourself in the third person?

Anonymous said...

WJM - You are a very disinteresting poster to blogs, as you add nothing to a blog site other than questions. Goodbye WJM!!!

WJM said...

Bye! And Sue, I hope you post, and answer, the question I posed, or tried to, on your blog about Hydro-Quebec and private-sector energy development in the province next door.

Starrigan said...

I think Wally Wally Poo Poo is on his period, he seems to be very snarky lately. What's up with that?

WJM said...

I'm always snarky.

Sue said...

This is the first time I have seen these posts by WJM. I do not post anonymously - never seen the need to be anything other than public.
When you start claiming others to be me - you are not interested in constructive anything - you are interested in the destruction of one person - you should explain why.
Sue