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Letter: Media bias is one thing but propaganda is another

On Aug. 25, Ross Nelson wrote that bias in the mainstream media is overwhelming. Yes, I agree that bias may exist in some mainstream media, but it must be kept in perspective.

Mr. Nelson has a fundamental problem because he fails to recognize his own hypocrisy. Although I question his basic premise, let's assume that his assertions are true and the Washington Post, New York Times and National Public Radio are biased.

Even if it is true, the comments coming out of the NYT, WP and NPR are mild compared with those of the National Enquirer and Fox News.

The Enquirer publishes nothing but propaganda. For years, it has consistently lied and denigrated Hillary Clinton while praising President Donald Trump. The lies, outrageous as they may be, are posted daily in virtually every supermarket checkout throughout the country.

Of course, not everyone buys a copy, but it is hard to escape the glaring headline that Clinton has six months to live, or that President Obama wiretapped Trump, or that the FBI is crooked and part of a deep state, or that Clinton has framed Trump. The Enquirer publishes absolute nonsense, but they do it consistently and many believe every word.

Generally, few people in rural America read the NYT or WP, but everyone sees the subliminal messages of the Enquirer at the supermarket. One of the principles of propaganda is that if one tells the same lie long enough, eventually people will believe it. We cannot underestimate the power of suggestion.

A classic example is the one that Trump told about Obama's birthplace. This blatant lie was fed to the Enquirer and eventually picked up by Fox News who ran it for years. At one point, well over 60 percent of Republicans believed it. Even today, former Arizona sheriff (pardoned by Trump) Joe Arpaio accepts it.

Yes, Mr. Nelson, there may be some bias in the mass media. Let's not deny that possibility. But it is insignificant compared to the conspired messages coming from the Trump/National Enquirer/Fox News organizations. They have developed a truly effective and frightening propaganda machine. It is one of the reasons that we are so divided as a country. Thankfully, we still live in a country where Mr. Nelson can post his viewpoints, incomplete as they may be, in a newspaper willing to consider all viewpoints.

Cummings lives in Dilworth

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