The assertion is a common modern propaganda technique. The assertion is a wholehearted or energetic statement given like a fact even though it may not be true. Assertions very often are stated with an air of confidence as to ward off questions and make people believe they are in no need of an explanation.
This might have been used by yellow journalists when reporting on the Cuban rebellion during the blowing up of the USS Maine- when the reporters were saying it was torpedoed rather than blown up by a boiler.
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Bandwagon known as one of the most familiar techniques in both wartimes as well as peace and plays an important part in modern advertising. Bandwagon is the appeal to follow the crowd; to do something merely because others are doing it as well. Bandwagon propaganda tries to convince people that one side is the better because more people are on that side.
This could have been used when telling the public to follow or go against the rebellion.
“All your neighbours are rushing down to Mistri Motors to take advantage of this year-end sale. You come, too!”
Card stacking, also known as selective omission (often used by children with their parents), involves showing only information that is helpful to their subject and leaving out any information that could damage their argument.
Whenever the journalists needed to sway the crowd to believe something about an ‘attack’ or about what Cubans might have been doing, this would have been a very good tactic to use.
Plays on deep-seated fears; warns the audience that disaster will result if they do not follow a particular course of action.
By keeping people afraid, yellow journalists were able to have a hand in starting the Spanish-American war.
For example, an insurance company pamphlet includes pictures of houses destroyed floods, followed up by details about home-owners’ insurance.
Glittering generalities occurs most often in politics and political propaganda. Glittering generalities are words that have different positive meanings for different subjects but are connected to highly valued ideas. When these words are used, they command agreement without thinking, simply because such an important concept is involved.
Comparing the Cuban rebellion to any other historical happening, journalists could have made the public feel however they wanted them to about the rebellion.
Examples: democracy, patriotism, family
Lesser of Two Evils
The “lesser of two evils” technique attempts to convince us of a certain opinion by portraying it as the better of two options. This technique is often implemented during wartime to convince people of the need for sacrifices or to justify difficult harsh decisions.
Name-calling occurs often in politics and wartime scenarios, but not very often in advertising. Name-calling uses derogatory language when describing an opponent. The propaganda attempts to arouse prejudice among the public by labeling the target something that the public dislikes.
By calling General Weyeler ‘butcher’ Weyeler among other things, journalists made Americans sympathize with the Cubans.
Examples: commie, fascist, yuppie
Pinpointing the Enemy
Pinpointing the enemy is used extremely often during wartime, and also in political campaigns and debates. This is an attempt to simplify a complex situation by presenting one specific group or person as the enemy even when other factors may be involved and the appointee may not, in fact, be the enemy.
By saying that Spain was the enemy, journalists were able to make Americans feel bad for Cuba and want to aid them in their rebellion.
Simplification (AKA Stereotyping)
Simplification is extremely similar to pinpointing the enemy, in that it often reduces a complex situation to a clear-cut choice involving good and evil. This technique is often useful in swaying uneducated audiences. When faced with simplification, it is often useful to examine other factors and pieces of the proposal or idea, and, as with all other forms of propaganda, it is essential to get more information.
Testimonials are quotations or endorsements, often out of context, which attempts to connect a famous or respectable person with a product or item (Jessica Simpson, proactive).
“Hi, I’m Bart Bearson. As a pro-football quarterback, I have to be concerned about my health. That’s why I take Pro-Ball Vitamin Supplements.”
The transfer is also often used in politics and during wartime. It is an attempt to make the subject view a certain item in the same way as they view another item, to make a connection between the two ideas. Although this technique is most often used to transfer negative feelings for one object to another, it can also be used in positive ways. By linking an item to something the subject respects or enjoys, positive feelings can be generated for it.
However, in politics, the transfer is most often used to transfer blame or bad feelings from one politician to another of his friends or party members, or even to the party itself.
“The American pioneers worked hard because they cared about the future. If you can about the future of your family, then see your agent at Pioneer Insurance.”
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