Where did the Left learn their effective “fake news” tactics?

In Episode 80 of Hidden Headlines I discuss the effective use of Propaganda by the Democratic Party and the Left in general.

They have become excellent at making the public believe whatever fake news will serve their purposes.

Where did they learn this?

From the  “father of public relations,” Edward Bernays.

Edward Bernays could sell anything.

In his 1928 book, “Propaganda,” Bernays hypothesized that by understanding the group mind, it would be possible to manipulate people’s behavior without their even realizing it. For example, in his first big test of this hypothesis, Bernays launched one of his most famous public relations campaigns: convincing women to smoke.

In 1929, it was taboo for women to smoke in public and those who flouted convention were thought to be sexually permissive. Bernays’ client was George Washington Hill, president of the American Tobacco Company, who envisioned breaking this taboo to broaden the market for his Lucky Strike brand. Bernays asked Hill for permission to consult with New York’s leading psychoanalyst and Freud disciple, Dr. A.A. Brill, and was granted this unusual request.

This was the first but not the last time Bernays would consult with psychoanalysts to help shape his public relations campaigns. When asked what cigarettes symbolized to women, Brill’s response was that cigarettes were symbolic of male power.

Equating smoking with challenging male power was the cornerstone of Lucky Strike’s “Torches of Freedom” campaign, which debuted during New York’s annual Easter Parade on April 1, 1929. Bernays had procured a list of debutantes from the editor of Vogue magazine and pitched the idea that they could contribute to the expansion of women’s rights by lighting up cigarettes and smoking them in the most public of places—Fifth Avenue. The press was warned beforehand and couldn’t resist the story. The “Torches of Freedom Parade” was covered not only by the local papers, but also by newspapers nationwide and internationally. Bernays was duly convinced that linking products to emotions could cause people to behave irrationally. In reality, of course, women were no freer for having taken up smoking, but linking smoking to women’s rights fostered a feeling of independence.

Bernays not only helped move products, but he learned how to move ideology as well for politicians and non-profits.

The Left uses his books as their primary resources to this day: Covid, the January 6th “insurrection,” and so on.

It’s a fascinating podcast. Hope you’ll listen and share.

Brian Sussman

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