Legitimacy as a commodity

Just recently I was reading a Reddit post titled “Anderson Cooper is a bad ass” posted by Reddit power user GallowBoob. It shows Cooper saving a black kid from mortal trouble. The post is locked and no one can comment. All comments are praising Mr. Cooper.

This comes right after CNN and major media outlets lost legitimacy.

All good forms of propaganda begin by earning legitimacy by reporting great analysis and accurate truths. They later spend such legitimacy by lying and manipulating the public during opportune moments.

Another strategy commonly used is to hijack existing sources of legitimacy and popularity for propaganda. e.g. Wikipedia started off as a legitimate source, and now is a Ministry of Truth. Politifact and snopes.com are similar forms of earlier legitimacy used for propaganda.

Of course, when more propaganda is needed than what can be created by hijacking or creating sources of legitimacy, we run into a form of widespread distrust in media. People stop listening, and society loses a means of introspection and self-regulation provided by the media. Civilized society may not exist far beyond that.

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