Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Propaganda and the use of metaphor

One of the ways the propagandist induces the reader to adopt her view is to use strongly suggestive language.  In the guise of simply describing a thing or event, the propagandist employs a metaphor which reflects her subjective evaluation and instills an emotional bias in the mind of the reader.

An illustration of this technique can be seen in Reuters recurring description of the Israeli security barrier:
Beit Iksa is not enclosed by the Israeli barrier that snakes through the West Bank, making it a transit point for many seeking to enter illegally for work.
Continuing in that tradition with a story focusing on the possibility that Israel will permit armed Palestinian police to patrol additional towns in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank"), Reuters correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan offers a bit of history:
Under accords following a landmark 1993 interim peace deal, Israel carved up the West Bank into three zones, one where Palestinian police could be armed, another where security was a joint task with Israel, and an area in which Israeli forces remained solely in charge.
Whereas in an example of neutral reporting, the word "divided" would clearly do, Fisher-Ilan has a very specific image of Israel to peddle to her audience: 

And note, the 1993 Oslo Accords and accompanying administrative divisions in the territories were negotiated between and freely agreed by both parties, Israel and the Palestinians, based on demographics, the location of sensitive religious sites, and security considerations.  The Palestinians were sitting at the same Thanksgiving table when the butterball was apportioned.

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