StopPATH WV blog link
The Power Line link
Here's a presentation based on the "study" that they developed and presented at the Eastern Coal Council Conference & Exposition on May 23. It's funny because it begins by crediting "NIMBYs" with an increasing power to kill projects. Oh no! The NIMBYs are winning!
But there's a lot more at work here than meets the eye. This thing is chock full of all the common propaganda techniques. How many can you find?
This presentation gives away the impetus behind the "study" -- energy corporations are getting their clocks cleaned by an increasingly informed and motivated public when they propose costly, gratuitous projects intended only to score huge corporate profits. Therefore, the corporations funded the "study" and credited it to the Chamber of Commerce to make it appear as if it was an independent work from a disinterested, credible source. The Chamber of Commerce has a long history of being a willing stooge for big business, and they are well-funded by corporations for playing this third-party role.
Before we get started, let's review the seven common propaganda techniques we've discussed before.
- Glittering generalities
- Plain folks
- Card stacking
This presentation jumps right into name-calling, transfer and plain folks in order to create a villain -- the dreaded NIMBY! They do a great job of building the monster. NIMBYs are portrayed as unreasonable, animalistic, litigious, malicious manipulators intent on destroying everything in their path just for the sheer fun of it. In fact, the NIMBY vampires actually feast on the BLOOD of corporations on page 7! And, the NIMBYs are wildly successful! Just for good measure, they throw in a bit of "tree-hugging." You know, those weird greeniacs who eat fungus and don't shave their legs. They're not like you at all! If we listen to them we're all going to be living in caves and freezing in the dark.
But... here comes the Chamber of Commerce to save the day with their glittering generalities, testimonial, transfer, bandwagon and card stacking! According to the CoC, we must go along with corporate money-making schemes if we want to get our economy back on track and solve unemployment, or else we're all going to be poor and unemployed and the United States will be destroyed!! This may be one of my favorite lines in the whole thing:
"We focused on energy, but just as easily could have used cell towers, big-box stores, highways, etc. The NIMBYs don’t discriminate."
They "could have" focused on other infrastructure, but there wasn't any money in that! The CoC focused on energy because that's who was paying for their "study" and participation as a corporate shill. Us NIMBYs don't discriminate, but the CoC always discriminates against those who don't have a checkbook in their hand.
Pretty funny, but also a bit frightening because it is so slick. There's a PR firm executing this, one of the big boys, and they don't come cheap. This must have cost millions. Unfortunately, because the funding is coming from energy corporations, it's undoubtedly being passed along to consumers in their utility bills.
Let's make this into one of those "find the missing object" puzzles. Go brush up on the 7 common propaganda techniques, and then take a look at the presentation and identify how and where the techniques were used. Not only is it fun, it's also great mental exercise -- the ability to quickly and expertly identify propaganda will serve you well in life.