GUEST COLUMN
The Propaganda America Can't Resist

December 1991By Rawley Myers

The Rev. Rawley Myers is an assisting priest at St. Mary's Parish in Colorado Springs. Formerly a chaplain at the University of Nebraska, he is the author of 12 books.

The number one teacher in America is, like it or not, television. The average person watches television 20 hours a week. It is more influential by far than a thousand sermons, reaching far more people, impressing them more deeply.

Television influences the subconscious, which greatly affects all our attitudes. It does so by repetition, constantly telling us, on commercials especially, what to do. Indeed, repetition is the mother of learning. As Hitler knew, say a thing often enough and people come to believe it. This is the principle behind propaganda. Television is the propaganda of business. If we are not influenced by television, why would corporations spend millions of dollars on advertising? They do so because it works. Otherwise they would drop television commercials in an instant.

What does television teach us? Well, for instance, you have to own a new car, to have fun you must drink beer, and you can get girls if you buy a certain shaving lotion.

We are told that if people would stop to think they wouldn't fall for television propaganda. Of course. But that's just it; in our day fewer people are thinking -- television has put their minds to sleep. Many a person comes home from work, eats dinner, gets a beer, and sits in an overstuffed chair and watches the tube, until he becomes as overstuffed as the chair.


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