MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Pentagon & Hollywood’s successful and deadly propaganda alliance — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. Fox on March 17, 2018

Spielberg and Bruckheimer are two Hollywood heavyweights considered by the DoD to be their most reliable collaborators.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/421064-pentagon-hollywood-propaganda-dod/

The US has the largest military budget in the world, spending over $611 billion – far larger than any other nation on Earth. The US military also has at their disposal the most successful propaganda apparatus the world has ever known… Hollywood.

In order to obtain cooperation from the Department of Defense (DoD), producers must sign contracts that guarantee a military approved version of the script makes it to the big screen. In return for signing away creative control, Hollywood producers save tens of millions of dollars from their budgets on military equipment, service members to operate the equipment, and expensive location fees.

Capt. Russell Coons, director of the Navy Office of Information West, told Al Jazeera what the military expects for their cooperation: “We’re not going to support a program that disgraces a uniform or presents us in a compromising way.”

Phil Strub, the DOD chief Hollywood liaison, says the guidelines are clear. “If the filmmakers are willing to negotiate with us to resolve our script concerns, usually we’ll reach an agreement. If not, filmmakers are free to press on without military assistance.

In other words, the Department of Defense is using taxpayer money to pick favorites. The DOD has no interest in nuance, truth or – God forbid – artistic expression; only in insidious jingoism that manipulates public opinion to their favor. This is chilling when you consider that the DOD is able to use its financial leverage to quash dissenting films it deems insufficiently pro-military or pro-American in any way…

This indoctrinated adoration of a belligerent militarism, conjured by Hollywood blockbusters, also resulted in Americans being willfully misled into supporting a farce like the 2003 Iraq War. The psychological conditioning for Iraq War support was built upon hugely successful films like ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998), directed by Steven Spielberg, and ‘Black Hawk Down’ (2001), produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, that emphasized altruistic American militarism. Spielberg and Bruckheimer are two Hollywood heavyweights considered by the DoD to be their most reliable collaborators.

Another example of the success of the DoD propaganda program was the pulse-pounding agitprop of the Tom Cruise blockbuster ‘Top Gun’ (1986). The movie, produced by Bruckheimer, was a turning point in the DoD-Hollywood relationship, as it came amid a string of artistically successful, DoD-opposed, ‘anti-war’ films, like ‘Apocalypse Now,’ ‘Platoon’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ which gave voice to America’s post-Vietnam crisis of confidence. ‘Top Gun’ was the visual representation of Reagan’s flag-waving optimism, and was the Cold War cinematic antidote to the “Vietnam Syndrome”…

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