Lies,Incorporated, The World of Post-Truth Politics
Lies,Incorporated, The World of Post-Truth Politics
“Lies,Incorporated, The World of Post-Truth Politics” by Rabin-Havt andthe Media matters of America is an eye-opening, informative andindispensable book which seeks to enlighten the public on the extentto which truth has been manipulated to achieve personal gains. Thisis a significant factor that has been a barrier to progressive changein most of the contemporary societies today. Further, the bookexplores how modern public policies have been altered to satisfyindividual interests. Apparently, lies have dominated even in mostcritical issues facing the world today, for instance healthcare,climate change, immigration, and insecurity. However, the authoradvocates for awareness, critical thinking and choosing the rightleaders as the only way to prevent further erosion of democracy(Rabin-Havt & Mediamatters.org, 2016).
1.In your own words, explain what a "think tank" is. Whatrole do they play in the public relations world?
Tobegin with, “think tank” is a term that was first used in themilitary jargon during the Second World War to represent a placewhere plans and appropriate strategies could be discussed toestablish the most suitable way forward. However, its initial meaninghas changed over time. Today, the term is used to describe nonprofitpolicy research organizations in the United States. Nevertheless,“think tank” in the book “Lies, Incorporated, The World ofPost-Truth Politics”, has been used to represent unscrupulousgroups of people whose major focus is to channel misinformation andspearhead public confusion on the most controversial issues affectingthe society. As it has been noted before, think thank groupsordinarily thrive on lies to maintain or achieve power and maximizetheir profits without putting into consideration the interests andwelfare of the American people (Rabin-Havt & Mediamatters.org,2016).
Therefore,in the public relations world, think tank groups play a significantrole in feeding the public consciousness with lies and manipulatingpolicies for their own gains. This is majorly attributed to the factthat they have the ability to generate ideas for the policies, theyoffer platforms for some of the critical discussions and also theyhave a vital influence in coming up with conflict solving strategies.Unscrupulous think tank groups in coordination with other opposingfactions have compromised progressive reforms by propagating damaginginformation to the members of the public. For instance, they havenegatively affected tremendous efforts put towards ensuringavailability of affordable healthcare facilities, they have alsoposed challenges to the initiative of promoting comprehensiveimmigration reforms (Rabin-Havt & Mediamatters.org, 2016). Thinktank groups are expected to carry out an extensive research on thebest policies to adopt as well as provide recommendations throughseminars, publications, and conferences. On the contrary, they areexerting a negative influence on progressive policies by manipulatingthem to satisfy their interests. It is for that reason that theauthor in the last chapter of the book, advocates for the truth to beprioritized either from the elected leaders or the media.Transparency and accountability is essential in not only enhancingthe well-being of individuals but also promoting the development ofthe society (Rabin-Havt & Mediamatters.org, 2016).
2.What is the business of "public relations"? Who aretheir customers?
Typically,public relations refers to a practice or a profession in which acompany creates and maintains its goodwill to the variousstakeholders or interested parties. It can also be described as thecontinuous practice of spreading information between an individual,company, non-profit organization as well as the government. In thebook, the customers of public relations include the general public,media, government, various organizations or companies, clients andthe environment (Rabin-Havt & Mediamatters.org, 2016). In thiscase, the context of public relations entails the various rolesplayed by the customers described by the author and how theirrelationships have been affected as a result of greed and falsehood.For instance, the author suggests that the government and electedleaders should be take up the challenge and effectively play theirrespective roles which they have been assigned.
Electedleaders are chosen by the electorate to represent them in thegovernment, address their grievances and initiate developmentprojects for a better society. On the same note, the government isalso elected to represent its citizens and ensure resources areallocated equally. In this case, public relations is attained whenthe government protects the interests of the country and executes itsmandate effectively as stipulated in the constitution. Electedleaders should also protect the interests of the electorate byaddressing their issues, corruption cases and ensuring that there isaccountability in the utilization of resources allocated. The billspassed should always prioritize the interests and welfare of thepeople thus attaining public relation. The media should also ensurethat the information relayed to the general public is accurate andreliable. They should exercise independence in executing their roleand exposing any inappropriate and undesirable practices within thesociety (Rabin-Havt & Mediamatters.org, 2016). This is veryimportant in informing the viewers on how their country is run, themanner in which various resources have been allocated to better theirlives. Additionally, the various companies or organizations ought toensure that there is good public relations between them, theirclients and the environment. Regardless of their industry or theirareas of specialization, they should strive to provide qualityproducts with minimal environmental pollution (Rabin-Havt &Mediamatters.org, 2016).
3.Give two examples of public relations campaigns which have haddamaging results. Explain how they worked.
Inthe book, the author has demonstrated various public relationscampaigns with diverse effects on the masses and the society atlarge. First, it is the campaign against the harmful effectsassociated with smoking cigarettes (Rabin-Havt &Mediamatters.org, 2016). Unethical authorities, propaganda spinnersand a dossier of lobbyists have considerably made the general publicbelieve that cigarette smoking is not harmful by spreading falseinformation. Any attempt to unearth the truth compels them to takeurgent and desperate measures to conceal the evidence. They havesucceeded by choosing spin doctors to twist the reality just for thesake of the company’s profits. However, this campaign has diverseeffects on the victims (Rabin-Havt & Mediamatters.org, 2016).Prolonged smoking causes diseases such as lung cancer, hypertensionand kidney failure to the victims.
Additionally,the oil industry has always disagreed and challenged the statics onclimate change and global warming. Harmful emissions from theseindustries result in water and environmental pollution whicheventually leads to global warming and climate change. Notably,various studies have established that global warming causes asignificant increase in temperatures which is harmful to the livingorganisms. On the other hand, climate change is associated withsevere implications such as strong hurricanes and heat waves. Despitethe harmful effects, the oil industry is against the statistics, thismove is triggered by the motive of trying to defend the lucrativenature of their business and profitability. The corporate interestsand its continued existence is prioritized at the expense of thegeneral public as well as the surrounding environment (Rabin-Havt &Mediamatters.org, 2016).
Rabin-Havt,A., & Mediamatters.org. (2016). Lies, incorporated: The world ofpost-truth politics.