Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Austrian Site on Fake Quotations

There are a fair number of people engaged in the Sisyphean labor of discouraging dubious quotations.

Gerald Krieghofer has an Austrian site titled Zitatenrätsel that tracks them in the German-speaking world. He has a 6 December 2017 post that looks at dubious Goebbels quotations.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Article on Fake News Uses Fake Quotation

Peacock Panache, an site on the political left, has a post titled “Fake News and the Big Lie” on 1 November 2017.  It is less than enthused about Trump Administration statements and claims:
The study did find that Trump’s constant calling-out of specific media sources affected public perceptions of the accuracy of those sources. That shouldn’t surprise us. There is a famous Joseph Goebbels quote, describing the propaganda tactic known as “The Big Lie.”
It then cites the alleged quotation by Goebbels.
So we have an article assailing fake news that uses a fake quotation.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Reliable" Sites and the Dubious Goebbels Quotation

I’m particularly annoyed by sites that look reliable, but spread the dubious Goebbels quotation that  this blog is following.  That is almost always a sign that a site should be avoided.

One example is the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team.  On the surface (but only on the surface) it looks to be a scholarly site, although it provides very little information on who is behind it.  However, its page on Joseph Goebbels is headed by the dubious quotation.  I’ve twice e-mailed them, but they haven't removed the material. On the same page, they reproduce a large section of one of my translations, with no credit.

In short, it’s not a site to be recommended.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tracking Report #11

It’s been a while since we did a tracking report on the fabricated quotation by Joseph Goebbels.

The last one, in fact, was on May 20, 2015. At that point there were 45,000 Google hits.  On November 25, 2016 the total is 40,600.  It would be encouraging to think citations were ebbing, but is  a result of changes in Google’s algorithms rather than a decline in use.  Microsoft’s Bing search engine provides 2,430,000 results.

Fortunately, our pages are at the top of most search engine results, so those who try to be accurate will find sufficient information as to discourage them from further spreading nonsense.

The Fabricated Quotation and Donald Trump

Over the years that we have followed this fabricated quotation allegedly by Joseph Goebbels, we find it is regularly used by both those on the right and left to assail their opponents.  Let’s look at what has happened since the advent of Donald Trump.

A Google search on November 25, 2016 finds about 35,000 web pages with the quotation that mention Donald Trump.  Clinton supporters used it to denigrate Trump, and Trump supporters used it against Clinton.  Some examples:

An August 11, 2016 post on westernjournalism.com claims that Clinton is following Joseph Goebbels’s strategy in dealing with Donald Trump. It claims to be “a rapid, up-to-date political news service that is relevant to the Tea Party movement of Constitutional conservatives.”  It doesn’t believe in fact-checking, apparently.

Dr. Rich Swier, who advertises himself as a "conservative with a conscience,” does not apply his conscience in matters of accuracy. In a September 13, 2016 post titled

    “Hillary’s Goebbels Problem — ‘The Big Lie

he accuses the Clinton campaign of using Goebbels’s methods by “frantically seeking ways to hide the truth about Mrs. Clinton.”

Meanwhile, Sputnik News, a Russian site with a remarkable ability to convey untrue material, carried a piece in September 2016 titled  “Trump’s Immigration Speech and Godwin’s Law.” It cited the Goebbels quotation and claimed that Trump was using Goebbels’s methods.

Closer to home, the Piqua Daily Call, a newspaper in Florida, published a column by Maria Boone titled “Burning down the house.”  She says, among other things:

An infamous man from history once declared “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
The speaker worked for a man who has much in common with Donald Trump. This man found himself on the cusp of power in a country that was floundering in turmoil and dissatisfaction with its government. The bossman, like Trump, found he could garner support by proclaiming who people should be afraid of and who they should blame for all their problems. The speaker was Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minster in Nazi Germany. His boss was Adolf Hitler.
Trump has found his own Goebbels in Steve Bannon, an anti-Semite, xenophobe, misogynist, white nationalist. Bannon has been named chief strategist and senior counselor for the Trump administration. Bannon hosts a website that asks questions such as “Would you rather your daughter be a feminist or have cancer?”
There are more.  We’re actually surprised there aren’t more than 35,000, but they will surely come as the left begins focusing on Trump’s presidency and the right assails those who fail to recognize his virtues.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Propaganda News" is Gullible

One would hope that a site named “Propaganda News” would be wary of uncritically accepting material — but that isn’t the case. In a post titled “Social Engineering Through the Propaganda of the Republican Presidential Race,” the full alleged Goebbels quotation is given to support this argument:
When it comes to politics, everything is propaganda. By now, most of us have come to realize that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats; however, they are too quick to assume that an outsider like Donald Trump is truly an outsider, or Ted Cruz is the next Reagan.... In order to understand this fully you have to come to accept that our nation has been marked for conquest, and when Obama said fundamental transformation, he meant transformation to a socialist/communist state, period.
If “everything” in politics is propaganda, I suppose it applies to this site as well, which the author seems to confess at the end:
By accepting Ted Cruz or Donald Trump as our presidential candidates we are signaling to the left that we are willing to surrender certain values in order to solve problems they have forced upon us. It’s that simple, we are being socially engineered. Of course, this is just my opinion.
But he seems to think his opinion is a pretty good one....

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Goebbels and Merkel?

Our fabricated quotation shows up on a variety of German sites.  Today, it appears in a comment on the Deutsche Welle web site, accusing Chancellor Merkel of imitating Goebbels.  Since it’s buried deep in the comments section, I’ll reproduce it here:


DW article Merkel Unmoved by Criticism: " "Despite all the critical findings in surveys, more than 90 percent [of German voters] say as they did before, that whoever has to flee terror, war or persecution, should have the possibility to be admitted into Germany and to find shelter. I think that's wonderful," she said."
Interesting. I thought it was closer to 90% of Germans thought the refugee crisis was poorly handled by Merkel. I guess Mrs. Merkel is using Mr. Goebbels' strategy of the "Big Lie."
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Keep repeating it Mutti. Everyone doesn't believe it yet.
 “Everyone” does seem to believe what they see on the Internet, however.