The History Channel as a propaganda piece part 2.

As a related post to my previous post, here is a list of companies owned by the same company that owns The History Channel. Make sure you read the first of these two posts before commenting. We can continue the discussion here.

Time Warner - Cable
HBO Video
HBO Independent Productions
HBO OnDemand International
HBO Mobile International
Adult Swim
CNN International
CNN en Espanol
CNN Headline News
CNN Headline News in Latin America
CNN Headline News in Asia Pacific
CNN Mobile
CNN Newsource
CNN Pipeline
CNN fn
CNN Radio
CNN Interactive
Court TV (with Liberty Media)
Time Warner Cable
Road Runner
New York 1 News (24 hour news channel devoted only to NYC)
Kablevision (53.75% - cable television in Hungary)
In Demand
Metro Sports (Kansas City)
Time Warner Inc. - Film & TV Production/Distribution
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Studios
Warner Bros. Television (production)
The WB Television Network
Warner Bros. Television Animation
Hanna - Barbera Cartoons
Telepictures Production
The CW Television Network
Kids' WB!
Castle Rock Entertainment
Warner Home Video
Warner Bros. Domestic Pay - TV
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Warner Bros. International Television Distribution
The Warner Channel (Latin America, Asia - Pacific, Australia, Germ.)
Warner Bros. International Theaters (owns/operates multiplex theaters in over 12 countries)
Warner Bros. Online
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Technical Operations
Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Studio Facilities
Time Warner Inc. - Magazines
Time Asia
Time Atlantic
Time Canada
Time Latin America
Time South Pacific
Time Money
Time For Kids
Fortune Asia
Fortune Europe
FSB: Fortune Small Business
All You
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated International
SI for Kids
Who Weekly (Australian edition)
People en Espa�ol
Teen People
Entertainment Weekly
In Style
Southern Living AT HOME
Southern Accents
Cooking Light
Cottage Living
This Old House
Coastal Living
Real Simple
Wallpaper (U.K.)
Bride To Be
English Woman’s Weekly
Practical Parenting
In Style Australia
25 Beautiful Homes
Aeroplane Monthly
Amateur Gardening
Amateur Photographer
Angler’s Mail
Beautiful Kitchens
Cage and Aviary Birds
Caravan Magazine
Chat - It’s Fate
Classic Boat
Country Homes and Interiors
Country Life
Cycle Sport
Cycling Weekly
European Boat Builder
Family Circle
Hi Fi News
Homes and Gardens
Horse and Hound
Ideal Style
In Style (U.K.)
International Boat Industry
Land Rover World
Mountain Bike Rider
Model Collector
Motor Boat and Yachting
Motor Boats Monthly
Motor Caravan Magazine
Park Home & Holiday Caravan
Pick Me Up
Practical Boat Owner
Racecar Engineering
Rugby World
Ships Monthly
Shoot Monthly
Sporting Gun
Stamp Magazine
SuperBike Magazine
The Field
The Railway Magazine
The Shooting Gazette
TV & Satellite Week
TV Easy
Web User
What Digital Camera
What’s on TV
Woman & Home
Woman’s Own
Woman’s Weekly
Yachting World
Your Yacht
Audi Magazine
Life and Style
In Style Mexico
Magazines listed under Warner Brothers label
DC Comics
Mad Magazine
Online Services
CompuServe Interactive Services
AOL Instant Messenger
ADTECH portal
Digital City
AOL Europe
The Knot, Inc. - wedding content (8 % with QVC 36% and Hummer
Third Screen Media
Weblogs, Inc.
Time Warner - Online/Other Publishing
Road Runner
Warner Publisher Services
Time Distribution Services
American Family Publishers (50%)
Time Warner - Merchandise/Retail
Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Theme Parks
Warner Brothers Recreation Enterprises (owns/operates international theme parks)
Time Warner Inc. - Turner Entertainment
Entertainment Networks
TBS Superstation
Turner Network Television (TNT)
Turner South
Cartoon Network
Turner Classic Movies
Cartoon Network in Europe
Cartoon Network in Latin America
TNT & Cartoon Network in Asia/Pacific
TNT Latin America
TCM Asia Pacific
TCM Canada
TCM Europe
TCM Classic Hollywood in Latin America
Adult Swim
Peachtree TV
Film Production
New Line Cinema
Fine Line Features
Turner Original Productions
Atlanta Braves
Other Operations
Turner Learning
CNN Newsroom (daily news program for classrooms)
Turner Adventure Learning (electronic field trips for schools)
Turner Home Satellite
Turner Network Sales
Netscape Communications
Netscape Netcenter portal
AOL MovieFone
iAmaze (partial)
Streetmail (partial)
Switchboard (6%)
European Magazines Limited

To continue the discussion, and continue to play devils advocate, I get it that television channels are about making money. But some one mentioned that THC is likely just airing relevent content to what is going on today. But knowing that all of the above media outlets are controlled by just a few people with the same agenda, could it not be possible that these channels would be used to influence public opinion? Especially considering that these people may or may not have friends in US government, and their interests abroad may be greatly affected by American policy.


HuronBH said...

Well lets look at it this way, there is a wide breadth of channels and other media outlets there and it is true if someone wanted to they could influence the american people through exposure to similar ideas over a mass of different stimuli.

But are they? Yes it is possible. It would be a really huge undertaking though. Costing billions all to sell the ideal or to nudge the American people in a general direction through images, sound bites, background elements, and writers tone. Yes it is possible and I am sure it has happened and is happening even now.

Is it used to influence to buy a product, use this brand over that, or even to support an ideal or plan existing in our government? Or (and much scarier) is it used to influence us to effect the choices made by our government (through letters, petitions, and opinion polls) or even down to who we choose to vote for come election day?

For me, I am more worried about what the future holds when companies can wield that kind of power. How many wars have started due to a companies influence over a government or the people? And how many more are in our future.

jawaballs said...

Huron, that is exactlly what I was getting at! Does Time/Warner want or support our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and show their support by airing pro-war programing on the history channel? :)

Robert said...

I don't know if you are a fan of graphic novels, but if you feel like reading an interesting story that sort of addresses this topic you should check out Nightly News by Jonathan Hickman. It is a very groundbreaking graphic novel in its style and presentation, so it might be worth checking out even if you don't historically like reading them.

jawaballs said...

Cool robert, i will check it out. It makes me laugh to keep scrolling and scrolling past that huge list of companies. It is scary to think about how much subtle power a very small group of people have. I guess that is why we choose to spend our time in the 41st millenium.

eris said...

indeed, between a&e and news corp, you're going to struggle to find something resembling genuine news which isn't pushing an agenda. that's probably the thing that keeps me watching the young turks, they're actually having sane logical discussion of news rather than presenting it in a certain light and leaving it at that.

hopefully as internet news becomes more and more mainstream, some of these massive corps will lose some of their power to manipulate the masses thru not only their news programming, but the slant given on all their shows.

Flekkzo said...

1. Duplicates on that list
2. Guess why they are afraid of the internet
3. Look at Italy and Berlusconi…
4. The company is getting too large, chop it up plz

I'm just happy that I'm not alone in thinking that something is amiss. I really don't want to start feeling like a conspiracy guy, those guys are nuts.

Now, to give some meaning to all this, any tips on making symbols out of plasticard to put on "shoulderguards" on marines? Only having partial luck myself :(

jawaballs said...

Plasticard symbols... never tried. I suggest you invest your time into practicing your freehand instead. In my opinion, it is more striking.

Kevinmcd28 said...

well its not that the history channel shows its oppinions about modern wars unlike most of the rest. looks like a majority of the liberal news networks are well represented

Flekkzo said...

Freehand?:) I unfortunatly have about zero talent when it comes to painting/drawing and would need some serious help to get to a point where it doesn't look like a two year old going at it. I am amazed that I can paint minis at the level I do. I might get into freehanding in the future if I can get both time and someone to teach me.

That said, what I am doing is very simple and inspired by the AoBR marines. I'll post it on my blog when I have finished the squad (I have one test that turned out OK). I found that the glue made it possible to "wrap" the thin plasticard around the shoulderpad.

Speaking of freehanding. I wanted two wings on the top of the back of my BA terminator sergeant but ended up trying decals (with a less than stellar result). Ever thought about doing something like that anyone? (see my JB comp entry for pictures)

And yes I am hijacking the thread, to talk about 40k :)

HuronBH said...

For plastic card and freehand tips see Ron's blog, his ideas and techniques are so easy and look so good when done.

If you want us to comment on specific things please include links.

@Jawaballs - While I think that in the long run the answer is yes, I am pretty sure it is not limited to the programming on the History Channel, nore is their influence limited to supporting or preparing people for more war. I am pretty sure they have their hands in everything from what history is important to what a 14 year old girl thinks being cool is this year. They are marketing things to you and what those things are dictates what out lets and avenues they pursue to get you prepared to buy or believe what they want.

Good catch on the History Channel stuff, put I am pretty sure you have only just scratched the surface of something much larger.

Pacific said...

A shocking but not entirely surprising list!

I agree that you have just touched on a much larger issue here.

Generally speaking, democratic governments (or any government for that matter) requires a certain level of legitimacy for its military actions. The easiest way of creating this is by convincing the public that they are under threat, and that the state is fulfilling its most sacred of obligations - the protection of its populace. Once you have the legitimacy card, all of your actions afterwards are justifiable, no matter how outrageous they might seem from the outside.

Writing from the UK perspective, charting the movement towards the invasion of Iraq (giving one example) is a prime example of the ability of governments to push even a relatively wealthy, 1st world population into support of war on the most dubious of grounds. I say mostly, as we had protest marches of tens of thousands of people, but these were largely ignored by the media.

Anyway, I digress. The first step was in the creation of a semblance of threat to the UK population. This was created with the, "Iraq can strike UK soil with only 45 minutes warning, with chemical weapons" headline. Pretty striking right, and certainly enough to warrant the mobilisation of a military response. However, scratch ever so lightly under the surface and the 'headline' falls apart -

'British Soil' applied to British miltiary bases/Embassies in Greece. The chemical weapons, and their strike ability, was based on unconfirmed intelligence, which had then been, in the words of a BBC radio reporter, 'sexed up'. An independent newspaper investigated the electronic trail of the document, incomptently left for all to see, and found that the document had been through the 'storytelling department' before the major 'headline' was released to the media. Seriously.

Years later our defense Secretary at the time, Geoff Hoon (think a British Donald Rumsfeld) claimed that he had been on holiday at the time, and so had not read the newspapers headline proclaiming the need for military action, and so was not in a position to deny the story despite knowing (as it turned out) that it was false.

This is the same man who, once committing our armed forces, was instrumental in there being military spending cuts which meant our troops were in poorly armoured vehicles, and often did not even have bullet proof vests.

Pacific said...

Interestingly, our opposition party (the Conservative government) was still in favour of war, but for different reasons. In the words of the then shadow-forgeign secretary, for the "geo-political stability of the reagion". In other words, to ensure the continued supply of the black stuff through a co-operative government.

You can't help but feel a little cheated that Mr. Blair and our government didn't credit the public with just a _little_ intelligence - there were general, sound economic reasons for going to war, even if you ignored the other, ethical reasons (you know - killing people and destroying a countries civil and economic infrastructure). Those in the media that showed some backbone by standing up against the call for war found themselves marooned - the director of the BBC was forced to resign after the 'sexed up dossier' allegation, despite its legitimacy, and replaced with an ex-Labour government minister.

I think that the overall 'saturation' of the media (infact, all mediums of information), at least from what I have read, was on nothing like the same scale as that of the US. This may be why the UK initially had a far larger anti-war component to its populace.
I also know that many in the US who wanted a more unbiased viewpoint of world news were forced to watch news from agencies such as the BBC.

As Eris pointed out, the only little nugget of gold in the giant pile of steaming horse cack, is that we have many more options for information available to us now than our ancestors. A war such as the first world war (surely the closest thing to hell which has ever existed on this earth) could never happen again. My great-grandfather, the most conservative and pro-royal of anyone you could ever meet, apparently said that if the population at home had even had a glimpse of the horrors taking place on the continent, the ruling governments would not have lasted a night.

Be thankful we don't live in those times, at least for the time being!

AutarchAndrew said...

Chris why do you care about history channel?its just tv you should be worrying about 40k or the jawababy

Chris said...

Although this shows the power that Time/Warner possesses, I am much more afraid of other power house corporations. I can see the masses of our nation being persuaded in certain directions as being dangerous, but what is potentially worse is the sort of influence a multi-national corporation can have.

Fruit distributors completely annihilate the agricultural sectors of entire nations; oil companies devastate the environments of countries like Nigeria and Guatemala; Walmart obliterates small businesses and even entire towns; and the list is endless. The amount of power that those with money have is unlimited! They can buy politicians here in America and whole governments over seas.

So when it comes to the fact that The History Channel could be pushing an agenda, I am not very threatened. Because in the end businesses are seeking to make the most profit possible, and I do not see how purposefully persuading people to support more war would really do it for them. But i could definitely see how looping footage that relates to current issues would do the trick. Who wouldn't want to see some history on Iran, Iraq, or Israel right now?

Truthfully I try not to let the media persuade me; I try to seek out the facts and make my judgments based on that. This could mean I am immune to propaganda or it could mean I am its greatest victim as I could be unaware of its influence.

But in the end something needs to be done about the world's current state of affairs. When corporations can just push people around with their money and have CEOs grossing more than the GDP's of several nations, something needs to be done. Especially because when they all fall down, our taxes are there to prop them right back up!!

Really got something of my chest there Lol

suneokun said...

Looks like you guys need a competition commission... then again over in the UK TV's dominated by the left wing BBC. Sometimes it's values reek onto the radio and TV. The BBC dwarfs all other TV/radio producers with most of the non-subscription ones simply struggling to survive with the death of advertising revenues.

That said. My political and cultural tendencies are directly reflected in most of what the BBC produces, and they requently make the other channels look very safe and boring by making some of the most intellectually challenging series out there.

Who else would spend 4 years making a natural history documentary or send Stephen Fry round the world to find endangered species...

They dominate the radio, the TV and even the internet (with iplayer competing with youtube) and raise the bar all round.

Love 'em or hate 'em, only HBO does it better (for drama) ... and they're good value for the British people.

Silvester said...

Of course the news media is attemtping to sway public opinion.

Pushing specific content on The History Channel is just one way of doing that. Another is skewing news coverage toward specific content that encourages a desired reaction: like concentrating on prescription drug abuse in the subburbs while minimalizing stories about cuts in education and how that negatively impacts kids in the inner-city and pushes them towar gangs and drugs - scare the middle-class with a percieved increase in something that has been happening for decades so they ignore the plight of the poor.

Baby Bush pulled a fast one when he switched gears from Afganistan (probably spelled wrong) and concentrated in Iraq - switch one Islamic target for another and the Maerican public won't really care that the two countries are about as far apart geographically as New York and Kansas and have no real interaction with one another... Scare them with "weapons of mass destruction" and don't mention that we put Saddam in power and sold him those same weapons when he was fighting Iran for us back in the 80's.

The media has been guiding American culture since day one and they have only solidified their foundation as our source of cultural inspiration since they managed to link audio with video and get a TV in every house.

How many people these days give a rats patooty about world events? Compare that to the early 1900's.

How many people know every last detail of the life of various fictional characters (or the actors that play them) in TV or movies or even novels? How many of them can name more than the presidents that have been in office since they were 18 years old? Name all 50 states? Give the year that the last state was inducted into the union? Name a world leader of a country we are not at war with?

Our problem isn't that the media is trying to control us, it's that we are letting them!

Kevinmcd28 said...

wababy to be mislead by the evil media >D <-(media "muahahahahah!")

BBc is pretty unoppionioned in America, Yes it does exsist here

Silvester, your an idiot =D

Personally I think this is a plot by the Chaos Gods to take over the world!!!! =O

HuronBH said...

"Personally I think this is a plot by the Chaos Gods to take over the world!!!! =O"

Seconded. ;)

Silvester said...


That may be...
But I've learned to put my opinions out there and see what people think rather than just keep them to myself and never know if I'm completely off the mark or not.

Sort of like a quote from one of my favorite movies:
"You may not like my nose, but I do. I always wear it out in the open where, if anyone wants to take a sock at it, they can do it."

Kevinmcd28 said...

Sylvester please see the part 1 post comments section to see the essay I wrote on this topic buddy =D

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