Stovepiping, Gaslighting, Dog-whistling…What Do They Mean?

gaslight_1944_trailer3Stovepiping (also stove piping) is a metaphorical term which recalls a stovepipe‘s function as an isolated vertical conduit, and has been used, in the context of intelligence, to describe several ways in which raw intelligence information may be presented without proper context.. Seymour Hersh described John Bolton’s role in convincing George W. Bush that Saddam Hussein had WMDs as “stovepiping” in the seminal New Yorker article, The Stovepipe (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/10/27/the-stovepipe).

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief. This term came up recently in a Zerohedge article: The Gaslighting of the American Public Continues (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-17/gaslighting-american-public-continues).

Dog-whistling or Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup. The phrase is often used as a pejorative because of the inherently deceptive nature of the practice and because the dog-whistle messages are frequently distasteful to the general populace. The analogy is to a dog whistle, whose high-frequency whistle is heard by dogs but inaudible to humans.

The term can be distinguished from “code words” used in some specialist professions, in that dog-whistling is specific to the political realm. The messaging referred to as the dog-whistle has an understandable meaning for a general audience, rather than being incomprehensible.

Binkley and I discuss dog-whistling in the context of some of Trump’s mixed messages in Episode 28 of the Propaganda Report (https://propagandareportdaily.com/podcasts/).

 

Categories: glossary, propaganda

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