"With no phone to call for help, I used my bobsled push training to break out," quipped Olympian Johnny Quinn this morning, adding his voice to the latest Twitter trending topic, #SochiProblems. We love Quinn's All-American, can-do (pun intended) solution to post-Soviet lavatory logistical problems being encoutered by athletes and visitors alike at the winter Olympics sponsored by former KGB officer Vladimir Putin's Russia.
We're no fan of moral-equivalency guru Noam Chomsky's. But what he had to say a few years back about public relations as propaganda in fancy dress rings true and sheds light on the recent controversy over that Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad with its dreamy cinematography of doe-eyed children singing "America the Beautiful" in seven languages. All sugary innocence. Why did it make us feel as though the good folks at Coke were rubbing our noses in it? Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart explains:
The ad instantly provoked a deeply polarized response on social media, with conservatives ripping the ad for promoting multiculturalism with a deeply patriotic anthem.
At this point, we shouldn’t be shocked by the intolerance of some towards immigrants and other cultures. But who could’ve predicted the outrage we saw over the Coca-Cola commercial that aired during last night’s Super Bowl?!
Mosaicist vs assimilationist:
And to be honest, the notion of “E pluribus unum” is more relevant today than it was in 1782 because of our nation’s evolving demographics…
In the years to come, it will be a learning experience for all [of] us as our nation evolves into an even more beautiful mosaic.
Eye of the beholder, but even among allies there is dispute. When we learned this morning that Coke had belatedly added E pluribus unum to the opening frames of the commercial, we twittered our delight. But some on our side of the aisle were calling the whole thing a distraction, protesting that "making a fuss" over the Coke ad was distracting social-media voices from their primary task of holding Republican leaders' feet to the fire over Obama & Company's "comprehensive immigration" campaign:
Which brings us back to Chomsky and Edward Bernays and the title of this post. Chomsky writes of Bernays:
His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didn't smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniques—models and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual.
The controversy surrounding Coca-Cola's Super Bowl ad has focused public attention on the company's pro-amnesty agenda. With the majority of its revenue coming from its international business, the company has long been known for its globalist rather than American world view.
As Andrew Breitbart famously tried to teach conservatives, culture is upstream of politics.