Propaganda Technique: Card Stacking

Keith Reilly By Keith Reilly, 10th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Activism

A description of Card Stacking as a technique of propaganda.

Propaganda Technique: Card Stacking

Card stacking is one of the primary principles of effective propaganda. It involves heavy bias in favour of one side of an argument and the undermining of the opposing side of an issue, if not deliberately omitting it altogether.

It is called card stacking after a magic trick conjurers perform of “stacking” a deck of cards in a prearranged order but making it look as though they have been randomly shuffled. In the same way, a propagandist will select evidence and testimonials that support his side of the issue and suppress anything that would criticise his stance, but will present all of this in a seemingly random fashion so as not to seem like a coordinated campaign.

The danger of card stacking is in the event of the propagandist who has a monopoly over any media outlets, as we see in totalitarian states such as North Korea.

According to the official website of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, "Pyongyang and today's North Korea is a socialist paradise where all the people have a life with dignity, without poverty and more than ever demonstrate the invincibility and union of the masses around the Leader."

This is the message that is broadcast within North Korea, and since the regime has a monopoly on all North Korean media, nothing can be said to contradict this message. Outside the country, however, it is known that North Korea suffered an appalling famine in the 1990s and is still subject to periodic famine in parts of the country today. Malnourishment is so bad that the height requirement for troops that serve in the armed forces had to be reduced to allow a realistic intake on new recruits.

Think of the preceding two paragraphs as individual "cards". Not too hard to guess which "card" the North Korean propagandists will play!

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Card Stacking, Dprk, Famine, Kcna, Kim Jong-Il, Media, North Korea, Propaganda, Pyongyang, Recruitment, Socialism, Technique

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