The Plank

More On Iran, Reactionaries And Xenophobia

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Yesterday I wrote about how the 2004 election should have taught conservatives about the vulnerabilities liberals face in being associated with foreign influence. Today, via the Lede, I see a terrific example of an Iranian propaganda commercial. It involves a White House plot to subvert Iran, involving John McCain and... Republican bogeyman George Soros! (Are there any foreign plots that don't involve Soros?)

The video has to be seen to be believed. It instructs the population that the foreign plotters act through cultural elites -- the plotters are seen to assert, "We must contact authors, intellectuals, and influential people in society who have common interests with us." After laying out the foreign scheme, the video cuts to a friendly group of elderly, patriotic Iranians expressing their hope that the memory of foreign subversion will not fade with time, and then to a pack of surly, tech-savvy youthful spies who, luckily, are turned in to the state intelligence agency by their patriotic relatives before they can do any real damage.

The demographic assumptions here are not very subtle.

--Jonathan Chait

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