Hollywood Participates in Healthcare Propaganda

Monday, 27 Jan 2014 12:39 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Obama administration is once again turning to Hollywood to handle the marketing and public relation duties necessitated by the shortcomings of the increasingly Un-Affordable Care Act.
 
The entertainment industry has been attempting to corral young people into signing up for Obamacare health exchanges via use of celebrity spokespersons, viral videos, social media campaigns, live streaming, and other means that the demographic might find appealing.
 
Thus far things have not worked out as plotted. Consequently, the White House has now designated Julie Green Bataille, Director of the Office of Communications at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to participate next month in an event titled “The Affordable Care Act: Comedy, Drama & Reality — Portraying Obamacare in TV & Film.”
 
The CMS, previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration, is a federal agency that falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. According to the CMS website, Bataille is the person in charge of leading “strategic communications efforts for federal programs delivering healthcare to millions of Americans.”
 
According to an emailed invitation obtained by the Breitbart website, the Writers Guild of America East and the group Hollywood, Health & Society are partnering together to host the upcoming gathering, which is slated to take place on February 18 at the WGAE headquarters in New York.
 
HH&S’s website indicates that the organization, which is part of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, has the intended purpose of providing “entertainment industry professionals with accurate and timely information for storylines on health and climate change.”
 
However, in analyzing the language that is used to describe its goals, desired outcomes, and scheduled events, the program is essentially designed to encourage Hollywood professionals to incorporate a government agenda, i.e., in this particular instance, Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act.
 
In other words, an alliance has evidently been formed between the government and Hollywood, the purpose of which is to disseminate propaganda favorable to the government’s political philosophy and desired program implementation.
 
Curiously, rather than addressing the problems that have arisen due to the inherent flaws that are contained within the healthcare law and ways in which our healthcare system is being adversely affected, the Obama administration is busily working with Hollywood to craft a message that suits its purposes. It is, at its core, a blatant attempt to influence public perception by massaging the collective consciousness.
 
This administration knows full well the persuasive power of the narrative. As it has in the past with other issues in which the public has expressed resistance, it is turning to Hollywood’s most expert storytellers to assist in the fine art of transforming societal opinion.
 
When such priming of the intellectual, emotional, and cultural pump is done through our entertainment fare, individuals are often unaware of what is occurring. And although none of us is immune to propaganda techniques, especially when they arrive in this form, awareness goes a long way in helping people to defend against it.
 
The truth of the matter is using storytelling via media to influence is one of the most persuasive ways to alter beliefs and attitudes, especially when writers can embed pro-Obamacare scenes into the plotlines of sitcoms, feature films, and other entertainment fare.
 
Although not necessarily part of their primary focus, viewers of films and television shows may be experiencing deep connections with characters in compelling storylines. Through identification with a character, one can actually lose self-awareness and vicariously experience the narrative events within the plot.
 
Additionally, popular fictional media are able to transport viewers to places and times far from their ordinary everyday lives, thereby entering into other realms. Because their defenses are down and individuals are not engaging in critical thinking, a profound shift in beliefs and worldviews may easily occur.
 
Wendell Potter, former CIGNA executive-turned-health insurance whistleblower, and Liz Flahive, a writer for the Showtime cable series “Nurse Jackie,” are scheduled to join Bataille as panelists at the event. Marty Kaplan, director of The Norman Lear Center, and Michael Winship, the WGAE president, will co-moderate.
 
Potter is an outright Obamacare cheerleader. He recently gave a briefing to reporters at the National Press Club on how the press can be more “responsible” in their coverage of Obamacare by focusing more on the abuses of the insurance companies.
 
“Nurse Jackie” star Anna Deveare Smith visited the White House in 2011 to participate in Women's History Month. The event was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
 
Flahive wrote the first lady into a program episode in which Smith's hospital administrator character, Gloria Akalitis, became obsessed with convincing Mrs. Obama to come to the program’s fictitious All Saint's Hospital.
 
It is extremely unlikely that attendees of “The Affordable Care Act: Comedy, Drama & Reality — Portraying ObamaCare in TV & Film” event will hear discussion on the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act.  
 
They are, however, quite likely to be given a great deal of information about how Hollywood writers can assist in improving the Obamacare brand.
 
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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