I've been reading about a remarkable fellow named Paul Linebarger. Back in the 1950s, he was a CIA psychological warfare specialist who, under the name Cordwainer Smith, made a name for himself as a science fiction author. His SF was extremely wild and inventive.
Linebarger lived here in Baltimore, where he taught classes at Johns Hopkins. At night, in his home, he taught another type of class to a handful of American spooks selected for duty in Southeast Asia. You can read a fascinating insider account of those get-togethers here.
The excerpt comes from a book by a former CIA guy, published in 1976.
One section popped out at me. As you read these words, ask yourself if the technique described here doesn't sound awfully damned familiar...
To everyone’s surprise Boston Blackie, our group anti-hero and skeptic was the one who replied....“...there was a referendum in Massachusetts on the question of birth control information...Then one of the priests got an idea. He suggested that we explain to the parishioners that if the voters approved the change in the law and permitted birth control information to be legally disseminated, this would mean that they would have to get a written permit from the government if they wanted to have a baby...
Linebarger thought this was an excellent story.
That's pretty much the entire Fox News act, right there.
If someone suggests regulation of assault rifles, the conservatives will pretend that the discussion is about rounding up all
guns. If someone suggests the trillion dollar coin, conservatives will pretend that the coin would have to contain tons of platinum. If someone suggests that Americans should adopt a French-style nationalized health insurance program, the conservatives pretend that godless Bolshevism is on the way.