People Explain Which Pieces Of Media Are Straight Up Propaganda

Audiences can get so engrossed in certain films or TV programs, they fail to notice the potentially subtle ulterior motives disguised as entertainment.

The opportunity for a company's big marketing push can be subliminally buried in viewers' favorite shows, while other programs are less discreet about shoving their products or ideas down the audience's throats.

Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor Ponymations asked:

"What piece of media is just straight up propaganda?"

TV shows are easily convenient places for propaganda.

Dedicated TV Station

"in my country philippine we got tv station 'net 25' and 'smni sunshine'. pure government propaganda channels run by cults who have deep connections with Ferdinand marcos."

– betawings

Undercover Boss

"At this point, any worker should know if they see a middle aged white guy or woman with a bad wig, make up, and a camera crew behind them should be able to figure out they're on Undercover Boss."

– finmoore3

Hotel Promotion

"Ugh. Even if we were to believe that stuff wasn't staged and people were genuinely surprised to discover it was their boss, it's often a puff piece for the company where the undercover boss finds some problem and takes decisive action to fix things up, and they are shown to be kind and compassionate as they listen to their employees troubles in their private lives and then with the massive life changing gift at the end."

"One episode I watched it was so obviously transparent. It was a guy with a chain of hotels and a massive ego talking about how he pulled himself up on his boot straps and how amazing his hotels are. He talked to some cleaner who basically said life was hard because she gets paid peanuts. So then he announced at the end he was giving her fifty grand or something, no announcement about raising the wages for the rest of his staff though!"

– Corka

About Forensics

"Anything dealing with forensics. A job in forensics is boring. You know when they match a fiber sample and can exclude it from 5,000 other samples? Someone had to compare the fiber in question 5,000 times and say, 'Nope, next.' Not to mention, the paperwork required is painful."

"Source: Three years working in forensics. To this day my signature looks like a doctors from all the chain of custody documents I had to sign."

– beanomly

Getting Into The Crime Lab

"I went to university in the peak of CSI’s popularity and forensic science was one of the most oversubscribed degrees at our uni, thousands of students, they were standing in the lecture halls. Someone explained that given the number of crime labs in the country the likelihood of any one of those kids getting into the industry was super slim."

– Z8pG2yQkZbGMJ

News Featuring Private Stock Owners

"Any news targeting stock owners. Not the big companies, but the private people who have a few thousand dollars worth or less. The way it works is some scandal comes out and it's designed to make people panic and sell, swinging the price down by a lot, some times half the price. Then big companies buy up billions of dollars worth and this swings the price back up. Then they sell it again making a fortune."

– Janfredrikjohansen

Sob Story

"America’s Got Talent. It promotes the idea that talent goes hand in hand with struggle, so much so that genuinely awful acts make it through on the strength of their sob story."

"People have a hard enough time accepting the work that goes into being a creative without having to attach a tragic backstory to it."

– SaltySteveD87

The Struggle Is Real

"That's why I can't watch American Ninja Warrior anymore."

"Once it got to the girl who equated beating the Warped Wall as equivalent with beating her cancer, I was out."


Sure, films are entertaining, but they're also pushing for more than just box

Push For The Navy

"I love Top Gun. It's a huge guilty pleasure of mine and I can't wait to see Maverick in theaters. That being said, it is 1000% propaganda for the Navy, to the point where the Navy had a lot of say in the script and they set up recruitment booths outside the theatre."

– The_Big_Daddy

Cost Of Getting Equipment

"To be FAIR, almost all western films that feature US military hardware are at least mild propaganda. DOD openly invites Hollywood filmmakers to 'loan' their equipment, giving them access to tanks, helicopters, planes, trucks, bases to film on, etc, provided it gets a say in how it's used, which basically means they want access to scripts, ask to make changes whenever they want, and reserve the right to pull their resources at any time, for any reason. Their general policy is that you're not allowed to cast [the US Military] in a bad light, and usually ask for at least a positive portrayal."

"All that equipment is SUPER expensive to get ahold of outside of this offer, so filmmakers will generally take the deal. Iirc they also provide pilots for planes and soldiers for extras."

– GilligansIslndoPeril

Google's Stake

"The Internship (2013)… just Wedding Crashers but taken over by our Google overlords. Praise be."

– 215487

It Still Holds As Hilarious

"The movie, Reefer Madness."

"Terrible movie, but hilarious today."

– TheSmegger

It's Triggering

"American Sniper. I’m still mad that I got tricked into thinking it was a movie about PTSD."


Missed Opportunity

"They really took The Punisher and f'ked up the message."

– KittyKenollie

How aware are you of some of your favorite shows shoving propaganda in your face?

Does it bother you or are you indifferent?

Some programs don't bother me with their deliberate endeavors.

The annual ABC Disney Christmas specials are just ploys to get viewers to get out to a Disney park.

Even though the show features various performing artists and A-list celebrities sharing their joys of what the holidays mean to them, it's really one big magical commercial to get kids to convince their parents to whisk them away to the happiest place on earth.

Sounds good, but who's paying?

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