Propaganda is the creation and distribution of information and misinformation with the intention of either aiding or damaging a group, person or a cause. While not a necessity, often times propaganda consists of a distortion of the truth. While it can be created for many reasons, people generally think of propaganda as it relates to politics and governance. In this type of propaganda there are usually at least two groups producing propaganda, the government and the government's opposition. Sometimes the government has allies, and sometimes they have more than one opponent, but generally the propaganda can fall into two categories, "pro-government" and "anti-government."
Often the truth surrounding a issue of public interest can be damaging to the government's claims and objectives and can damage political will and public trust. Ironically, to save this trust, they will sometimes lie. Some governments are better at propaganda than others, and some are blatant about its production and others are surreptitious, however everybody does it. It is a feature of modern government.
Governments create propaganda to generate public support for many different reasons, ranging from passing legislation, going to war, and overthrowing democracy itself (consider the case of Peron's Argentina or Hitler's Germany). Recently President Obama staged a press release where he announced there is going to be a final vote on health care legislation. While he spoke about the need to have a final vote, he was surrounded by men and women in lab coats that appeared to be doctors. This is an example of mild propaganda, where facts are not being distorted, however our government is guilty of much manipulative and dishonorable propaganda. Consider the case of Jessica Lynch.
Jessica Lynch is a former Private First Class in the US Army during the invasion of Iraq under the second Bush administration. She enlisted in the Army in the aftermath of September 11th and was deployed in Iraq...