From Jim Gilliam's blog archives

June 18, 2005 6:25 PM

I just started reading Seth Godin's new book, All Marketers Are Liars. A truly obnoxious book title in grand Godin fashion. But the subtitle is what got me to pick it up: "The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World." Since my focus has become doing just that in a variety of different contexts, I give you this edited version of the end of Chapter 1... Before reading this, I should tell you that a "lie" according to Godin is "a story that a consumer believes."

I believe that people tell themselves stories and then work hard to make them true. I call a story that a consumer believes a lie. I think that once people find a remarkable lie that will benefit them if it spreads, they selfishly tell the lie to others, embellishing it along the way.

[...] The only way your story will be believed, the only way people will tell themselves the lie you are depending on and the only way your idea will spread is if you tell the truth. And you are telling the truth when you live the story you are telling -- when it's authentic.

The best stories marketers tell turn out to be true. Go to a product development meeting at Nike or sit in on a recording session at Blue Note or spend some time with Pat Robertson -- none of these marketers are sitting around scheming up new plans on how to deceive the public. Instead, they are living and breathing their stories. Not only are they lying to the public, they're lying to themselves.

This is what makes it all work: a complete dedication to and embrace of your story.

I believe marketing is the most powerful force available to people who want to make change. ... The question you have to ask yourself is this: what are you going to do with that power?

More from the archive in Movies.

Authenticity (06.18.2005)

Next Entry: Arnold's approval ratings now down to 37% (06.21.2005)
Previous Entry: Creating Change, Not Just Movies (06.17.2005)

Read the 22 comments.

Sponge Bob:

Sounds like the Downing Street Memos, live the lie. Apparently Times reporter Michael Smith has admitted that the memos he used are not originals, but retyped copies and the originals where destroyed!!! At this point no reporting service has seriously questioned the authenticity of the documents (as I had) but one must question what the Hell the MSM is thinking considering the BURN!!!!!!! they suffered as a result of the 60 Minutes airing of the faked Bush memos. Considering the fact that no member of the British government has authenticated them - included the supposed author of the memos.

Current capitalist methods of the media have borrowed a line from Lenin, "Tell a lie enough times and it becomes the truth". This is what makes it all work: a complete dedication to and embrace of your story.

Mon Jun 20 2005 10:00 AM

Dave E.:


Why Spongey...?


Why must you parade yourself so shamelessly about as a know-nothing blowhard who is willing to believe ANYTHING as long as it fits your wants and desires, even if it is patently false? Because that's what this twisted claim of yours is. Even most of the wingnut bloggers who have a limited grasp of basic logic are shying away from this one.

You know...the concept here is information. Not 'original documents'. If you can't wrap your mind around that concept, try this: go outside and take a bat to your windshield. As hard as you can, swing it. Over and over again. After you're done destroying your windshield, carefully observe your car and what it now looks like. Walk back inside. Sit down at your kitchen table and try to convince yourself of this: because there is no notarized document detailing what you've just done, it must not have happened. You fool. That's the position of this claim you've so eagerly signed on to.

You're the kind of guy people throw anvils to when they start drowning. Because they know you'll grab on. And that is also why Bush is down in the low low 40's for most approval polls. People are snapping out of it and realizing how much damage this joker can do/has done.

Bush made the outrageous claim of having political capital. Uh, no. It was never political capital. It was always 9/11 capital. Always. And it's just about gone. And people are now realizing what's gonna be left to clean up when this corporate stooge and warmonger is through with the place. It's gonna look like a frat house after a weekend bender.

My sympathy goes out to you. Sincerely. But I understand your psychosis. See, you have been conditioned to completely distrust any form of journalism that happens to be critical of BushCo, and that is a tragedy. In that vacuum exists paranoia and delusion. And THAT is what explains the success of this propaganda machine currently squating in the White House. Nothing but spin, PR, and marketing. Resigning officials have spoken of witnessing Bush's inner circle mixing up Medicare and Medicaid in policy discussions. There were never policy experts, responsible academicians from all around the political spectrum to deal with formulating policy. BushCo understands the unfortunate reality of perception: perception is reality.

And I believe your quote was actually from Goebbels:
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

Yeah. Iraq is going just dandy. Freedom on the march.

Remember: BUSH PAID FOR JOURNALISTS TO SHILL STORIES. Doesn't that make you the least bit uncomfortable? A little twinge of "jeez, that's sort of creepy" tugging at your rational senses? Couple that with a completely ineffective MSM and a Right Wing echo chamber replete with uber-right idealogues and partisan hacks, and I defy you to explain how that promotes an effective constitutionally protected free press.

You couldn't, because it doesn't.

Yeah, Rather got suckered by reproduced documents. The irony is, the story wasn't even false. The information wasn't false. Bush skipped the rest of his service, never mind that he got the much coveted ANG spot because his daddy pulled strings. The information wasn't false.

And here's the bottom line:
The British government, indeed Blair himself, does not dispute the authenticity of the information reported. The journalist was protecting the identity of the source. I repeat, Blair doesn't dispute it.

Shit, not even Drudge's lazy ass is dumb enough to hyperlink anything about this Mega Non-Story.

But you're certainly entitled to believe what you want. Sure. Bush exhausted all diplomatic means before invading and occupying Iraq, because...well, he's just a diplomatic kinda guy.

Mon Jun 20 2005 10:31 PM

Sponge Bob:

Dave, you should really know the democrat party heroes better, the "tell a lie" quote is from Stalin. As for the rest of your breathless blather, do you feel better?

The entire left wing of the web is fired up over a story that quotes no source, has no original documentation, and refers to no individual or government agency. Yet they have concluded that this "evidence" should be enough to impeach a president. Either Michael Smith is a marketing genius, or the democrats have joined Dean in the out limits of reality.

Tue Jun 21 2005 8:49 AM

Mike of the Great White North:

Dave E... im glad you took Spongebrain to task. i was going to but i have no more effort or desire to talk to him. Henceforth i will only talk about him in the 3rd person. He is the posterchild and the quintessential uber-right wing blowhard.

And if i can just remind everyone here (including those who toute the official veracity of congressional inquiries and commisions) that Bush was out there again making the claim (bu!!$#!t alert) that 'america is waging war in Iraq because we were attacked (ie.9-11)'. Now if this doesn't show the man is a a pathological lying sack of excrement... i dont know what will.

The 9-11 commision found 0, zero, null, zip, or zehroh as the french say.. connection between 9-11 and Iraq. So why does Bush continue to tout this? And i bet Spongee has some stupid magic bullet way of twisting it all together with duplitious and inane arguments. But when all is said and done, Iraq did not, Al-Quada did. Iraq was not in league with Al-Quada. Terrorists only flooded Iraq AFTER the war. Theres no way to doubletalk out of it, but im sure Spongehead will try.

Spongebrain didn't even get the quote argument right. It was Goebbles. Here is is... in full.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

“It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion"

-- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

Tue Jun 21 2005 4:01 PM

Sponge Bob:

And if i can just remind everyone here (including those who toute the official veracity of congressional inquiries and commisions) that Bush was out there again making the claim (bu!!$#!t alert) that 'america is waging war in Iraq because we were attacked (ie.9-11)'. Now if this doesn't show the man is a a pathological lying sack of excrement... i dont know what will.

When was that claim made? I thought I Iraq was invaded fo a number of reasons, but I don't recall the Bush Adm ever claiming that Iraq was behind the 9-11 attack.

The federal court system was the one that made that connection.

Tue Jun 21 2005 5:48 PM

Sponge Bob:

Mike, as for your Goebbel quote, you earn a gold star (or should it be read?) for your studies of the democrat party heroes.

Tue Jun 21 2005 5:50 PM


Damn, Spongey is getting bludgeoned. This ain't pretty.

Someone call a paramedic.

Tue Jun 21 2005 6:55 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Thanks, ill take the gold star... for exposing goose stepping in either party. I've never distinguished between one being better than the other. It's your foriegn policy, not your internal bickering i care about.

Now get ready to swallow your tongue. Here's the URL.

I think thats about as qualitative as it gets, lest you wanna tell me is party of the 'liberal media elite'.

Now go down to paragraph 5, second sentence. The implication being made is that the 'war' being fought in Iraq is because 'you' were attacked. Begging my pardon but i didn't see any Iraqi nationals on any of those flights hitting the towers. Lets further take apart W's dissembling. In the very next sentence he says Iraq is now a terrorist enclave... a value that was untrue before the war. So the circle completes. Start the war on the basis of fighting terror, and because of said actions, terrorists come to Iraq, so now that value is true. Simple no?

As for the any number of reasons why Iraq was invaded... lets dissemble further shall we?

1. Chem/Nuke/Bio or WMD is the buzzword of the day. Phantom uranium, tubes the CIA said were for rockets became 'centerfuges' for processing uranium. Drones of death that could reach the US (after getting through the nofly zones), 45 minute WMD launch status. Mobile labs from Chalabi that were hydrogen balloon stations. Everything about WMD was a known lie to the admin.

2. Enforcing UN Resolutions. Consider that the UN sent in inspectors with go-anywhere intrusion allowed by Saddam. They were the ones to give the order on compliance, not the US. The US forced them out. Bolton's actions in getting a UN staffer fired for trying to get a Chem inspection team into Iraq to verify US claims because they would find none. The illegal bombings before the war to goad Saddam to fire back under the pretext of resolutions 688 and 687 which provided no provissions for enforcement. And do have to bring Israel into this again or will it's amen corner rise again?

3. Passing WMD to terrorists. Let's play 'stupid' and pretend he had WMD. This is the STUPIDIST rationale ever. A. If he had WMD, he'd use it as a deterent to US invasion like NK is doing. B. He would NOT give it to terrorists like Osama who would a1. Use it against him for being a secular, poor ass muslim and a2. have Iraq nuked to 5000 BC once the US would trace the isotopes in the bomb back to Iraq. Any way you slice it, this claim is the most ludacris.

4. Liberation and spread of democracy. If you consider this liberation, i guess we may as well just throw that term into the proverbial 'people shredder'. I guess the Palestinians are 'liberated' too. I guess Poland was 'liberated' by Stalin in 45. Liberation means freedom from occupation. Which is what today is not. And before you spew your terrorist mantra, i remind you, the poles used guerilla tactics against the standing armies of both Germany and Stalin as they had no formal army left to fight them with. Resisting occupation is not terrorism. And i will damn you to hell if you dare insinuate otherwise because i doubt your family ever had to live under occupation ever!

This is so agravating. You know, if your a republican, right wing conservative... i dont give a damn. If your fiscally responsible, work hard, find abortion reprehensable, go to church everyday, find gays uncomfortable to be around... i dont care.. thats you, so be it. But how you can honestly sit there and blindly back this woefully inadaquate shell of a man who is president, with blind faith simply because he's your party rep? Grow up please. I'd have more respect for you if you just said 'Ill still vote republican and ill still hold my values, but man your right, this ass lied to go to war and got 1700 of us killed just so he could make his daddy happy and put a war notch on his bedpost'. You can love your country and your party, and still recognise right from wrong. Dont walk over the edge of the cliff for this fool.

Tue Jun 21 2005 7:37 PM

Sponge Bob:

"As we work to deliver opportunity at home, we're also keeping you safe from threats from abroad. We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens. Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror. These foreign terrorists violently oppose the rise of a free and democratic Iraq, because they know that when we replace despair and hatred with liberty and hope, they lose their recruiting grounds for terror."

Mickey, please learn to read; the DATE is June 18, 2005. How the Hell does that apply to the reason we went to war in 2003? We went to war - started the war with Afghanistan; you know the nation that was providing aid and bases of operation for OBL. Get your weak shit together and try again.

As for the WMD lacking as a reason, even the departed but not forgotten democrat hero Joe Wilson reported that Saddam was attempting to purchase yellow cake. I know he wrote the NY Times claiming differently but the lying sack of shit was exposed in one of the investigations demanded by the partisan left. Given the history of getting their asses kicked they will eventually quit demanding investigations and just insist that their claims alone are justification for their actions.

The democrats have been living by the Geobbles credo for the past 8 years and have fallen flat with every attempt. The DS Memo has fallen apart as the "reporter" has admitted that he destroyed all the originals (were there ever any?) and the copies where made using an "old typewriter" and formatted to look "authentic". I thought Dan Rather showed you the error of using fabricated documentation to support any argument. The democrats need to learn to start with a plausible lie, instead of one that can be disproven with readily available facts.

Wed Jun 22 2005 10:03 AM

Mike of the Great White North:

Oh you are a piece of work aren't you.

Spongebob: "When was that claim made? I thought I Iraq was invaded fo a number of reasons, but I don't recall the Bush Adm ever claiming that Iraq was behind the 9-11 attack."
Tue Jun 21 2005 05:48 PM

Spongebob: "Mickey, please learn to read; the DATE is June 18, 2005. How the Hell does that apply to the reason we went to war in 2003?"
Wed Jun 22 2005 10:03 AM

What part of this don't you get? I started the initial offering by saying "... that Bush was out there again making the claim (bu!!$#!t alert) that 'america is waging war in Iraq because we were attacked (ie.9-11)'." The key terms i will point out should clear your obvious confusion.

By saying the word "again" i made clear that as he and Cheyney so often in the past made the link between 9-11 and his reason to war in Iraq, he was doing it AGAIN in his weekly radio address last week. You asked me to tell you WHEN such CLAIM was ever made by Bush. I refered you to the official transcript at You're attack of the date and time of the words is moot. You lost the point. Trying to deflect by asking what something said today has to do with a war started 2 years ago wont save your argument. Bush's speech was regarding the economy and Iraq. Afghanistan and OBL where not mentioned, but Saddams name came up twice! Go figure master dissembler. There's the phantom of Goebbels.
As to Wilson... are you on glue? Gimme a break. Wilson was asked by Cheyney to go to Africa to verify the story. He came back and said it wasn't true. I dont know what else there is to say? If i am told that my car runs on gasoline for years, then i am asked to verify that it does run on gas, and find it that its always been running on corn oil, does that make me a lying partisan hack? Point is as soon as he came out and said it wasn't true, the white house demonized him, set up his wife to be outed, and smeared his name like they did everyone else who disagreed. Problem is, everyone who spoke out against the administration was right, and Bush is going down. Only brainwashed neozombies like you keep trudging along.

Sponge: "democrats need to learn to start with a plausible lie, instead of one that can be disproven with readily available facts."

problem is, the facts are there. But just like Bush, you choose not to live in reality, you create your own realities. Enjoy la la land.

ps-thanks for not trying to rebutt any of my non reasons for going to war with Iraq. I give you credit for yielding the WMD argument.

Wed Jun 22 2005 12:34 PM

Sponge Bob:

Correction: Joe Wilson's report to the CIA collaberated the information passed on by British intellegence. HE LIED LIKE A MFer when he wrote his letter to the NY Times. His claim that Bush lied in his state of the Union Address runs completely contradictory to his actual report to the CIA as pointed out in a Senate Intellegence Report and LATER IN HIS OWN BOOK!!!!!!!

Open a newspaper and get with the current events.

Wed Jun 22 2005 12:53 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Good one. I googled it and hey, it looks like your right. Amazing, though i never considered Wilson my 'hero' it does seem he was playing a partisan game. Credit to Spongee for bringing that to my attention.

I assume that takes care of the 'phantom uranium' comment of my post dated Tue Jun 21 2005 07:37 PM. Are there any other points in it you want to dispute? Theres plenty to go after.

Wed Jun 22 2005 2:10 PM

Tom from Madison:

Sponge Bob keeps missing the same very large points.

1) You can't sustain a war effort based on lies. Witness what Bush has done to U.S. military recruiting.

2) The objectives, i.e. what you're trying to accomplish by "winning" are linked to the reasons for going to war in the first place. Bush has talked about achieving all kinds of milestones, yet the situation gets measurably worse and there is no end in sight. All we have to look forward to is more death, destruction, and debt.

3) A puppet government is not to be confused with a healthy, functioning democracy. The former is easy to achieve, but not healthy to its people. The latter does not come into being by dropping lots of bombs or removing a dictator.

...Perhaps Sponge Bob would like to answer why Bush's poll ratings and support for the Iraq war are so LOW?

Fri Jun 24 2005 12:59 AM

Sponge Bob:

The anti war effort has done quite well sustaining itself on lies.

Every REAL investigation conducted has found that the left is perpetrating the lies. The DSM is only the latest in a series of fantastic fabrications that have blown apart in the MSM's face.

Recruitment is not meeting its goals, but in the face of the daunting media blitz being conducted on by the MSM I would suspect the job is harder. But then one must also remember these recruiting goals are based on an expansion of the regular army - in a period of extremely low unemployment. If one wants a barometer of the forces simply look at the RETENTION of army personal, exceeding all goals. Seeing first hand the true results of one's work instead of the media's version simply shows the contradiction in actual and "reported".

Compare this to the situation the US faced 10 years ago, during a RIF under Clinton. Recruiting goals were NEVER met and retention was abysmal, the RIF plans had to be accelerated. By the way, the sharp point of the stick, the US Marines has met all its goals along with the Navy and Air force.

Mon Jun 27 2005 9:40 AM

Tom from Madison:


You're lieing about military recruitment.

"In April, the Army missed its recruiting goal for the third month in a row, short by nearly 2,800 recruits, or 42 percent off its target. And for the first time in 10 years, the Marine Corps missed its recruiting goal for the last four months. Because the Army and Marines are too small and we're employing them in constant operations, our recruiting posture is now coming apart," says retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an NBC News analyst."

You're point about Clinton is irrelevant. Bush knew what kind of military he had, ignored military advisors who weren't yes-men, and is now having to deal with the consequences.

Face it. The Iraq policy is failing. Recruitment age men and women and their parents justifiably see no reason to die in Bush's misguided war. It's making the world a more dangerous place, killing lots of people, and causing the national debt to rise.

A few rich, evil profiteers are benefitting. They should be ashamed. So should you.

Wed Jul 6 2005 12:03 PM

Tom from Madison:

If Rumsfeld wants to get serious about meeting military recuitment goals, he needs to end the stop-loss policy ASAP.

For those unfamiliar with "stop-loss" , soldiers who are planning to come home and are about to end their last tour of duty are informed that they will be required to stay on for additional time--maybe a year.

This is an official policy whereby the US government is allowed to go back on its agreement.

What do you suppose happens to recruitment when potential recruits here that they might not be hearing the truth about their term of enlistment from recuiters?

This policy amounts to a backdoor draft. The only ones who can be drafted are those who are already serving. This is wrong. The reward for volunteering ought not be conscription.

Tue Jul 12 2005 2:31 PM


“Stop Loss” is used by the government to avert losses in critical career fields needed by the military, to perform certain missions.

Do you think its cost effective for the government to fly back ONE military member from the desert while that member’s unit is deployed or maybe an aircraft carrier should reverse course after going 90% of the of the way just because some sailor’s enlistment is up.

The members are still paid according to their rank, their location and whatever entitlements due them, they continue to accrue leave and their extra time goes toward retirement

If you’re going to explain, “stop loss,” explain the whole thing instead of spinning it for your own needs

Wed Jul 13 2005 1:44 PM


Actually, the DSM originals were safely returned to the source.

Tue Jul 19 2005 5:09 PM

Tom from Madison:


1) there's no denying stop-loss is hurting US military recruiting.
2) the price for this war is being paid for by the blood of those who volunteered. This is happening while rich people aren't sacrificing at all!
3) This war has greatly INCREASED terrorist recruiting. Nothing like a good JIHAD to recruit aspiring young militants.
4) The war state in Iraq is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

What a legacy W has created! The doctrine of pre-emption has already achieved blunder status and is getting worse by the day!

Wed Jul 20 2005 10:48 AM


How dare you question someone's patriotism just because that person may or may not be better off then me or anyone else for that matter.

Recruiters themselves have said that the NEGOTIVE press out there has hurt their recruiting efforts although this does not effect all military services.

There are countless POSITIVE stories about Iraq and Afghanistan that no one ever hears about because it doesn’t get into the mainstream press.

"this was has greatly increased terrorist recruiting" GOOD then we can get rid of all of them - they want to see god, we'll arrange the meeting.

W's legacy will be that he took a stand for the American people and he will go down as one of the greatest 10 American Presidents.

Wed Jul 20 2005 1:36 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Ah NJ... how tiresome this becomes.

Dave questioned the patriotism of those who strenuously advocate the waging of war without the veracity of joining the fight themselves. Theres a word for it. Chickenhawking. You wanna defend it. Be my guest.

The negative press is justified. If recruiters aren't truthful or forthright with enlistment, and people see through the 'volunteer' aspect and see the back door draft, of course recruitment will be down.

Positive stories are great. Too bad the negatives outweigh them 10 to 1 on the newsworthy scale. Or are you saying FOX should have been covering a high school prom during 9-11?

Recruiting of terrorists up is good? Jeez you've lost it. And so will the US. Read "Dying to Win"... the most logical book regarding suicide terrorism. It's political, not religious as you've been brainwashed. Leave Iraq, no more insurgency. Withdraw troops from arab lands, and stop pretending to be a fair player in peace talks between Israel/Palestine and maybe we will see an end to terrorism in our day. These are all points ive argued against you before. But if you still hold on to the pretentious belief that they will kill you because of you 'values' go right ahead. You'll just be the next USSR.

W's legacy will be hes a *(&^ing idiot and how he nearly destroyed your country. Question is can anyone repair the damage he's done. Good luck.

Wed Jul 20 2005 4:34 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Good job America. Keep it up! Maybe they'll start showing things like this on FOX... such wonderful progress!

Fri Jul 22 2005 1:03 PM

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