Harry Reid and the Propaganda Power of Words

By Author Unknown

Judy Walkman, a professional genealogy researcher in southern California, was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that Senator Harry Reid’s great-great uncle, Remus Reid, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. Both Judy and Harry Reid share this common ancestor. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows in Montana Territory:

On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: ‘Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.’

So Judy recently e-mailed Senator Harry Reid for information about their great-great uncle.

Harry Reid’s response:

Believe it or not, Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research: “Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory . His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

About Chuck Norton

Political issue strategist and communications professional. I write about politics, education, economics, morality and philosophy.
This entry was posted in 2012 Primary, Communications Theory, True Talking Points and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Harry Reid and the Propaganda Power of Words

  1. George Gallo says:

    This is witty and somewhat believable, as an example of how to spin some scandalous story into a puff piece. I still do not know where the truth ends and the embroidery begins.

  2. jw phillips says:

    The gentleman in the photo is Hank Ketchum. Train Robber. Hung in New Mexico, 1901. This story is pure bull.

    PoliticalArena Editor responds: of course the story isn’t true, that is why it says right at the top “Author unknown” (as my teenager would say – duh), but it is a very good illustration of how politicians lie, how they take the truth, parse it into sub truths and insert lies and/or omit some of those sub truths to paint a false picture. We have no shortage of examples of politicians lying, this one happened to be colorful and illustrative example of the propaganda value of this particular style of lying.

    Most of our readers are were more than bright enough to understand all this, and just because you weren’t it does not mean that we intended to fool anyone.

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