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Exporting American culture


America’s imperialism – how we export our culture – tries to win the hearts and minds of others. Interesting how the Iranian regime responds (from the NYT):

This week, a long-running campaign led by the Iranian government to undermine the channel, Farsi1, took a menacing turn: A group calling itself the Iranian Cyber Army hacked into Farsi1’s Web site, as well as several sites owned by the Mohseni family, and posted a cryptic but sinister warning.

“The allies of Zionism should know this,” said the message, which stayed on the Web sites for about six hours on Thursday. “Dreams of destroying the foundation of the family will lead straight to the graveyard.”

The exact meaning of the message was unclear, but conservative Iranian leaders complain that the programming — a heavily censored variety of comedies, soap operas and dramas — is eroding traditional Iranian values. 

While the American government does not provide funding or even public support for this network, American business – in this case, led by Mr. Murdoch – is the invisible hand guiding American principles throughout the world.

One of the things that fascinates me is that not only do we export the content, but also the production and distribution models. Incorporating particular styles – editing (jump cuts), camera angles (showing delineation of power), etc – into the exportation of American culture, as well as a business philosophy (i.e. – capitalism), is the 21st century’s version of colonialism.

Show me a TV show from another country that doesn’t have a multi-camera set up, doesn’t have an A arc and a B arc in its narrative, and I’ll show you a nation not influenced by the US. Hard to imagine, right?

Read the rest of the New York Times article here.

About joshsternberg

Josh Sternberg is the content strategist for The Washington Post. Prior to that he was the media reporter for Digiday. Additional bylines include: The Atlantic, The Awl, Pacific Standard, Mashable, Huffington Post, Mediaite.


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