"There are trivial truths and there are great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is clearly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." -- Niels Bohr
It would seem that Bohr's philosophy has been largely adopted by the public relations industry. It largely ignores the trivial issues in shaping public opinion. Instead, beliefs about key issues are manufactured that are 180 degrees from the real truth.
- One can see dead chickens being cut up on the front page, and read about the latest bovine hormones and their possible health problems, in a farm industry newspaper. (Fast food chains rely on the fact that most people are unaware of agricultural practices such as factory farming, and the effects of drugs used on livestock.)
- One can read about when riots are likely to start in a particular nation in an economic journal. (They will have you believe that they're helping these third world nations by opening up their economies to speculation.)
- And of course, if you want to know just why open source software is superior, read some internal Microsoft documents. (Well, they're running out of arguments. Most sane people are making efforts to break free of the control of this corporate empire lately.)
Basically, if you want to free your mind of public relations propaganda, simply read the internal literature of the industry. This obviously takes a bit more work than laying in front of the television or scanning the headlines of a typical newspaper. But quite often the side effect of large public relations campaigns is that they leave the real truth partially open when they use channels such as the internet to communicate. You do have to be ready to accept the fact that 90% of the time what you once assumed to be true, is not. In fact, the truth is usually the exact opposite of what you are expected to believe.