When I was in high school in the early 1970’s, my prep school provided students with an opportunity to read the English version of the Russia newspaper Pravda. The thought was that we should be reading every perspective to develop a complete understanding of international issues.
Officially referred to as the "Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)," Pravda was the Soviet’s propaganda machine disguised as a newspaper. As the only source of information for the Soviet people, Pravda was a carefully crafted state owned one-side-of-the-story propaganda mill during the Cold War.
Only those "facts" approved by the Soviet leaders were permitted to be included for mandatory reading by the Soviet masses.
I was fascinated by the absurdity of Pravda‘s stories. Along with National Lampoon, Pravda became one of my favorite reads, for no other reason than it made me instantly disbelieve what was written and wonder what the true facts really were. But unlike National Lampoon, Pravda was oh so serious – which just made it even more ludicrous.
In mid-September of this year, the Cruise Line International Association ("CLIA") launched a web site called "CruiseIndustryFacts.com." It is full of "facts" carefully selected by CLIA for your reading.
CLIA also has a twitter page @CruiseFacts which occasionally tweets "facts" like "cruise line industry generated $40 billion to the U.S. economy in 2008!"
Every time I click on CLIA’s "fact" pages I feel that I am reading a copy of Pravda: "We assign the same priorities to keeping guests and crew healthy, safe and secure, and to protect the environment as we do to our other critical business matters . . ."
Pravda. I love it.
Photo credit: vyoos.com "From Russia With Crud"