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Going Potty Over Media Manipulation

Going Potty Over Media Manipulation2015-02-15T11:55:54+00:00

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    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    So much of what we see in the “News” is more skillful manipulation of the facts, than truth. The more dramatic the spin on the story, the more readers/viewers/clicks/shares it’ll get.

    Here’s a shining example: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-31477616. Scroll down to the bottom of the article, and click on some of the links to other sources’ coverage of the story.

    I especially like the smart aleck at the Exeter Daily, who gave it the headline “Toddler in Toilet Seat Horror!” (Bonus points for the use of both “horror” and an exclamation mark. And for recognizing the need to state that the headline was a joke, because some people won’t see it as such.) http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/Firemen-remove-trainer-toilet-seat-toddler-s-head/story-26028746-detail/story.html

    Honourable Mention goes to the Torquay Herald Express, for its use of dramatic stock images. http://www.theexeterdaily.co.uk/news/local-news/toddler-toilet-seat-horror


    Post count: 430

    Here in the US, it is very much about entertainment and not about news information. When I was growing up, watching Walter Kronkite and Huntley & Brinkley with my parents, I wanted claw my eyes out or beat my head against the floor because they ware SO BORING!!! They delivered the news, facts and when it came time for a commentary, it was labeled “Commentary”.

    As time went on, I got annoyed at the talking heads, who slanted the news to entice people to watch their shows. The internet, promised multiple views of the events, without agenda. That proved FAR off the mark, because the “News” outlets are competing for clicks which turn into dollars flowing into their bank accounts. We ended up with hundreds of news sources all trying to one up the rest, to get our clicks.

    It is no wonder the toddler story is so over the top. Who would read about a toilet-training toddler story? Not even an ADD desperately trying to avoid chores, would tune into that.

    I am still trying to find a credible source for news information, but I keep running into the same garbage. Maybe journalism is dead. I am pretty sure Walter, Chet, and David are collectively rolling in their graves.


    Post count: 906

    It’s not just the manipulation of facts to make it more sensational or entertaining, it’s the deliberate misdirection, distraction and manipulation of public opinion.

    They distract us with fluff about the latest fashion trends and the size of Kim Kardashian’s buttocks so we won’t focus on the serious issues, like poverty and human rights.

    They misdirect us with sensational stories about car accidents and house fires which, when you really think about it, are completely irrelevant except to those directly involved. It can be helpful to have these reports at times, when a family is really having a hard time and need some help for example, but for the most part, we really don’t need to know.

    And they manipulate public opinion by focusing on certain stories, or not focusing on them, use of certain phrases, even by the way they combine stories.

    Like, for example, the “Ground Zero Mosque” back awhile ago, which was actually a building several blocks away from the “ground zero” site where an ordinary Imam wanted to start an ordinary Mosque for ordinary Muslims. But by labelling it the “Ground Zero Mosque”, and following every single report on it with one about a completely unrelated violent act somewhere else in the world, they manipulated the public into associating something that posed no threat to anyone, that is so commonplace they would normally not even notice it, with terrorism and war. And I watched them do this on 5 different news casts on 3 different networks.

    This  example sticks in my mind because it happened not too long after I watched Russel Peters “Black, White and Brown” on TV. I’m not really a fan, but I remembered his bit about the media, and specifically the reference to how they show you a picture of a Muslim, then show you a bomb going off.

    “Hmmm, what do you think?”


    Post count: 45

    An interesting post to re-ignite these days…
    Years ago, people spoke about “The Dumbing Down of America” and what that would mean to the country.
    Now we know, and it’s getting worse every day.
    The famous”kid at the fast food place that can’t make change to save his life.”
    The kid on TV talking to his dad on the cell while trying to change a tire without knowing what a lug wrench is. (Undoubtedly an honors student in Drivers Ed. When I was young, you had to be able to change a tire by yourself before you could get a permit.
    The WHOLE “Millennials” thing.
    Go on from here. “Common Sense” is a misnomer. It’s not common anymore.
    Not surprising that we have lots who can whip up a web page in a few minutes, but can’t figure out how to boil rice if they’ve got all week. Oh, and they’ll get EXTREMELY upset if you won’t make it for them , because, after all, that’s what you are SUPPOSED to do, isn’t it?
    In a courtroom, you can’t tell the truth, because “truth” has a real tendency to be “politically incorrect”. And we all know who wins that battle these days. Facts don’t CARE how you “FEEL” about them.
    It’s why you see the bona fide hero’s and statesmen of 100years ago castigated as criminals and worse today.
    Some jerk has convinced enough people that if they complain enough, Thomas Jefferson won’t have slaves this time around, and, it would seem, people REALLY BELIEVE this crap.
    So, yeah, you can get upset about it, but, historically, democracies peter out after 200- 250 years. Stand back, crack a beer, and watch the train-wreck happen, because there’s something coming down the tracks that will iron you flat as yesterday’s shirt, and then will keep right on going.
    Media is the classroom teacher, but the “education plan” is coming from somewhere way above that.


    That Guy with ADHD
    Post count: 123

    I think you are correct and I believe that the train has already started to come off the tracks. We are just watching the train wreck in slow motion! 😉


    Post count: 45

    I believe that’s Richard ?
    I’ll buy you a beer.


    That Guy with ADHD
    Post count: 123

    Thanks Harry1! 😀


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