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Thread: Media's poor use of a narrative

  1. #41
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Both take video clips, selectively cut out a part, and then claim it means something which the whole clip shows is patently false. The funny thing is that they often get called out on this but show no remorse or intention to stop.

    Beck is the most overt in using the classic techniques of propaganda: repeatedly asserting a connection between things or people until they two do become associated in the mind of the listener; and the extensive use of fear.

  2. #42
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    It's with their failure (or refusal) to accurately represent both sides of issues.
    I would argue that this is not the problem. First, it assumes there are only 2 sides to an issue. Second, there have been many times when the "other" side of an issue is given waaaaaaay more prominence than it deserves, or when a reporter has had to dig and dig to find some completely underwhelming "other" side so as have a "balance" in their story - no matter how artificial - so they can insulate themselves from challenges of bias. There are times when one side gets marginalized in the coverage, but no one ever really stops to ask whether or not that side of the coverage was ever legitimate to start with.


    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    Journalism, as it is taught and discussed today in the most prominent schools and forums, is about identifying a narrative that supports (or advocates) a particular point of view, then framing the presentation to support it. That framing includes selectively presenting the facts. Most people consider that biased, and rightly consider it propaganda.
    I have a Masters' degree in Journalism, and I've taught in 2 different J-schools as a grad assistant, and I can categorically say that this is 100% not the case in either of the schools I've been associated with.
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  3. #43
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    I have a Masters' degree in Journalism, and I've taught in 2 different J-schools as a grad assistant, and I can categorically say that this is 100% not the case in either of the schools I've been associated with.
    I specifically had in mind the Columbia School of Journalism, as well as articles by some prominent journalism educators. I didn't intend my statement to be applied to all J-schools. Apologies for my lack of clarity.

    Which schools were you associated with?
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

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  4. #44
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    Which schools were you associated with?
    PM sent
    Brant
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    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

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  5. #45
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    I have no problem with that on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, et. al. I do have a problem when opinion is presented as news, or when facts are omitted, distorted, etc. in order to advance the advocated narrative.
    The problem with Fox is that the news programs work hand-in-glove with the opinion shows to drive a single narrative.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...9/for-fox-sake Link broken or incomplete

    This oldie-but-goodie poll from 2003 measures misperceptions about the Iraq War. Basically, the more one watched Fox News the greater the misperception.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-17-2010 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Add bold text after Fuchs post below

  6. #46
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Back around 1947 my World War II veteran Dad worked as a reporter for the San Rafael Independent, a daily newspaper in the San Francisco Bay area. That year the newspaper lent my Dad to the Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives for San Rafael and Marin County. Dad said it was a good primer for his Washington career yet to come, and that he also had to tell the Congressman not to use arcane Congressional language in his press releases and letters to constituents -- put it in language people understand.

    The Congressman took Dad along for a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House. When the main business had been concluded the Congressman introduced my Dad to the President -- "I'd like to introduce my press aide, a veteran of WW II."

    Harry S. Truman showed Dad the copy of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" front page of the Chicago Tribune he had hanging in the Oval Office. He told my Dad, "Young man, I hope during your newspaper career you don't do to others what these guys did to me."
    Last edited by Pete; 10-17-2010 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Fix typo.

  7. #47
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    The problem with Fox is that the news programs work hand-in-glove with the opinion shows to drive a single narrative.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...9/for-fox-sake-
    Link broken, the "-" needs to be part of the URL.

    link

  8. #48
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Dad's last encounter with Harry Truman was in the early 1970s, when he made an unofficial visit to Washington DC. Dad and a couple of other reporters staked out the hotel where Truman was staying, certain that around 7 AM he'd come out for his daily morning walk, his "Constitutional."

    Right on schedule Truman came out of the hotel for his walk, and one of the reporters asked, "Mr. President, can we walk with you?"

    Truman was touched by the attention, and said, "Thank you, gentlemen, for paying attention to an old man."

    Dad had tears running down his cheeks when he told that story.

  9. #49
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    To the best of my knowledge my Dad's civilian newspaper career did not include writing about military subjects. One exception that I can think of was in about 1985 when he had a local news column in the Metro section of the Washington Post.

    The night before he had stayed with his lady friend at her condo in Rosslyn, Virginia, which was adjacent to Fort Myer -- JoAnne's balcony had a view of the fence around the fort, and the horse stables from around the 1920s just inside of the fence. That night when "Taps" played over the post's loudspeaker system it wouldn't stop playing, and it played in a continuous loop all night long. About 8 or 9 AM the next morning it was finally turned off.

    The next day Dad phoned Fort Myer to ask what had been going on; he was referred to someone else, who in turn told him to call someone else, and so on, until he was finally speaking to the deputy commander of Military District of Washington, a full colonel.

    "I was wondering when you'd call," said the colonel dryly, as though someone from the Post was the last person he wanted to be speaking to. The colonel explained that the post Staff Duty Officer and Field Officer of the Day did not have the keys to the building that contained the control panel to the speaker system. Thus turning off Taps had to await the coming to work of the facilities engineers that morning. That's how Dad described the incident without any drama in his column.

  10. #50
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    One day during the Kennedy administration Dad was in the Library of Congress doing research in U.S. Census reports for a story he was writing for the Washington Post. He had columns of figures he needed to add together, so he walked over to a librarian behind her counter, a gray-haired elderly lady, and asked if he could borrow an adding machine. "We are not in the habit of lending business machines to gentlemen of the press," she replied frostily.

    Dad went to the lobby of the building and on a pay phone called an acquaintance of his, Pierre Salinger, who was then JFK's press secretary. Dad described the problem and asked Salinger whether he could do anything about it. Dad returned to his table and resumed his census research.

    About a half-hour later the gray-haired librarian walked over with an adding machine and set it on his table. She said, "Sir, you can use this while you're here. The President wants you to have it!"

  11. #51
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Default Rule of Thumb

    There's a journalistic rule of thumb that may be helpful to people here when they write documents professionally -- avoid superlatives, such as "the first," "the last," "the largest," "the smallest," etc. When a newsman writes for an audience of hundreds or thousands someone out there will hit the books and prove you to have been wrong on the Letters to the Editor page. The work-around is to use qualifying language -- "said to have been," "believed to have been," "allegedly," and so forth. I realize these are the kinds of weasel words that drive combat arms officers up the wall when they're used by intel people, but appropropriate qualifiers can save the writer from making erroneous statements.

  12. #52
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    In 1962-63 my family was in the Los Angeles area because Dad was assigned there to be the Washington Post's guy setting up the new Post-Los Angeles Times news-sharing agreement, an arrangement which exists to this day.

    In 1962 Richard Nixon ran for governor of California against "Pat" Brown," the incumbent and the father of the space cadet Jerry Brown. One day that fall Dad went to cover a Nixon campaign rally in an LA-area elementary school cafeteria. He arrived there at the same time Pat Nixon did, only to find that a solid mass of people separated her from her husband on the stage. Dad, a big guy, said, "Make way for Mrs. Nixon," and the crowd parted to let her join her husband on the stage.

    "Thank you. I don't believe I've ever met you before," Pat Nixon said to my Dad, offering her hand and smiling radiantly. "Oh, I'm Jack Eisen of the Washington Post, Dad replied. As soon as she heard Post she withdrew her hand, her smile vanished, and she turned her back to join her husband. Later Brown won the election and Nixon gave his unfortunate, "You don't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore" concession speech.

    Oh well, so much for bipartisanship. Common courtesy is free, it doesn't cost anything. In the old days members of the U.S. Congress could denounce each other all day and still enjoy a bourbon and water together that evening.
    Last edited by Pete; 11-18-2010 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Add "Common courtesy."

  13. #53
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    In 1962-63 my family was in the Los Angeles area because Dad was assigned there to be the Washington Post's guy setting up the new Post-Los Angeles Times news-sharing agreement, an arrangement which exists to this day.

    In 1962 Richard Nixon ran for governor of California against "Pat" Brown," the incumbent and the father of the space cadet Jerry Brown. One day that fall Dad went to cover a Nixon campaign rally in an LA-area elementary school cafeteria. He arrived there at the same time Pat Nixon did, only to find that a solid mass of people separated her from her husband on the stage. Dad, a big guy, said, "Make way for Mrs. Nixon," and the crowd parted to let her join her husband on the stage.

    "Thank you. I don't believe I've ever met you before," Pat Nixon said to my Dad, offering her hand and smiling radiantly. "Oh, I'm Jack Eisen of the Washington Post, Dad replied. As soon as she heard Post she withdrew her hand, her smile vanished, and she turned her back to join her husband. Later Brown won the election and Nixon gave his unfortunate, "You don't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore" concession speech.

    Oh well, so much for bipartisanship. Common courtesy is free, it doesn't cost anything. In the old days members of the U.S. Congress could denounce each other all day and still enjoy a bourbon and water together that evening.
    Wait! You mean they put water in the bourbon! Heresy!
    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

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