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Propaganda Techniques: Contextamy

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posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 06:46 PM
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Propaganda Techniques: Contextomy

Political coverage as of late has offered us a storehouse of new and brazen propaganda techniques perpetrated by a highly-centralized media, who, given the revelations of their collusion and ideologies, have every reason to be dishonest about politics. Their propaganda has directly influenced division, rioting, and political violence, making them the enemy of the American people.

One specific technique used to great effect this political season has been “contextomy”, better known as quoting out of context or quote mining, whereby someone is misquoted or important context is deliberately left out for the purpose of misrepresenting them. Using a statement made by some politician or other, the propagandist can harvest a sentence, a clause, or even a word from its context, and place it within a context of his own choosing or creation, while maintaining a small, however slight, semblance of veracity.

Contextomy is potentially damaging insofar as it can be used to misrepresent or otherwise vandalize a politicians’s meaning and intentions, while at the same time allowing the propagandist to claim, without a flicker of shame, “we are only reporting on what he said”. From there they are one step away from saying that it is you, and not them, who is denying the reality.

It could be true that the politician did use the words quoted, but without the context, without the quotes itself, we cannot be presented with an accurate representation of his views and arguments. What we are given is a thread-bare straw man. After the words have been torn from their context, truncated, and buttressed by the critic’s own narrative and misinterpretation, most of what was actually said was left out. The claims of accurate reporting (“we are only reporting on what he said”—beware these propagandists), while at the same time leaving out the primary arguments, is not accurate, fair or ethical journalism. It's not journalism at all, but gossip.

For example, perhaps Trump’s most famous comment, and at the same time, the media’s most brutal example of contextomy in recent times, is the criticism that Trump said Mexicans are rapists. This statement, at least how it was reported by the media, had cost him many business deals and lucrative contracts, not to mention inspiring legions of protesters, charges of racism, and ill-informed violence. Asking anyone what Trump had said at that time, the usual answer is that he said Mexicans are rapists, with the rest being all but forgotten. But placed back within the context, it turns out he had said a great deal more.


“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.”


Surely not the most eloquent of arguments. But upon reinserting the contextomy back into the proper place, it turns out Trump’s argument was not that Mexicans are rapists and drug-dealers after all. In fact, those particular statements were secondary, even tertiary, to his primary argument. His primary arguments are that many people coming over the border have problems, some of which have resulted in drug dealing and rape (repeating what he had heard from border guards), and they’re bringing those problems with them. Further, there is no protection, competence, nor do they really know what’s happening, and it has to stop.

Everyone who claims Trump said Mexicans are rapists have either engaged in contextomy, or they are misinformed by an unscrupulous media.

According to a principle on the subject from the Society of Professional Journalist’s Code of Ethics:


Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.


If the media won’t provide the context, nor an accurate representation, readers will be required to do it themselves.




posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 06:57 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Great insight. This is perspective for the blind.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Good thread. I think the most insidious propaganda technique used by the media are omissions. In other words, what the media refuses to report. This was obvious under Obama where they would ignore story after story, but we see it today too.

Outlets will not report or downplay any story that makes their side look bad.

But more on topic, the problem of context is very frustration.

What we see is people using propaganda by deciding when or when not to look at context.

For example, the media is focused on the literal words of Trumps tweet and mocked the idea that Obama would have personally wiretapped Trump. Yet the media ignores there own reports that Trump members were caught on wiretaps and there are reports of fisa requests to surveill trump.

Ok, fair enough. But then when it suits there purposes, the media will try to look at context to belittle something Trump said that was literally correct.

Like this article.


Politifact decided to fact-check one of President Donald Trump’s tweets Sunday and found that “the numbers check out.” The fact-checking site then rated the tweet “mostly false.”

“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo,” Trump tweeted.

The tweet from Trump came after Gateway Pundit reported on the change in the national debt under the two respective presidents and after former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain brought up the figures on Fox News

Politifact wrote: “The numbers check out. And in fact, the total public debt has dropped another $22 billion since the Gateway Pundit article published, according to data from the U.S. Department of Treasury.”


Despite this, Politifact still gave Trump a rating of “mostly false” and titled its article, “Why Donald Trump’s tweet about national debt decrease in his first month is highly misleading.”


dailycaller.com...

This happens over and over. If trumps says anything technically incorrect, like the last night in sweden comment, they focus only on the fact that he was technically wrong and not looking at the context that there are a lot of problems in Sweden,

but if says something technically correct like the amount of jobs created this month, they argue that its the context that matters and Trump is flasely taking credit.

Its a sophisticated propaganda technique and very insidious. Luckily people are waking up to the fact that the Main stream media is just a mouth piece for the establishment and seeing through these techniques.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 07:03 PM
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Hw do you spell that, Contextamy?

recipe...

Mix one part truth with ten parts lies

Spin on high



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

is that similar when Trump said "“122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!”

and the numbers and words were not only wrong but twisted ?
is that similar in propaganda? or is that not misleading and its just the media which misleads.. or is tweeting misleading stats for propaganda different?
122 confirmed of re-engaging in terrorist activity (113 Bush, 9 Obama);

or saying an Ex president wiretapped someone and no proof to back it up...
its also similar when the left said "Russians" hacked the elections



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 07:44 PM
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originally posted by: odzeandennz
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

is that similar when Trump said "“122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!”

and the numbers and words were not only wrong but twisted ?
is that similar in propaganda? or is that not misleading and its just the media which misleads.. or is tweeting misleading stats for propaganda different?
122 confirmed of re-engaging in terrorist activity (113 Bush, 9 Obama);

or saying an Ex president wiretapped someone and no proof to back it up...
its also similar when the left said "Russians" hacked the elections


BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You just composed another in the long line of propaganda tactics. This is so great, you took a very, very clear post illuminating something rather sinister and distorted it in the most comical way. "is that similar to trump..." and going on even though it is NOT similar at all in an attempt to equate the two and demonize trump. In light of the OP, it is really rather intellectually lazy, as there is no real attempt to disguise what you are doing at all.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:00 PM
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edit on 8-3-2017 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: Grambler

Exactly right. I'm writing another propaganda technique on something similiar known as card-stacking, or one sided story, whereby evidence to the contrary of the narrative is completely missing, likely by design. It is unethical because it is both unfair and inaccurate, not to mention it leaves out the whole of the story.

And you're right: it is more sophisticated then the more obvious techniques, but they are no less common fallacies in argument put to use in propaganda.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: odzeandennz

Holding the president to account for his falsities is a good thing, but so is holding the press to those standards. I personally don't get my statistics from the president. Do you?



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:08 PM
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You can try and intellectualize the reasons why the Trump admin says what it says, but at the end of the day they're still just lying. About most things they've said and the reasons for most of the positions they've taken.

If you really want to make it about context, the Trump admin isn't something you want to start an argument about.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Great thread and thank you

A simple example although less subtle was Cnn and Nancy Sinatra

Liz M tweeted: Nancy Sinatra, you good w/ this guy using the iconic 'My Way' for Friday night?
twitter


Though she has since deleted her response, Sinatra replied to the woman, “Just remember the first line of the song.”

The first line of the song is, “And now, the end is near.”

Shortly after her response, CNN published an article on their website titled “Nancy Sinatra not happy Trump using father’s song at inauguration.”

But Sinatra fired back at CNN, saying that they read too much into her response and that it was just a joke.


She also said in another tweet

That’s not true. I never said that. Why do you lie, CNN? @CNN — Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) January 19, 2017


The Blaze

To be honest Nancy gave no context but the question and answer was on the day before inauguration...so you could take it that the end is near.

Yet CNN decided to put their own twist on the response.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: underwerks

Stop trying to deflect. Honestly this behaviour is indefensible and if you were really honest with yourself you would agree. The truth is they just don't want everyone united because that would ultimately be their demise. They are in desperation mode and they've gone too far to go back now. They are basically throwing in every direction imaginable hoping something sticks and their is honestly no level they would not stoop to.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:24 PM
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originally posted by: underwerks
You can try and intellectualize the reasons why the Trump admin says what it says, but at the end of the day they're still just lying. About most things they've said and the reasons for most of the positions they've taken.

If you really want to make it about context, the Trump admin isn't something you want to start an argument about.


This is a criticism of the press, ctually. Do you get your news from the president?



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:25 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: odzeandennz

Holding the president to account for his falsities is a good thing, but so is holding the press to those standards. I personally don't get my statistics from the president. Do you?


one would hope our commander in chief would not be culpable of your brilliant piece of opinion, or his standard wouldnt be a tad higher than the same of the media accused of 'X' or "x"... but its cool when Trump does it and puts out misleading and falsehoods out to the entire nation....
yea its completely different then.

and lets see, your case of "you dont get your news from the "president" becomes a fallacy when you look at the sheer amount of threads created per day with reiterating the exact same falsehoods our president puts out, obviously a lot of people here take his words as gospel.
edit on 8-3-2017 by odzeandennz because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:39 PM
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a reply to: odzeandennz

The point the OP is trying to make is that their is no integrity or honest journalism. We aren't saying you cannot criticize the president, in fact I encourage them to, but do it honestly and fairly. I doubt any reasonable human being would disagree with that.

But the fact they they aren't and actually go to more extremes speaks volumes of their intentions.

And please don't bring up Obama and try to compare, because what we are seeing is absolutely unprecedented and it's not even close. Their intentions are crystal clear to those that can see it..



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 08:57 PM
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posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 09:31 PM
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a reply to: odzeandennz

do you get your facts from Trump? Or is that just the source of your outrage?



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 10:07 PM
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Good thread. I've noticed this a lot lately. Not only is it taken out of context, but it's also given in large doses. Most people really only read the article headline or first paragraph at most. Who has time to read its entirety, double check the sources, or find out if there's more to the story when so much information is constantly being thrown at them. So they just accept the story at face value, then move on and think nothing of it.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 02:13 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Without context you cannot discover truth.

It is no coincidence that those who continually omit context are trying to divert their audience away from truth.




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