posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 04:43 PM
A while back when I first entered a University, I studied Journalism hoping to be the next Diane Sawyer. That later changed, and I went on to study
However, I do remember some of the basics of reporting, and nowhere do I recall studying the art of inventing a crisis, then plugging away at it,
until it becomes a reality.
Lately I've had some concerns that this is often what is happening. Surely not all the time, but so much so it has become something I'm noticing
with increasing frequency.
During one of the Journalism courses I took early on, I remember the instructor giving a definition/ example of propaganda that I have always
It was this:
"Suppose you want to prove that all dogs bite. You will not lie, you will simply only report about biting dogs". That is to the complete omission
of the dogs who are gentle, and do not bite, of course.
Solodad O'Brien, for example, a few months back did a mini-series on CNN entitled "Race in America" or "Being Black in America" or something to
Naturally the scenarios she presented were disturbing, leaving me wondering if perhaps things are much worse than I suspected, as I don't tend to
experience these situations with race. Maybe I just didn't fully realize how dreadful things really are.
In this way, we quietly receive propaganda, moreless through the back door. Was O'Brien's report propagandized? Maybe. I didn't find much about
it that was pertinent to my reality. (At least during the parts of it I could actively attend to.) I admit I didn't watch with great focus, but I
think I got the gist of it.
Lou Dobbs is another case in point. Remember when he hammered and hammered away about the "illegal aliens" and our "unprotected border"
for....how many months? I listened to it until I can literally no longer stand the sight of his cherub face. I race to find the remote anytime I
hear his voice.
Sure, there may be problems on the border. But he tried his best to promote it into a full blown national crisis/emergency, as in we need to take
action now, or the entire country is going down the toilet! It was disgraceful, and he stopped at nothing to try to work everyone up into a frenzy.
LOU DOBBS against the world of the Texas border. I expected any day to see him in a superhero costume, leaping around El Paso to single handedly
protect our borders.
Not to say there was no truth in any of it. I don't live on a border state. But notice there was never a mention of the dogs that don't bite.
Glenn Beck. Enough said. Bill O'Reilly. They all do it. Egregiously. And the tacit indications. The head shaking and frowning. The tightly
pressed lips. It's as though their little hearts are breaking.
News is supposed to be unbiased. We don't have that anymore. We have histrionic pretty-boys catering to their own personal agendas, which is more
likely than not a successful TV show. Apparently emotions sell. Self-righteousness sells. Indignation sells. The Blame Game. Yelling, Screaming,
Anger, Tears, Calumny.
Where's Walter Cronkite when you need him?
The newscasters want a successful show. They want to be celebrities. That's the motivation, not the factual delivery of the news.
They present their own perspectives in whatever way they feel might boost ratings, and this typicaly includes showing "passion" for what they are
reporting. This "Demonstration of Passion", as I shall call it, seems to be very trendy right now. Do we really need that? Do we really want it?
Frankly, I find it embarrassing at times. I mean, grown people are supposed to be able to control their emotions, right?
Cronkite became tearful when JFK was killed, and that was appropriate. It was genuine. He wept and the country was weeping with him. But these
It seems rehearsed and orchestrated because it is. It is the means unto an end.
I was listening earlier today to a news show with Ed Henry. He commented that while he was being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer he made the remark that
it looked like Obama might be up in the ratings just a tad insofar as Health Care reform.
Later he realized as he was making this comment the "crawl" at the bottom of the screen read (as attributed to his comments): "Obama desperate for
ratings to improve". Now, maybe he is desperate. But that's not what Henry was saying.
They take a lot of liberties, don't they. They simply gave it a sensationalized spin to get the remote flippers to tune in. (The President is
desperate, Yeah, that should do it.) No matter whether it gives a good representation of what was being said.
It's unprofessional and contradicts basic fundamentals of reporting.
I know we have professional journalists on board here at ATS. Do they still teach responsibility/accountability, integrity and ethics in reporting?
Or, seriously, is it all about showmanship and ratings now? Writing a column that many will follow which trades facts for entertaiment? Does it
I've wondered if they offer drama classes now so you can become so "passionate" about your rant or cause, that your audience fears you are having a
break down, or a heart attack? Please. Keep the theatrics. Report the news. Factually, if you please.
Dan Rather stepped down when he realized he had made a mistake. Maybe even too prematurely. That's integrity.
These other guys? Those dogs won't hunt.