posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 04:05 PM
A straight forward question, no? But certainly one that requires context to tackle.
This is not going to be one of my OPs (Opening Posts) that is devoted to the accumulation of knowledge. In other words, I'm not going to be hunting
for information about the media from the media. I am hoping to explore a topic with you. The title of the thread is the most condensed form of the
topic, but it is not answer to that question matters; it’s the discussion that matters most.
Recently, I heard a person on the radio (heh, a media reference already,) say something about the practices used by media manipulators to give a sense
that a general group feels a certain way about a topic. It seems fairly clear that it sort of goes like this:
A "producer" of "news" pursues a topic (not always just a 'story' or 'event') by having their spokesperson (an anchor or "journalist")
describe the particulars (often called the "official" story in conspiratorial lingo.)
The narrative of the story presents numerous opportunities to make the message "feel" a certain way; producers rarely miss the opportunity to do so,
according to their position or agenda.
Most often, the producer then engages certain "experts" (media celebrities, impressively titled 'consultants,' or civil, social, or religious
authorities) to comment on the topic. The producers then close the story on a particular moral (I call it the "tell") which usually creates a
lingering remembrance of the 'produced' media.
Perhaps that seems clunky, but the net effect is easily observed. And more importantly, since we rely on producers of such news and informational
media, it empowers them to make assertions and opinion-swaying sentiments without any effort to create the clear understanding that this represents
their "take" on the story.
The trick here is using the right corroborating sources (the ones you can attribute the most serious weight to.) No one seems to pay attention to the
connection these sources have to the story, or why this person was asked to comment.
Funnily enough, this practice is always intended to create a "news/story" which appears clinical and resistant to bias; when in truth, it cannot be
Now comes the hard part.
If we dare enter into an analysis of specific examples, we will face the peril of getting absorbed into the topic itself; apologists will be born,
agitators will surface, and the discussion could be rendered an exercise in futility. I'm going to take the next few steps... and I hope you will
join me with examples of your own...
The simplified rules are as follows:
Corroborating or Contrasting contributors engaged
Note that what we believe is irrelevant to this discussion. This is a simple attempt to see a pattern.
Narrative: He stole information and disseminated it, he betrayed a trust, and he slyly seeks legitimacy as a whistle-blower to avoid
- OR -
Narrative: He discovered abuse, exposed it, and thus requires protection from the offenders.
Contrasting/Corroborating: Military Industrial Complex associates decry him, Political celebrities characterize him as a threat, Human Rights
activists and those generally suspicious of the ‘government’ meme characterize him as a daring hero. Sentiments are linked with patriotism, and
just as strongly, the “big bad” US government.
Closure: Should he be seen as “good” or “bad”? Mainstream media consensus leans towards “bad,” Alternative media, 'blogosphere'
contributors appear generally supportive (or at least ambivalent,) but seem to be waiting for an “other shoe” to drop.
Hundreds of references to Snowden can be accessed, all follow the pattern. Rarely, if ever, does the “Mainstream” entertain strong dissent within
the discussion. You may find incredible insightful discussions on the subject… but never between “authorities.” Even authoritative dissent is
relegated to a sideline aspect of the topic.
In the narrative imagery is also used to engage a more subtle means of changing the sentiment a casual audience member might adopt. Music is another
aspect of the production. As is the method, time, and manner of its delivery. But those things can easily be excised from the context of the
discussion itself, under most circumstances.
Now back to the question; what can we learn from the media?
In this case, we can discern the nature of the speakers, whom they represent, and why they are selected by producers to ‘infotain’ us. We know
with reasonable certainty what the topic is about, generally. And we also can state unequivocally that each presenter has used what skills and tools
they have at their disposal to make their point…, they are certain to tell us without prompting.
With each revisiting of the topic, the subject is refined and aligned. Some will discuss it as a criminal affair (primarily Mainstream) and others
civil disobedience; both will adopt a political stance on it. Some will see it as a defense matter, thus elevating it to a higher stage, requiring
more ‘authoritative input;’ while some others may try to engender a movement regarding the challenge itself. Group labelers will use the old
memes to ‘round up’ the kinds of people who are automatic supporters of such divisiveness.
And still, what have we learned?
Thanks for entertaining my thoughts for a few minutes..., I hope you will see fit to add other such examples… but I will humbly attempt to challenge
what I describe above as a ‘production’ style example… if only to keep us in the realm of finding out ultimately what the heck it is that the
so-called ‘reporters’ of the world are actually teaching us.