Media Manipulation

Good point! I was thinking the very thought which you just now posted BEFORE you posted it as I browsed through the above link. As I scanned the link I thought back to Plato seminars where people contrasted “speaking well” with “speaking truth.”

Different topic but somewhat related. This morning on a NYC local TV news my wife and I watched Paladino speaking to a gathering of Orthodox Jews and making negative remarks about gay pride parades, suggesting that it is harmful for young children who do not understand to watch bumping and grinding. THE VERY NEXT NEWS CLIP was about an anti-gay attack/torture/sodomy. I said to my wife, “See how the media chooses to play one sound bite against another.” She said “What, you mean that channel wants to discredit Paladino?” I explained “media thrives on shocking discord and controversy. That channel may not even care about the gubernatorial race but they instinctively know that if they counterpoise an anti-gay speech with a hate-crime that they will generate greater audience interest.”

Someone recently pointed out to me that during the 1970s the Bob Jones University forbid interracial dating. They went on to point out that certain issues which might be argued as separate (e.g. interracial dating vs. gay rights) are now conflated in the public mind as issue which are driven by an underlying hatred/prejudice/injustice.

Those who read me know that I lean to the left and try to be GLBT friendly. The point I am really making here is that any sort of manipulation of public opinion through your above-mentioned link or through juxtaposition of sound bites is unfortunate precisely because it is done for the sake of manipulation and control and not for the sake of a dispassionate and unbiased examination of facts so that the public may arrive at a well-reasoned conclusion. I do not endorse such rhetoric and manipulation even if it seeks to favor some view or value which I favor.

I am suddenly remembering a Firing Line interview between Wm. F. Buckley Jr. and Noam Chomsky. I suppose nothing in the media is free from rhetoric. It is also important to note that two intellectual giants may come to see the world in very different ways.

I remember how Buckley said that the the N.A.A.C.P. was an admission of backwardness since it called for advancement. Yale Bonesmen are a clever lot but I deplore such cleverness. Yet I shall always admire Buckley and wish that I had some share of his greatness. Thanks for posting Ruth and putting up with the person that I am.


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