H. Wade Minter
minter at lunenburg.org
Thu Sep 9 11:38:36 EDT 2004
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On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Michael Czeiszperger wrote:
> One of his points after working inside the Republican-controlled media for
> many years is their attempt to discredit the professional of journalism to
> the point that the public believes there's no such thing as objective
> evidence. In a world in which there is no actual objective reporting, then
> everything must be subjective, in which case opinion is all that matters and
> facts don't exist.
That's an excellent point. One of the successes (if you want to call it
that) of the neo-conservative movement is that they've been able, via
constant repitition and spin, to install the meme of the "liberal media"
into the heads of a large majority of the population. Without any real
evidence to back it up, they've managed to get those people to believe
that "the media" (which they define as anything other than Fox News, the
Washington Times, or talk radio) is "controlled by the left."
It's been a winning strategy for them, since they've conditioned a broad
swath of voters that any criticism or reporting that goes against their
message is "part of the liberal media conspiracy," and can be discarded
out-of-hand. So when (if) this story hits the airwaves, for example,
you'll have a large number of people who will go "There goes that liberal
media again, making up stories to make the president look bad. I'm not
even going to bother reading it."
Viola - you've successfully been able to turn the debate from the facts of
the case to an emotional argument over whether or not the media is
"liberal," thus avoiding dealing with the hard questions.
It's a strategy that, you've got to hand it to them, has paid off in
spades. Not only have you conditioned people to distrust anything that
comes from somewhere other than your few hand-picked media outlets, you've
also forced the journalists into using their kid-gloves with the
Administration, instead of asking hard questions, because if they deviate
from the talking points, they'll be strung up as an example of "the
liberal media at work."
> This comes into play in comparing the military service of the two candidates.
> On the one hand you have actual written, documented evidence showing Bush
> disobeyed a direct order, along with pay records with a six month gap. On
> the other hand all it takes to discredit Kerry is an opinion, even if all
> available hard evidence contradicts your statements.
Yup - with the Swift Boat people, the official military record
(unchallenged for 30 years) is on Kerry's side. The appropriate
procedures were followed, the forms were signed, the onus is on the SBVFT
to provide hard evidence that the official military record is wrong. Of
course, they can't do it, but they have good soundbites, so that's what
gets repeated and drilled into people's heads. The modern media's answer
is to give three minutes to the SBVFT side to make their claims, and the
Kerry side to deny them. Sound bites. There's little attempt by the
media to dissect the SBVFT claims, because doing that would be "partisan".
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