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Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 05-15-2003 15:39

It sounds more like a story about media manipulation than anything else:
www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,956127,00.html

I have read it elsewhere but this article really focuses on it. Does the American mainstream media fail to question government pronouncements on things like this?

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-15-2003 16:03

Well Emps, in light of what has happened at the New York Times recently, I'd tend to say 'Yes'.

I mean, what did you think the military was going to do with the embedded reporters, and the censorship of the Media, and giving 'priority status' to 'good' networks (like pro-patriotic Fox)? Show it like it really is?

That is an unrealistic expectation, IMHO.

I'm certainly not supporting how it was done...but you have to grudgingly admire how the American public was totally manipulated by this 'media-control' experiment. Of course it will get used again...until it fails to work.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 05-15-2003 20:04

Is it surprising? No.

But it is disgusting, on many levels. And frightening...the ease with which people accept it all. The ease with which that can be abused...

Rinswind 2th
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Den Haag: The Royal Residence
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 05-15-2003 22:13

To make things worse there is the Dixie Chicks afaire Which caused two DJ's get suspended

Not only do some media fail to question what the governement says, they are shutting down the ones who don't agree as well. A free democracy can only work when you are free to have your own opinionand you being able to critisize your governement.

These things freightens me.


__________________________________________
"Art has to be forgotten. Beauty must be realized."
Piet Mondriaan

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-16-2003 06:54
quote:
Does the American mainstream media fail to question government pronouncements on things like this?

I heard the full story recounted quite clearly on morning talk radio and on nightly cable television news. There is clearly not a complete failure to question since the full story was broadcast to the masses, but I do think there is a reluctance of the public to care one way or the other. The latter scares me more than anything.

. . : slicePuzzle

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-16-2003 10:17

I agree, that it is a very serious trend...and that concerns me...remember McCarthy-ism? Well, it pretty much 'rolled' along, much like this is...and then came the backlash.

Does anyone think (as I am tending to think) that a backlash will come? Or is this the beginning, not of a trend, but a New Order? If so, that scares me, more than anything else...that would mean that the America that I know and love is dead...

And that breaks my heart.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-16-2003 10:25

WS, I believe the America we both know and love will be around for several more centuries before it actually falls. Rome really disintegrated from within but it took quite a long time for that to actually happen. I think there are still enough people who remember what this country is supposed to be about to keep us somewhat on the right track even though we will stray from side to side as we go. IMO.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-16-2003 11:58

Now I'm both pissed off, and very scared - Homeland Security abused by Texas police - Texas Demos Victorious - as mentioned here

quote:
Meanwhile, the federal Department of Homeland Security said it was drawn into the four-day standoff when a Texas law officer indicated that a plane carrying Democrats had run into trouble and might have crashed.
The telephone call to Homeland Security was placed Monday, at a time Texas Republicans were desperately seeking the Democrats' whereabouts.

--The Salt Lake Tribune



Now that is...just unbelievable. Simply...unbelievable. One can see where this is headed...make up a 'cover story' (Yep. Happens all the time) and bamboozle the Homeland Security into 'helping'...hoo boy. That should be against the law, IMHO.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 05-17-2003 10:25

So there really is no such thing as true democracy... even in America? hmmm, interesting. Is that what they are trying to promote throughout the world?

Prepare your selves it's going to get a lot worse...

Dracusis
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Brisbane, Australia
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 05-18-2003 11:58

No one ever said democracy was a flawless system, but out of all the others, it has the least amount of flaws so we try to stick to it where we can. Of course, there will always be us stupid humans making stupid mistakes so the only real way to create a flawless system of government is to remove any and every kind of freedom from the public, make one person in charge of everything and make any decision that person makes the only decision possible.

Sound like fun?.... sounds like a dictatorship to me.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-18-2003 12:11

Hmmm...that system works well here, at the Asylum...hehe.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 05-18-2003 17:09

.

[This message has been edited by DL-44 (edited 05-18-2003).]

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-21-2003 08:52

I just heard another report of this again on the radio this evening. This is not being swept under the carpet here. I suspect more details of the whole affair will eventually become more available with time. I still think most people could not care less though.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-21-2003 09:48

That's too bad...more people should care about their rights and liberties...because once they are gone, it's very hard to get them back...not to mention all the people who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that people would have them...

*sigh*

It's just sad...

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 06-06-2003 09:41

WebShamen, I absolutely agree with you...

"nuff said"

Yuri21
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Feb 2003

posted posted 06-06-2003 18:25

Actually, it is caused by humans' inability to stop acting so stupid which is causing all this to happen. -__-;;

And also capitalism: the sheer brilliance of it, that is, the ability to use mass media to manipulate the mass audience.

I am asexual, neither male nor female.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-06-2003 18:48

What does capitalism have to do with that? What you describe happens far more in totalitarian governments. At least we have a free press here or else no one would have ever even known what really happened in this case. The point is that the real story is being reported, it's just that most people don't care one way or the other... *that* is the saddest part of this.

specialpurpose
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 06-06-2003 20:02

The press is only free to a point. Small news organisationsoperate freely but have little impact on public opinion because they're swamped by the massive, multinational media corporations. Those who work in those corporations are certainly not free to operate as journalists to the fullest of thir capacities. Remember the guy who got fired for interviewing some Iraqi officials? He supported the war but figured, in his high-minded principals as a journalist, that the other side of the story *must* be told. But he was told to find another job.

There's a bit difference between freedom of the press on paper and freedom of the press in practise. The reality is that multinational media corporations (there's capitalsm coming into the argument) are dominating public discourse simply because they're so huge and rich. They buy up the competition and squeeze out dissident voices. This is an anathema to democracy in the same way neo-liberalism is. It doesn't result in greater levels of freedom (just freedom for some) - and if freedom is all about choice, shouldn't we all be better informed?

Yes, all this is very scary indeed.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-07-2003 06:52

You have access to all the varying opinions you could ever want because you're connected to the internet. The news is there for people who are willing to read it. What bothers me is not that a bunch of amoral corporations own news sources but that the public doesn't care about the truth.

Byron
Obsessive-Compulsive (I) Inmate

From: San Antonio, Texas
Insane since: Jun 2003

posted posted 06-08-2003 18:26

Quote:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
I agree, that it is a very serious trend...and that concerns me...remember McCarthy-ism? Well, it pretty much 'rolled' along, much like this is...and then came the backlash.

Does anyone think (as I am tending to think) that a backlash will come? Or is this the beginning, not of a trend, but a New Order? If so, that scares me, more than anything else...that would mean that the America that I know and love is dead...

And that breaks my heart.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________


I do believe that it's a trend, that we have always had a tendency to swing from one extreme to another before finding a new balance - Hegel wasn't completely wrong. I remember thinking five years ago that America was getting too self-critical, that it seemed that patriotism had gone out of fashion. Now it's back, and a little too strongly, but this too shall pass.
But the balance doesn't correct itself - people are always fighting over what kind of nation we're going to be, and we can't be complacent about it, we have to be part of the fight; there will always be a John Ashcroft, it's just that someday he won't be Attorney General anymore. But he'll always be trying.
I'm always worrying that our liberties are under attack, and that's as it should be, because they are. But looking at our history, I think that Americans overall have more freedom than we did fifty or two hundred years ago. I do have hope.
To be informed about politics, and to speak out, all you need is the will. It hasn't always been that way, and it isn't that way everywhere. (Well, it was and is, but it used to require death-defying courage, and here and now all we need is not to be too lazy.) We can mourn the fact that so many lack the will, but it's our job to educate and persuade, so that the will spreads and more people know and speak and vote.

Wow, that sounds so idealistic. I guess I'm less cynical now than I was when I was twenty - is that normal?



[This message has been edited by Byron (edited 06-08-2003).]

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 06-09-2003 15:35

Bugs,
While I agree in theory with what you are saying (the internet brings all the information one could possibly want, right to one's home, 24-7) the 'facts on the ground' are much different.
First of all, there are people who can not afford a computer or an internet connection. That number of people may be shrinking, but they exist. Secondly, once on the internet, the majority of people access (for multiple reasons) their news through established, mainstream portals -- yahoo, cnn, aol, etc. To find other sources of news, to find any in-depth commentary of happenings, to find any historical reference takes a huge amount of time and work that most people can't afford.

The truth is, some large percentage (some studies have shown >98%) of EVERYTHING a person experiences in a day -- from TV shows, to newspapers, billboards, books, radio programs, magazines, ads on grocery carts...EVERYTHING -- is designed and produced by 5 or 6 large media companies. That's huge.

People who don't care scare me (or just piss me off, depending on what side of the bed I wake up on that morning), but what scares me the most is a government that will allow this near information monopoly to continue and grow. It is not the amoral corporation that scares me, it is the lack of competition and the very directed government regulations that make sure it stays that way. That's what scares me. That's the danger to our democracy.

Chomsky wrote once, "States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions." That is true, and it is equally true if one replaces 'state' with 'corporations'.

I'd like to close with a quote from one of my favorite and most respected political figures of all time

quote:
The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers... [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.
--Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632



Notice he didn't write "...mass of the people who are too lazy to distinguish the false from the true..."
What he wrote was "This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper."

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 06-09-2003 18:26

I couldn't agree more Mobrul.

What is theoretically available to a person, and what a person will realistically ever have access to are completely different things.

It's also an important point to bring up that so many companies that appear on the surface level to be seperate and competitive are really owned by the same mega-conglomerate corporation.

It's also very difficult to seperate what is and what is not a "reliable" news source. Too many people go too far in the other direction, and buy whole-heartedly into every small time or underground source that abounds with nothing but unsubstantiated conspiracy-theory rhetoric.
I find it very difficult to really believe any news source, and even with a good variety of sources...you just don't know. And not for lack of caring...



Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-09-2003 21:01

I wasn't suggesting that it was easy to get closer to the truth. I was simply saying it is now more possible than ever to get it. I actually agree with most of what you said, mobrul and DL.

I reiterate and take some of your point as support that it is the public's responsibility to demand better information and better morals from the organizations that are supposed to serve them. I think we are basically saying the same things here with slightly different perspectives.

I suppose it is a tall order to expect most people to spend the time to get better news... it's just that when has it ever been a cake walk or even possible in the past? I see it as a duty/responsibility to do so... I'm not really addressing the issue about whether it is handed to us on a silver platter.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 06-10-2003 00:52

Yes, we seem to be seeing the same thing...but slightly differently

And of course, you bring up another very important point. Far too often here (and elsewhere of course) people's comments make me think that they have this belief that until recently the world was a great utopia, and "america" came along and subjected us all to cruel slavery....

Many people obviously have not studied enough world history to appreciate the extremely fortunate situations that large portions of the world currently enjoy. They forget that not that many decades ago, thinking the wrong things, or disagreeing with the wrong people could very quickly lead to your execution (among other nastier things). Or that only a couple hundred years ago there was no such things as voting, and that in some places there still is not, and so on...

Off topic a tad, but hey....

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