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Mr. Fox



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 653
Location: In the Dark - looking for my socks

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: Meta News Reply with quote

I've been interested for as long as I can remember in 'News' itself as a subject - how and why it's made, how it frames issues and limits the terms and scope of 'acceptable' debate, how it's use as a propaganda tool impacts us, the 'consumers', moulds opinion and carries 'emotional payloads' that appear to cut off rational thought.

To kick off, though, I'd like to share a short video clip which shines a light on US TV media (it's had over 2M views in two days):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI

Cool

Does anyone else have any 'favourite' examples that demonstrate 'news' doing something other than merely 'reporting the facts'?
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have posted this here before. People argue about his judgement of people, but I think his 'Overton window' is spot on:

http://expressiveegg.org/2017/01/04/the-political-spectrum/

The media is far more dangerous now that competition is unlimited. When newspapers were paper and had huge sales, all they needed was to sell a full run. They could afford a bit of journalism and standards, and to annoy the corrupt.
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Mr. Fox



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 653
Location: In the Dark - looking for my socks

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
I think his 'Overton window' is spot on


I'm ashamed to admit, I never knew it had a name. Embarassed But yep, spot on. Smile

I quite liked his piece on the Guardian, too - although it's clearly got worse since he wrote it.

The Guardian is now personified by Luke Harding and his ilk. I find it quite disturbing that many people still consider it to be in some way 'left leaning'.

I prefer The Times on some ways - it doesn't pretend to be anything other than rabidly pro-establishment, and with that comes a sort of arrogance - as if it assumes that the 'lower orders' won't be reading it and that therefore it can be less patronising and a little more honest.

(Comedian) Rob Newman once said that "The Times is a brilliant newspaper, because every now and then it forgets that there are certain things you are not supposed to mention..."

There was an interesting example of this in the Times the other week, when they published a letter written by consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury Hospital to (and published on March 16th by) The Times in response to this (March 14th) article, in which he clearly states that "no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning"
.

Then (according to their date stamp) a mere one minute into the 16th of March, in an effort to stuff the cat back into the bag, The Times ran this piece (online - not sure if it made the print version):

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russia-salisbury-poison-fears-allayed-by-doctor-vf9v0zg0m

The Times wrote:
Russia: Salisbury poison fears allayed by doctor
Fiona Hamilton, Crime & Security Editor | John Simpson | Deborah Haynes

March 16 2018, 12:01am, The Times

Dozens of patients who went to hospital after the Salisbury poisoning were unaffected by the nerve agent, a doctor has revealed.

As Theresa May visited the Wiltshire city and declared it “open for business”, Stephen Davies, a consultant in emergency medicine at the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said that no one other than Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey had needed treatment.

The poisoning had prompted concern about the public’s potential exposure to the novichok nerve agent, as well as complaints about a lack of information from the authorities. Neil Basu, the police head of counterterrorism, said on Tuesday that 35 people, other than the Skripals and Mr Bailey, had been seen by doctors after the attack.

In a letter to The Times Dr Davies writes that no patients experienced symptoms other than the three with “significant poisoning”. “Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed,” he adds. “None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.”

Hundreds of people were told to take decontamination steps despite the authorities refusing to reveal precise details of the nerve agent attack... (cont)


Carefully omitting the line stating that "no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning".

Now why would they want to do that, I wonder? Confused
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4720
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking this line out of context:
Quote:
"no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning".

You need to insert the word Other between no and patients to have it convey the same meaning.
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 2161

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
I may have posted this here before. People argue about his judgement of people, but I think his 'Overton window' is spot on:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

wikipedia wrote:
The Overton window, also known as the window of discourse, is the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse. The term is derived from its originator, Joseph P. Overton, a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, who in his description of his window claimed that an idea's political viability depends mainly on whether it falls within the window, rather than on politicians' individual preferences.[1][2] According to Overton's description, his window includes a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
I may have posted this here before. People argue about his judgement of people, but I think his 'Overton window' is spot on:

http://expressiveegg.org/2017/01/04/the-political-spectrum/


Defo. As far as arguing about his judgement of people is concerned, there are one or two mild surprises but if you follow any of those people, you eventually get it. Laughing
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 722
Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

about 10 years ago there was an article in the Torygraph [which also sometimes vomits a truth] headed 'why we must give up flying'. After so many years the archived page is now headed 'why we must fly less'. But I still have the URL bookmark somewhere with the original heading.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the timings of the Times article but if hundreds of people present at hospital with what they say are symptoms it will take some time to find out that there are in fact no symptoms. As long as the news is later amended I see no problems with this apart from the fact that the word "alleged" was missed in the first article when describing the symptoms.
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Potemkin Villager



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 1002
Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Meta News Reply with quote

Mr. Fox wrote:


Does anyone else have any 'favourite' examples that demonstrate 'news' doing something other than merely 'reporting the facts'?


One thing that gets on my tit is the way Beeb"News" quietly and persistently seems to see it as it's sacred mission to generate and maintain general air of public anxiety and powerlessness whatever is or is not currently going down......... their presenters appear to largely have their heads completely stuck up their arses but to have the "right attitude", a large part of which is having the ability of never having to ask what the right attitude is.

Strangely ITV "news" at least gives the impression that events are worthy of skepticism and cynicism but it only goes so far.
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Mr. Fox



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 653
Location: In the Dark - looking for my socks

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Meta News Reply with quote

Potemkin Villager wrote:
have the "right attitude", a large part of which is having the ability of never having to ask what the right attitude is.


Laughing Nailed it there, PV.

That reminds me of a favourite clip of mine - Andrew Marr interviewing Noam Chomsky a fair few years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcpcytUnWU (3 mins)

Stick with it till the end for the look on Marr's face.

Quote:
Marr: How can you know that I am 'self censoring'? How can you know that journalists are...

Chomsky: I'm not saying that you're 'self censoring' - I'm sure you believe everything that you are saying... What I'm saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn't be sitting where you are sitting.


BOOM! Cool
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Mr. Fox



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 653
Location: In the Dark - looking for my socks

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a current example of shameless manipulation... The 'smoke without fire'.

Quote:
Spy poisoning: Russia says UK is 'playing with fire'

Moscow's UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia: "You are playing with fire and you will be sorry"

Russia has accused the UK of inventing a "fake story" and "playing with fire" over the Salisbury spy poisoning...

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43662421

(Of course, it's not just the BBC running this headline).

So what did Nebenzia actually say? What? You don't speak Russian? You'll just have to take the BBC etcs' word for it, then...

..unless you click 'closed captions', then 'settings', 'auto translate' and select 'English'. Wink

https://youtu.be/cuYU5bARlx8?t=689

@ 11.38: "We spoke to our British colleagues that you played and finished playing here"

A slightly more human translation here:

Quote:
“We have told our British partners: you’ve been playing for too long and you will have it done; because – one can bring up allegations that are not supported by any evidence, and quite different story is – to move to a conversation in a professional language, which does not imply megaphone diplomacy, but clear answers to reasonable questions.”

the connotation of this russian idiom “играл и доигрался” is “You’ve really done it this time with your games”


Not quite the same emotional payload as the implied threat in the BBC headline - but that won't stop it being 'megaphoned' across the media. Rolling Eyes

And yes, this is just one of the many subtle misquotes, misrepresentations, mistranslations and downright fabrications that occur daily.
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3722

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if the poison was even a “nerve agent” in the sense of being one of those of an extremely toxic nature. The agent with the biggest nerve most often seems to be Boris Johnson.
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 2161

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever had an effect on the Skripals was quite serious in that they are only just coming around (although they could have been put into a coma by the medics). It also had an effect on a police officer who found them - although did not impact anyone else.

The cousin has given the option of food poisoning. It is too fast for food poisoning and would not have affected the police officer.
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Mr. Fox



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 653
Location: In the Dark - looking for my socks

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it be OK with folks to keep the discussion on the details of the Skripal case on the Skripal thread and leave this one for discussion of the News/media reporting (about the Skripal case and everything else)?

Thanks. Smile
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 3722

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, you are quite right Embarassed
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