People have agendas, knowing what these agendas are help us filter the content and intent of their message, especially when that message is meant to be persuasive.
One of the oldest “tricks” in persuasive rhetoric is to obfuscate the intent to persuade by representing the context as simply informative. Our current news media is guilty of this tactic to the nth degree! In Classical Rhetorical Theory, this practice is considered as unethical, but our media cannot be burdened.
It boils down to Agendas, which agency or organization has what agenda? Some are as plain as the nose on your face and very clearly represent themselves in such a fashion. Everyone knows where Code Pink’s loyalties are and what their agenda is… Same holds true with organizations like the National Rifle association. Where a fog develops is when organizations make public facing claims of neutrality (no agenda) in delivering a message, “Oh, I’m just the messenger, I’m not responsible for the content”.
News organizations are growing in this unethical behavior. NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, BBC, New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, USA Today… will all claim truth and neutrality in their reporting of the News… “We Report, You Decide…” or “The most trusted name in news”, “All the news that’s fit to print”. Which causes many of us, who actually have cognitive reason, to snicker a bit every time we hear or read these slogans. We all know there is a bias, not only in what is reported and how it is reported but also, in what is NOT reported (also known as omission bias). But we have to come to that conclusion through exercise of our Cognitive Reasoning skills! A skill set I suspect is painfully lacking in our population at large (and you do to…) examples of brain dead individuals pollute our path every day, go to a McDonalds, a Safeway, a Starbucks, a freeway, a Wal-Mart, any roundabout or any Wholefoods market… or you could simply watch “the Jersey Shore” or anything else on MTV… Hell I’ll even include “Finding Bigfoot” in that fray too! and the proof will be apparent.
Unfortunately, we who would like to think ourselves as “Enlightened” and “Intellectually Honest” are contributing to this problem, by allowing its practice without recourse or consequence. We as a Republic need to know facts! Not opinions! We need to know the substance of what is happening in the world around us to allow us, the voting populace, to make INFORMED decisions. When the information is represented as simple facts, but in reality the delivery methodology does not match the agenda based intent, it gives the appearance of malfeasance, an intentional act we need to not sit idly by and laugh off.
In these past few days there are two glaring examples of where we are left to question an agenda, both regard the much to much overheated Trayvon Martin™ case and the Media’s reporting. We have all seen a very disturbing tendency of Racial Opportunists taking advantage of situations and running very loose and very fast with facts often even resorting to outright fabrications! This is regularly the modus operandi of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, The New Black Panthers, Sheila Jackson Lee and the like… we know their Agenda, and this reaction is expected, if not misguided. It is important that in these stressful times that “Cooler Heads” prevail and manage with facts, and share those facts with we the electorate, not simply carry the water of the loudest. But apparently when the “Facts” don’t support an agenda they are either omitted in the story, or manipulated.
ABC News recently bragged about scoring a coup in the Trayvon Martin™ case by obtaining the raw police station video of George Zimmerman’s detainment. In the story, ABC’s Good Morning America was so eager to manipulate the discussion that the Headline even read…"Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman" [link].
The associated article, written by Matt Gutman goes on to self-righteously proclaim (contrary to police reports) [bold rendering mine]…
A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who says he shot Martin after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his head slammed into the ground.
The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed.
Breitbart (another organization with an Agenda) challenged this assertion the day the original “Scoop” was posted by ABC news highlighting specific frames of the video (without the need of enhancement) that seemed to indicate a gash and a wound on George Zimmerman’s head, a wound that would support his “Self-Defense” claim. But no… ABC News couldn’t be bothered with these inconvenient facts in their rush to get it to air first! (Who gives a damn about accuracy? We have an agenda to advance!!! Wait… Shhhhhh).
Now, 5 days later, ABC News themselves are now stating that, through THEIR research and processing the footage through legally approved enhancement, that “oh… yeah… hmmmm… yeah, it does look like George Zimmerman has a gash and wound on his head… Hmmm what???… oh yeah… as Zimmerman… and the Police Report claimed.”
What’s even more disgusting is that in ABC’s not-a-retraction-revision, the same Matt Gutman goes on air in a joyous proclamation of how great we are at ABC News!!! We got this video first (no mention of editorializing about no blood or apparent wounds) and now… We’ve ENHANCED it! WOW! Look! a head wound!…
Enhanced video footage of George Zimmerman being taken into custody less than 30 minutes after he shot and killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin shows the neighborhood watch captain with what could be an injury to the back of his head.
The never-before-seen evidence of an injury to Zimmerman, in this case a gash or mark to his head, would appear to back his claim that he was in an altercation with Martin on the night of Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman says he shot the teen in self defense after he was attacked.
Hallelujah! aren’t we just great?… Dudes seriously, in your rush to publish and editorialize you poured gasoline on an already raging Race Fire! And now, now that you have done your job, you’re trying to pee the fire out while whistling, hoping no one will remember your original accusatory inference.
In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.
Next page… Not to be outdone by ABC news and Good Morning America in misrepresenting the facts, NBC news published a segment on their Today Show where they played an edited version of George Zimmerman’s 911 call to police that fateful day. The way NBC edited the recording, made it sound like Zimmerman volunteered that Treyvon was Black, thus making it part of the motive. NBC originally aired the recording to make it sound like George Zimmerman said the following:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good… He looks black.
The transcript of the real 911 call is:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
Obviously, again the facts didn’t fit with NBC’s Today Show Agenda… So they altered the facts (by omission) to make Zimmerman appear more racist. But, they don’t tell you their agenda, you have to guess at it… work at it… discover the obfuscation. So, is the media biased? No… they are as neutral as they come!
I CALL BULLSHIT! And so should all of us! Damn it, whistling in the graveyard pretending this is not happening is inexcusable, especially for those of whom we are to rely on to provide us with the facts to better run our Republic!
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.