Posted by: nastylittletruths | September 2, 2014

The Bewildered Herd

A confluence of events usually leads to shaking off the lethargy that exists in my old bones and return here, but losing my password *and* getting locked out off my email at the same time led to the mandatory 30 days wait time from Microsoft…

Three things have been on my mind the last month that are so intertwined, it’s like a conspiracy: 1. My ongoing battle with the media houses (TV6 and CNC3) over their continued blocking of the channels I pay for on cable, 2. The latest Israel/Hamas war and, 3. the Constitution Amendment Bill.

The title of this post comes from the tad insulting, but so true, description by Walter Lippmann (Public Opinion, 1922) of “man’s inability to functionally perceive and accurately interpret the world“. Believing that “the real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance”, between people and their environment (reality), he said that “they constructed a pseudo-environment that is a subjective, biased, and necessarily abridged mental image of the world.” To a degree, therefore, everyone’s pseudo-environment is a fiction. Hence, people “live in the same world, but think and feel in different ones. Human behavior is stimulated by the person’s pseudo-environment and then is acted upon in the real world.” Think about this part carefully when you remember people’s reaction to the Constitution Amendment Bill…

The role of the media comes into play when Lippmann considered the barriers impeding man’s ability to interpret the world – and this is painfully funny – but in our local context, if you can’t buy much for TT$2, do you expect to get reality or representations of the truth for the same $2? “The function of news is to signal an event, and that signaling, eventually, is a consequence of editorial selection and judgement; thus does journalism create and sow the seeds (news?) that establish public opinion”. And here I tie back my problem with TnT’s media: “s duality, i.e. their social function of transmitting public affairs information and their business profit role of surviving in the market.”   *I strongly recommend reading a bit of Herman and Chomsky after this*

Are we getting real news, fabricated news to suit vested interests, or pure sensationalism to sell the $2 rags? I don’t buy the Trinidad Express nor the Trinidad Guardian because I refuse to support media houses that force my cable provider to put up a white screen when I want to watch television in the first place. (Maybe it’s a good thing because I get to read more, but it’s the principle of the matter that annoys me to no end). The CCN media house believes it can do a better job than any government as they are anti everybody and GML always supports the party in power.

But lets switch to the Israel/Hamas seven week war and see how public opinion can be modified by Dr. Evil himself, Frank Luntz. If you haven’t heard of this guy before, welcome to the nightmarish world every political party that exist wish they can have for themselves. Frank Luntz can spin anything you can possibly think of. (Rodney Charles, the UNC 2015 campaign manager, probably prays to his image every night asking for inspiration). The best introduction I can give is via this link to a publication I read about American politics:

Clearly, knowing your audience and crafting a message that resonates using key words in real time makes for impressive television. Note the admission that 78% of Americans want to see a two state solution to end this crisis, but Israel will never go down that path. Also note the key words employed to change perceptions and opinions, re-play all those newscasts you see about the ‘war on terror’ in your mind and then imagine how easy it is to brainwash the people who think that the news is sacrosanct. The original crime of 1948 continues up to this day – stealing land from the Palestinians and they react the only way they know how. Just today the US had to ‘sharply rebuke’ (and that’s as far as it goes) with Israel ‘appropriating’ over 900 acres of the West Bank for more settlements. Read what a hero to the Israeli people had to say about it:

Taking all of the above with regard to censorship and propaganda, what is your take now on the CAB of 2014? Did the press whip up a frenzy about nothing? Yes, they probably did as bachannal sells… Did the PNM properly explain to the masses their disagreement? Uh, didn’t look so from the interviews of the protesters… Did the UNC/Closet UNC take us for a ride with CR consultations and submissions? Of course they did… If you are in a position to change the rules of the game you do so for your own benefit, not the other side! Human nature is a bitch – accept it.

My own CR position is well documented here and not one was mentioned, so I went back to sleep.

People, be a discerning reader and viewer of the news. Don’t take my word or opinion as the only one. Read, read and then read some more before making up your mind. There are lot of hacks out there who want you to see the world only through their eyes and it has to stop.

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  1. Good long post. Much effort to do that sort of thing.

    A lot of people don’t appreciate the effort it takes bloggers to put together stuff. I do appreciate.

    After much reflection I’ve decided to avoid writing on things political as before, except where it serves me to document my thoughts and educate myself.

    I’ve restarted looking at the nature of the human ‘animal’ – cuz ultimately they are responsible for almost all they get, in the human world (well, I’m not talking hurricanes and earthquakes of course).

    Continue your excellent work – and by work I mean mean your exposure of what you see and feel.

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