By Timothy Buchanan – BarbWire guest contributor
How the Media Deceives
Thanks to the high-profile scandals of NBC’s Brian Williams and CBS’s Dan Rather, both of whom were caught in outrageous lies, many Americans are becoming aware that network television news anchors and reporters rarely tell us the whole truth. In the main, what is called “journalism” today, is not honest, truthful news reporting. With the exception of Fox News and a few other sources, what passes for news or journalism is usually nothing more than a left-wing perception of facts force-fit into a godless secular-humanist worldview.
“Buyer Beware,” is a prudent admonition for media consumers today. For some, it may be difficult to recognize how media deceives us. Actually, it’s to detect the deception than most people think. What follows are some of the more common methods that often go unnoticed by large numbers of Americans. They are often used in combination to increase their impact.
Time Imbalance– In nearly every news story that involves a controversial issue, the media will spend from two to ten times as much time explaining the preferred liberal position. Pay attention to this, it’s used frequently, and in conjunction with other methods.
Saturation Coverage- In order to keep a particular story alive, media outlets will continue to air a story, often for weeks without a break. This was done with the killing of homosexual, Matthew Shepard. This technique was also used by NBC’s Brian Williams who repeatedly presented a sympathetic view of New Orleans residents who refused evacuation prior to Hurricane Katrina making landfall. It was used again, with President George W. Bush’s firing of a few dozen U.S. prosecutors who were unwilling to pursue cases of voter fraud, in an effort to make the releases appear unjust.
Deception by Omission- The alternative to saturation coverage is burying a story or refusing to mention it at all. This was done with the brutal murder of a 13-year-old Arkansas boy, Jesse Dirkhising. Shortly after the death of Matthew Shepard, CBS News had the story of Jesse, who was mercilessly sodomized and killed by two adult homosexuals but refused to air it. Why? Because it would have blunted their established template showing homosexuals as victims. For this reason, you will not see any stories of women who suffer anguish after an abortion, stories of homosexuals who leave the perverse lifestyle behind, or stories of people who leave the hopelessness of secular-humanism to become happy, healthy and successful Christians.
Deception by omission was used by NBC’s Brian Williams in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The fact that President Bush pleaded with Louisiana’s Democrat Governor Kathleen Blanco to declare a State of Emergency the day before the category 4 storm reached the Louisiana coast in order to mobilize National Guard assets, was never mentioned. Neither was any mention made of how residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast recovered so quickly despite suffering more damage than New Orleans.
Perception shift- In an attempt to show the left-wing position as less extreme, media reporters will often interview someone with a moderate or uncommitted view to supplant the middle-right, and then follow with someone who articulates the radical leftist viewpoint. In this way, they seek to illustrate that there is no serious or rational alternative outside the range of viewpoints they are presenting. This tactic was used by several of the networks to portray Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act as an anti-homosexual discrimination bill.
False Premises- In interviews, reporters will often pose questions that are based upon an assumption of fact that is false. For example, to a presidential candidate who may advocate the repeal of Obamacare, an interviewer may ask, “Why do you want to deprive health care from people who have been helped by the Affordable Care Act?” This question assumes that the goal can only be deprivation, and that the A.C.A. has helped anyone.
Content Censoring- As long as people can control media, censorship will endure. We tend to think that censorship is gone, but it has merely taken a new form. The leftist media will always attempt to find the worse description possible of the viewpoint they want to squash, especially one that seems unreasonable or unfair. They will never give an opposing position the opportunity to be explained. They will, however, provide ample opportunity to the advocates of the their favored viewpoints, even if their arguments are false.
Misuse of polling data- The leftist media will often present data as a percentage if they want to minimize it, but use real numbers to amplify others. When whole numbers are used to describe one field, and percentages are used for another, it is nearly always an attempt to deceive. In an effort to portray homosexuals as harmless, media networks tell us that most children are sexually-abused by heterosexuals. This is true because 98% of the population is heterosexual. But they will not point out that homosexuals are 20 times more likely overall, to abuse children, which is also true.
The Herd Principle- One method that has been widely used to change public opinion is what might be called, the herd principle. One well-known media source uses polling data to influence public perception by telling us what a majority of people surveyed says that they believe. The surveys may not be scientific or accurate, but it doesn’t matter. Our willingness to conform can influence us to believe something that may not be true at all, simply to fit in.
False Characterizations- The media follows established liberal terminology referring to abortion as reproductive freedom or choice, sexual perversion as sexual orientation and any opposition to the radical gay agenda as discrimination or bigotry. They will also use specious phrases like gun-show loophole and assault weapons and refer to sleep-deprivation as torture in order to sway public opinion in the desired direction. They may use surrogates to make these assertions, but they are rigidly followed nonetheless.
Lying Outright- Because this is risky to the credibility of any news agency, outright lies are most often filtered through some outside organization such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, GLAAD, the Democrat National Committee or some other pseudo-authority.
Some may argue that the national media is not monolithic, but when it comes to the prevailing secular worldview, it pretty well is. These methods are widely used for the express purpose of presenting a false impression that the radical left-wing agenda is reasonable, justifiable, and kind, while smearing any serious opposition as malevolent, ignorant, unreasonable and unacceptable.
It’s unfortunate that in a time when Americans depend upon mass media for information more than ever before, it’s veracity is dubious and illusive. Truth is not difficult to find, but these days, each of us must search for it.
A cold hard truth gently presented, is far more beneficial than a warm and fuzzy lie delivered by force.
Timothy Buchanan is a US Navy veteran and the author of two published books, “The Threat from within: Denial of Truth” and “The Boobonic Plague.” He’s a former defense contractor, broadcast engineer, and he currently lives with his wife near the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.