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Category: Media Propaganda

Poll measures success of propaganda messaging

Poll measures success of propaganda messaging

69% of the public thinks we will see a “second wave” of coronavirus.

What percent of the public has expertise to determine the likelihood of a second wave? Almost none. Consequently, this poll is measuring the effectiveness of prior public education or propaganda messaging on the topic. People have been told what to think by the media – and social media – and they regurgitate this in polls. This poll is basically meaningless.

Is this reporter on drugs?

Is this reporter on drugs?

Reporter standing in front of burning buildings says in live broadcast “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly.”. Setting fire to buildings is not unruly. Got it.

News media is just an act: Reporter feigns outrage about people not wearing masks while his own crew is not wearing masks

News media is just an act: Reporter feigns outrage about people not wearing masks while his own crew is not wearing masks

A national TV reporter hyperventilates on a live broadcast about people not wearing masks as someone walks by and points out his own crew isn’t wearing masks either. Because this is faked news intended to get your emotions going one way or another. Television news is just a big act now days. I may not be a real TV reporter but I play one on TV …

Winner of best fake news headline award: “UK researchers warn of only ’50 percent’ success for COVID vaccine trial | Fox News”

Winner of best fake news headline award: “UK researchers warn of only ’50 percent’ success for COVID vaccine trial | Fox News”

Headline makes it sound like there is only a 50% chance the Oxford vaccine will work against Covid-19. But that is not what this is about – at all. The real world incidence of Covid-19 is falling rapidly and might be so low that they are unable to see how the vaccine effects individuals contracting Covid-19 – because you can’t get the disease if the disease has largely vanished.

The researchers think that because of this, there is a 50% chance they will have insufficient data by September to say the vaccine meets requirements by then – and the tests may take longer. The headline is intended to lead you astray and emotionally thinking “Oh no! Vaccines won’t work”, which has been a mainstay of speculative scary reporting for the past 2 months.

Journalism: Story refutes its own headline

Journalism: Story refutes its own headline

Time Magazine ran with the headline “Accidental Poisonings Rise After Trump Disinfectant Comments”; the headline, however, is refuted by the story’s own text. In fact, the rise in accidental poisoning began six weeks before Trump’s bizarre comments, and was part of a longer term trend in an increase in accidental poisoning. The sharp increase that began in February was due to many people acquiring and misusing (and making accessible to children) alcohol-based sanitizers and bleach.

“The Market for Depressing Predictions Is Booming”

“The Market for Depressing Predictions Is Booming”

The media focuses on doom and gloom based frequently on rampant speculation. No one “reports” anymore. Instead, they prognosticate and speculate about the future with made up gloom and doom, most of which makes no logical sense. The reason for the gloom and doom is due to an odd bit of psychology. Negative information always takes precedence over positive information – it is a basic survival mechanism to pay attention to bad things. The media know this. And strangely enough, news consumers seek out more bad news to validate their feelings of anxiety.

Journalism: “Oregon ranks high in rising rate of natural disasters”

Journalism: “Oregon ranks high in rising rate of natural disasters”

The news headline says Oregon ranks high in natural disasters, which the text explains, is wildfires in the State.

This claim comes from a press release from a small, little known online Internet insurance sales web site. This type of press release is put out in hopes of garnering free publicity – and it certainly worked for them – in large part because the media, like all of us, is more likely to succumb to a fear-based scary headline.

However, if we practice factfulness and look at the long term trend in Oregon fires we see that a small rise at the right end of the chart has been translated into a crisis and a catastrophe. The chart above is the official chart from the Oregon government’s Fire Statistics page, and shows actual acreage burned and total fires burned in Oregon since 1911.

The slight increase at the extreme right edge is the basis for the scary headline. By leaving out all historical context and by focusing on large percentile increase in a tiny number at the right edge of the chart, the media creates unwarranted fear and hysteria in viewers.