Friday, July 31, 2020

Misdirection Chorus

     In the usual case it is a mistake – an epistemic category error – to believe something to be true simply because many people are saying it. And once again, the wisdom of the Buddha is relevant:

     Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.

     Scott Adams, who in recent years has become a major commentator and analyst of current events, has produced a video that addresses the media’s attempt to get millions of people to believe the reverse of the facts of a most important matter:

     Yes, it’s twelve and a half minutes long. However, it’s eminently worth the time of anyone concerned about what can be done to treat COVID-19 in individual cases. It’s even more important as an illustration of the mainstream media’s attempts to manipulate public perceptions and opinions. It points up something the media is desperate that you not know. Please view it.

     Conrad Black, another relatively recent star in the commentary firmament, has written an essay highly relevant to my topic for today. Like Scott Adams, he highlights the media’s “don’t look at that; look over here!” method of misinforming the news consumer. A snippet:

     In its July 4 issue, the Economist solemnly intoned that Trump would have to reverse the supposedly rampaging coronavirus pandemic, accelerate the economic recovery, and generally be a more empathetic chap in order to have more than the one chance in nine that the magazine gave him for reelection. Biden was extolled as naturally popular and his rather glaring shortcomings, including his shaky intellectual stamina and prodigious past financial abuse of public office, were simply whitewashed....
     In what its readers presumably imagine to be a thoughtful analysis, the Economist did not mention the likelihood that much of the Obama-Biden Administration is about to be indicted for the most colossal constitutional crimes in the country’s history in trying to alter and then undo the 2016 presidential election result. It did not blink at the complete political and practical impossibility of the program that Biden has now embraced.

     What the media leaves “outside the frame” is presumed not to matter. Yet sometimes it matters more than anything the media say.

     The point of media misdirection is to get millions of people to infer incorrectly from its presentations of “the facts.” Persons thus persuaded will thereafter talk as if those inferences were Gospel truths. They become things “everybody knows,” implied to be above the possibility of refutation.

     Consider how media manipulation by misdirection synergizes with these other ongoing phenomena:

  • The attempt to atomize us through the COVID-19 scare;
  • The calumnies aimed at commentators on the Right who dissent from media-espoused positions;
  • The “deplatforming” being waged by “Big Tech” against anyone who espouses a conservative position.

     It’s a variation on the Big Lie raised to unprecedented potency by the media’s subtlety, its global reach, and the age of its institutions. Yes, it requires them to work in coordination, but all the major media are so thoroughly Left-conquered that that’s no impediment whatsoever.

     There isn’t a lot more that needs to be said about this. Just be aware of the misdirection technique, regard every media assertion of fact as subject to independent verification – the more strident the assertion, the wiser it is to be skeptical about it – and remember that priceless statement by the Buddha.

4 comments:

Unknown said...

Once upon a time a justice of SCOTUS said " Separation of Church and State, Separation of Church and State, keep saying that and soon people will believe it's in the Constitution". Kind of like it's settled science.

Paul Bonneau said...

Ministry of Propaganda, just doing its job.

Andy Texan said...

I have totally solved this problem. I have not independently read, listened to or viewed any left wing media for at least 8 years. I know what they say from conservative media where it is properly interpreted and am entirely immune.

NITZAKHON said...

From the big liar himself, paraphrased from memory: "... the Big Lie can only exist so long as the people can be insulated from the consequences of the lie, thus ruthless censorship and control of the media must be exerted. Truth is the enemy..."