Tag: Washington Post

Media to the American public: If anyone’s going to deceive you, it’s going to be us

Following the release of a video by the Bloomberg campaign showing a 20 second awkward silence after Bloomberg asks his Democratic debate opponents if they’d ever started a business, many media outlets are reaffirming their position that they alone reserve the right to produce deceptive and misleading media content.

Washington Post Fact-Checker Glenn Kessler assigned four Pinocchios to the Bloomberg video stating, “Anyone who had not seen the debate could have been easily misled into thinking the other candidates stood there in stunned silence for nearly half a minute.”

Setting aside the near cosmic certainty that a stage full of political candidates could never remain silent for twenty seconds during a debate in progress, debate moderators and MSNBC producers would likewise never allow that much dead air to eat up the broadcast.  Wouldn’t someone in the control room shout through a moderator’s earpiece, “Ask a fucking question!” or wouldn’t they just cut to a commercial?     

But, alas, I’m just one of the naive, propaganda consuming public who doesn’t realize when he’s being misled and misinformed by sophisticated disinfo agents.  For that take, Vox interviewed Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst and disinformation expert who has authored a helpful guide for identifying disinformation called, True Or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News.  Otis tells Vox, “Not being up front about an edited video or other changed content runs a big risk since people spread things quickly without verification.”

How thoughtful of this former employee of the CIA to use her experience and expertise to help Americans bypass the lies and deception and get straight to the facts.  After all, it’s been the CIA’s mission for years to get the truth out to the American public, even if they have to secretly collude with news organizations to do it. The CIA has always been very “up front” about their propaganda and media manipulation.

In addition to illustrating the ways by which Bloomberg’s video deceives the public, HuffPost is super excited about Twitter’s plan to label tweets containing “manipulated media,” or remove tweets if they “are likely to cause harm.”  It seems there were a number of Twitter users who were concerned the debate stage had been overrun by crickets after viewing the Bloomberg video. HuffPost is committed to making sure the American public gets only an objective rendering of the facts, which is why Jesselyn Cook concludes her piece by informing readers, “Bloomberg’s performance in the debate in Las Vegas – his debut at the forums – was widely panned, as he struggled to respond effectively to harsh criticisms of his record on race relations, sexual harassment complaints, economic inequality and other issues.”

Got that?  If you watched the Bloomberg campaign video, you might think that he dunked hard on the rest of the field, but thankfully, HuffPost is concerned enough to let you know what really happened.

If it weren’t for much of the mainstream media portraying Bloomberg as a shrewd media manipulator, much of the American public might just take him for a tool.  His campaign videos and social media are often an embarrassing attempt to seem edgy or hip. He would probably be better off just giving money directly to voters for their support instead of trying to persuade them with media ads.

Following similar media uproar over the Speaker Pelosi speech shredding video, it seems pretty clear that the only deceptive parties in both cases are the mainstream media outlets that have worked overtime to mislead the American public into believing they’re being assaulted with deceptive videos.  In the dozens of pieces that have been written on these videos, none have produced any evidence that large swaths of the public are being misled. In fact, most of the public comments and tweets on these stories seem to dispute the media’s contention. Attempting to give weight to their narrative, the MSM rollout experts instead of relying on evidence.  But you don’t have to be an expert or former CIA to know these videos aren’t intended to be interpreted literally, and you don’t have to be an expert to know that these journalists are handing you a con job. 

Group seeks to make ‘air guitar’ less white and less male

A group of men in Toledo, Ohio is doing their part to make one of their favorite activities a little more inclusive.  The group was inspired to take action after reading stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times about Apollo 11 era NASA’s almost entirely white, male culture.   

“For pretty darn near going on forty years, me and my buddies have been getting together, drinking a few beers, listening to records, and when the mood strikes us, playing a little air guitar,” says Dennis Johnston.  “Well, after reading a few newspaper articles, penned by some very insightful journalists, it began to occur to me that maybe I’d been wielding my air guitar as a tool of oppression.”  

Unable to shake off the wise words of those east coast journalists, Johnston describes an evening  when he tried tuning out of the key of privilege, and into the key of inclusivity.  

“One night I’m just sitting there watching my buddy, Darryl, lose himself in a Free Bird guitar solo.  Now, Darryl’s no slouch on air guitar, and I must have watched him play Free Bird a hundred times, but I got to thinking, I wonder how a female would interpret this solo?  Would she make the same red, sweaty facial expressions? Would she deploy the same clumsy gyrations and body contortions? Would she flick her tongue around in the same disgusting manner as Darryl?  Almost certainly not, I thought. Might she instead soar gracefully to the music, ride the bird’s wings, and paint a different picture with her air guitar?”

After that experience, Johnston set about trying to attract more women and non-whites to join their group of invisible axe wielders.  They set up a Facebook page and held open auditions, but their invitations seemed to attract only more older white dudes.   

“Sadly, it turns out women and people of color aren’t very interested in air guitar,” says Johnston.  “I had thought my implicit bias was discouraging others not like me from participating in our group. However, now I’ve got it on pretty good authority that some folks think air guitar looks kind of ridiculous.  Oh well, we’re still free as a bird, and this bird you cannot change.”