Thursday, March 10, 2011

Modern Media Matters

Let’s talk about a couple issues related to the modern media, both of which came to light in the past few days. First, we have the NPR issue and the whining about James O’Keefe. Then we have the issue of fake callers.

1. NPR Stung
James O’Keefe first came to the public consciousness when he pulled a sting on ACORN, exposing them as a criminal organization. His sting was so successful it killed ACORN. What made this all the more shocking, was the number of government organizations who should have been investigating/overseeing ACORN, yet somehow, “knew nussiiiiing” until O’Keefe exposed the truth.

Now he’s done it again. This time he exposed the bias as the top of NPR, with an NPR executive slandering Republicans, acquiescing in anti-Semitic remarks, and saying they don’t need funding -- this despite the fact NPR claims to be unbiased and continues to lobby for funding on the basis that withdrawing funding would destroy NPR.

So far two executives have resigned as a result of this, but that’s hardly enough. There is no way someone with these views or who thinks such conduct is acceptable could make it to the top of a news organization if his conduct was not condoned by the other managers and staff. And since I don’t recall any NPR reporters blowing the whistle, I think it’s a fair read that they too share his beliefs. . . as further evidenced by the bias they inject into their stories. So it sounds to me like it’s time for (1) a purge, (2) outside supervision, and (3) intensive sensitivity training by conservative and Jewish groups.

Of course, the left is complaining that what O’Keefe did was unethical -- they made the same claim when Tucker Carlson exposed the Journolist. But what O’Keefe did is a time-honored journalistic tactic used by 60 Minutes, Primetime Live and dozens more. It doesn’t suddenly become immoral just because it catches liberals.
2. Media Fakery
Leftists are also claiming that a company provides fake callers to shows like Rush and Hannity so they can control what questions they get asked. Really? Why? They get more callers than they can possibly use and their screeners control who gets through, so they already control what questions get asked. Moreover, anyone who argues for a living is more than capable of twisting their callers to get to any point they want. So why bother?

Nevertheless, this raises a good point to keep in mind: you can’t just believe everything you see or hear. Consider the issue of fake comments. Fake comments have become a part of the propaganda/marketing wars. They are everywhere now. When you see a town hall meeting on television, what you are seeing is a highly controlled, almost scripted event that is designed to provide the public with a certain perception of the politician who held the event. This includes selecting who gets in (including race and gender quotas), selecting who gets to ask questions, and often planting questions to help the speaker make the precise points they want to make. When you see a story at Yahoo or other news sites, you often see a couple hundred strangely similar comments appear usually within a short period of time. These are from groups that troll the web looking for articles where they can influence the public by creating the impression that the rest of the public thinks one way or another.

Even when you go to a website, you have no idea if the comments you see are real. Some are intended to make the place seem busier or to stir up controversy or to make the author seem more popular (unlike the first comment below, which is 100% legit!). In the commercial arena, some companies have marketing departments which go to places like Amazon and talk up their own products and talk down their competitors. One college professor was actually fired when he was caught anonymously posting malicious comments about a competitor’s book. Even the Washington Redskins are believed to have hired someone to post comments as andyman, attacking their critics at various newspapers. Some companies/political groups even set up fake blogs dedicated to their products, but which appear to be unrelated and spontaneous.

The point is you can’t believe anything you see in this anonymous yet highly-produced world, so the idea that anyone should be upset if Rush uses a fake caller is ludicrous. This also means, that despite the fact we have become a cynical people, we apparently still need to become even more cynical.


Barack07 said...

Your articles are so erudite they give my life meaning.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, I happened to see Juan Williams on Fox the other night. He clearly still has a grudge against NPR, because he was getting pretty animated and talking about how corrupt they were and everything. Liberal-on-liberal smackdowns are always entertaining. Of course, the media is already trying to spin this by playing the Elmo card.

Also, I would like to clarify that I am not a real commenter, unlike Barack07 here.

Tennessee Jed said...

Your points are exactly correct, Andrew as is the media's response. It is delicious irony to see Vivian Schiller (who was forced out I understand even though it is claimed she "resigned") to see her gone in the wake of her comments regarding Juan Williams. My thought on Ron Schiller: how can a person be so arrogant as to try and say "these don't reflect my true thoughts?" That is laugh out loud funny. Second, the board making all this heartfelt "regret" crap about her leaving only underscores why there is ABSOLUTELY no room for news at any tax payer funded media outlet other than a live feed of proceedings such as C-Span.

As far as O'Keefe goes, again the hypocricy is so loud, it is reminicsent of "the Tell tale heart." Out of habit (I'm old) I continue to receive the Knoxville News Sentinel, mainly for Vols sports coverage. Their section A is mostly AP stories and it was amazing how Wisconsin union story was spun as well as NPR.

I generally watch Brett Baer's show, but last night happened to catch first few minutes of Hannity featuring Ann Coulter. She still is stuck on Christie, but I have to applaud her comments about Wisconsin. Her thrust is Republicans don't seem to ever get how to win the PR war and should be out "every day" holding "pressers" to educate the public about the folly of public sector unions.

Tennessee Jed said...

the media's response was to be "predictable" I didn't mean to statew it was "correct." ;)

Joel Farnham said...

Smooth Andrew, smooth.

I totally agree. James O'Keefe is now considered a hero where conservatives gather and attacked almost as much as Palin by the MSM. I remember when he made a tactical mistake. MSM was right on top of it. Making out like O'Keefe and company were trespassing on public land and destroying public property. He did neither. He was trying to find out if Mary Landrieu's claim of her phone system being down was true. He was caught and charged with tampering her phone. First, how can a person be trespassing on public property? Second, how can it be tampering when nothing was done to her phone? He plead guilty to misdemeanors. I think he should have fought it tooth and nail, but I am not him.

I love the internet. For every scripted Townhall that is shown on television, there are twenty to thirty private recordings on the internet registering something very different. This makes it very hard for the Media to maintain audiences when they are shown to be facilitators of Democrat politicians trying to pull a fast one over on the public.

AndrewPrice said...

Barack07, Now that's the kind of comment I like to hear! Now get back to work and do something about Libya! Or have you thought about a new line of work?

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I've know you are fake for quite some time! LOL! Just a figment of Commentarama's imagination! ;-)

Yeah, I agree, as Shakespeare said, "hell hath no fury like a liberal upset at other liberals." I think he's probably still shocked at being betrayed. He was pretty sure he was a good solid liberal working with other liberals. The rest of the world were racist bigots, but not he or his friends. It came as a great shock to him to find that no divergence of thought would be tolerated or that he could find himself labeled by the very people who "knew" him.

I feel sorry for Juan, but I'm also glad that his eyes were opened.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I saw Schiller's comments and I couldn't believe this -- this isn't what I believe or what NPR believes. Really? So why did you say it? I don't generally walk around saying nasty things I don't believe.

And you're right about the Board's cover-up type response. That just tells us they don't get it. Ask yourself if they would have been as kind if she had been exposed as a white-racist? I don't think there would have been question of issuing a "sure, this was bad, but she's been so great otherwise" type comment.

O'Keefe has really impressed me. He's pulled off some real journalism when the entire rest of our media has refused and he's done it under a serious liberal fatwah!

On Coulter, she really does need to give up on Christie -- maybe she just hasn't looked into his record, I'm not sure. But she is right that the Republicans are bad at the PR war. They should definitely be (1) putting out pressers every day, (2) digging for any useful information they can find to discredit the other side -- like how much they really earn, salary growth, connections to corruption, perks, etc., and (3) nationally, the Republicans should be running a consistent daily campaign (including daily or weekly television advertisements) touting their goals and what they're trying to do to achieve that. They should never rely on the media to do it for them.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I got you. I didn't think you meant correct -- that word and "the media" just don't belong in the same sentence anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Smooth? I know not of what you speak? ;-)

I remember the phone incident. When it first came out, I thought, "oh, no, this guy really over stepped his bounds." But unlike the MSM, I actually do wait for all the facts to come in before I hang anyone. And when the facts started coming in, the real story was the lie/overstatement by the Democrats of what happened. They tried to turn a legal fender-bender into an attempted murder.

I have been very impressed with O'Keefe and I hope he not only keeps doing this a long time, but that he inspires other to follow suit. The left has never had to face being exposed by journalists, and they clearly don't know how to handle it.

What you mention is the great thing about the internet -- it does provide an avenue for manipulation, but it also provides and avenue for truth to get out. The key is for people to recognize when they are being tricked -- like with fake comments or staged incidents.

Fake comment... unlike any comment in this article. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, speaking of fake comments, I should add that people need to be very careful of believing "viral videos."

There was a great instance recently where some guy just happened to have his camera on and pointed at the right direction when a group of stewardesses started dancing as they did the whole buckle-up routine. This went viral and everyone was impressed.

But if you looked closely, it was obviously staged and the guy who put it up was an employee.

This is actually very common with viral videos.

DUQ said...

All good points! You can't trust anything you see on the internet or on the MSM these days! It would be great if we had a thousand O'Keefe's out there exposing everything democratic, wouldn't it!

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That would be great indeed! I don't think the left would know how to handle themselves if suddenly there found their nastiness exposed for all the world to see.

(p.s. Never believe anything you see on the MSM!)

Tam said...

The media cover is totally blown by not only actual journalists like O'Keefe, but citizen journalists who are armed with cameras everywhere they go, like in Wisconsin. However the media chooses to spin (or ignore) the events there, we know the truth because we are documenting it ourselves. The media can't be trusted, and regular people are proving that the media is NOT trusted, so we are doing their job for them.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, That's very true. And that's one of the great things about Americans -- when someone falls down on the job (i.e. the media), other Americans are always ready to step up and fill in the gap.

There was a great video the other day, which came form the Daily Caller, which showed about a dozen instances of Wisconsin protesters saying truly nasty and hateful things to people once they realized they weren't there to support the protesters. You'll never see that in the MSM, but you will see it online, you'll hear it on Rush, you might even see it on Fox.

So while the MSM may continue to play the game of picking and choosing what they want to report, the days they will get away with that are long over as the public has decided... if you want something done, do it yourself.

Unknown said...

By their own [inadvertent] admission, NPR gets only 13% of its funding from the taxpayers. Obviously they don't need us, and they sure as hell don't like us, so it's time to de-fund them and let George Soros pick up the slack. I don't mind socialist propaganda as long as I don't have to pick up the tab.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, We should definitely not be picking up the tab for these people, and I'm glad to hear that Cantor said they would go ahead and defund them.

Let's spin them off and see how they fair once they have to compete.

Joel Farnham said...


NPR was created in 1970. Hasn't it always been liberal?

BevfromNYC said...

What I love is that ordinary citizens have caught on and are now carrying video cameras and aren't afraid to use them.

I think last year when the CBC tried to accuse the TP'ers of calling them racist names, there were hours of simulaneous video footage to tape every step the Congresspersons made to refute the accusations.

I think we will eventually get passed our adolescent need to get "gotcha" videos (and audio). Maybe when we can go up and are able to speak more honestly about the issues. I love what O'Keefe is doing. It's so wonderfully brazen.

What I do find facinating about the whole O'Keefe videos, is that no one actually refutes what he found. They are just trying to discredit him and condemn how he did it. Not one piece of video has been disputed as a falsehood. The same for that woman who set up Planned Parenthood.

BTW - Did anyone hear the audio tape of Ed Schultz admitting quite proudly than when he started his radio show, they set up people to call in as John Q. Public - some of these "random" callers were trained from the intern pools of certain Democrat Congresspersons' whom he refused to name. He said they had to do it because the show was so new and small, no one was calling in.

BevfromNYC said...

to Barack07 - And here I thought it was golf that gives your life meaning, since that's all you seem to do these days...

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I have no doubt it was always liberal. In fact, I used to scream at my television back in the day whenever Nina Totenberg would go on some PBS show pretending to be an unbiased journalist and would spew far left garbage.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I agree. We really have entered a phase where "citizen journalists" are becoming even more important than regular journalists because they can now show everyone what they've caught on camera! This lets them expose everything, not just what the journalist think is important.

I think this will eventually force journalists to step up their game if they want to compete, and it will eventually change our politics as it becomes clear that you can't sit around in Washington doing one thing and then go back home and pretend you did something else.

It also will put an end to the ability of groups like the CBC to falsely scream racism because every time they do that, there is the danger that someone will be there with a camera to record what really happened and expose them as the boy who cried wolf. . . again.

Good reminder about Planned Parenthood -- I'd forgotten about that one!

I hadn't heard the Schulz thing, but it doesn't surprise me he did it. It also doesn't surprise me that some Democrat would be aiding him -- which is unethical in a big way unless he disclosed that. I wonder if MSNBC will do anything about that?

Barack07 said...

Bev, No, that's a total misconception. I'm focused like a lazerbeam on bringing hope and gathering change.

And we are certainly mature enough that we can look past the bad press our dear President has gotten about golfing and see him for the genuius he truly is.... Yes, we can people, yes we can!

Joel Farnham said...

Speaking of modern media matters, where is the media when an e-mail that is specifically threatening the Wisconsin Republicans with death? Why haven't they reported this? Could it be they actually wish their deaths?

Or are they waiting to get confirmation? Possibly the death of a politician to confirm it?

Seriously, this e-mail exposes sick liberals and their attitudes for the world to see. I wish Governor Scott HAD fired these union bastards.

AndrewPrice said...

Now Joel, you know that threats against Republicans are not to be taken seriously. . . not mention they are usually justified. It's only threats or perceived threats or imagined threats against Democrats that deserve news coverage.

BTW, this isn't the first incident with Walker.

CrispyRice said...

I had a brilliant comment all ready to go... and then I busted up laughing at Barack07 and forgot it all, LOL!

It's a good reminder, Andrew. I often hit a site like TripAdvisor for reviews on restaurants, and I never give it much credence when there's 1 person going "This is the amazing place ever!!!!" Now, when you get 40 people going, "Yeah, this place is good." Then you feel like you're on to something.

So, indeed if a group can control the "independent" comments of the world, the can sway all kinds of things.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, That's definitely something to watch for at all sites -- because you just don't know who the people are who are making the comments.

I've seen people at Amazon, for example, who you know are the manufacturer and are running around attacking anyone who makes a negative comment.

But at some point, it does seem that the volume of comments begins to tell you the real story.

As for Barack07, I'm not sure who that totally real commenter could be, but he clearly has good taste in articles! ;-)

BevfromNYC said...

Well, Barack07 - By your simple slogan, you have convinced me of the error of my ways and I recant and now freely hope and change - YES WE CAN, YES We can..yessss...zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Joel Farnham said...


I know that the e-mail isn't a exactly a credible threat. Real assassins don't e-mail their victims prior to an attempt, unless that person is really nuts. The media still isn't reporting thing one about how the unions in Wisconsin are really acting.

All I see is a re-call effort for the governor underway in Wisconsin. That and also how the Republicans are working against the will of the people.

Usually I dismiss this as typical media BS bias, I feel it is different this time. Especially since a politician was attacked a short time ago. Don't these idiots understand that these professional protesters are unstable?

I have a comforting thought. Should these goons start a riot, the next liberal protest crowd will be thinner. Amateur protesters won't show up because there might be violence. The professionals will be hurt and can't show up.

Also, I am beginning to wonder about those protests during the sixties where a lot of blacks had water cannon directed at them. Could it be it wasn't that way at all? Could it be that they were rioting and water cannon was used to quell it? The media reported what it wanted America to see?

patti said...

o'keefe gives me a happy whenever i see his young whippersnapper face. he *kills* it! of course the ones caught are gonna squawk. and of course we're gonna rejoice and be glad in it!

keep slaying dragons, o'keefe!

~am not paid for this comment, not to say i'm unopen to it~

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I wouldn't say the e-mail isn't a credible threat. Anytime someone expressed a death threat, that's serious because you never know how serious the person is.

The point is that when it comes to liberals, even a "I don't agree with you" gets played up in the media like a death threat and then gets blamed on the ideology at large, but when it's against Republicans, it's either ignored or it becomes some long weirdo.

In terms of how Wisconsin will turn out, there's one thing Americans will not tolerate and that's lawlessness. So the nastier they get, the more they will lose whatever portion of the public they still have.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, "not to say I'm unopen to it" LOL!

I agree about O'Keefe he's really doing a great thing by exposing these liberal groups for what they are and what they truly believe. Let's hope he keeps it up!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm detecting sarcasm in your conversion! Are you really saying that the "yes we can slogan" isn't enough to prove to you that you want Obama's agenda? I'm shocked! Shocked!

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, let's review -

Today, French President Sarkozy is now the leader of the free world. He is leading the charge at the UN about Libya et al. Let's take a breath and think about this - The French are now the leaders of the free world. Doesn't that shake you to the core. Obama has now managed to make the French look good.

Not only has Obama lost the respect of the world for US, he actually has managed to lose collective bargaining for the unions in the process - The Wisconsin Legislature just voted and now all they need is the signature of the Governor and collective bargaining in one of the most Unionized states in the US is history (for now). Wisconsin is the opening salvo to other unionized states doing the same.

I applaud Gov. Walker and the Legislature of Wisconsin for not caving to pressure and more importantly, not caving to Michael Moore! Elections do indeed have consequences.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Thanks for the review.

Ug. The idea of the French leading the free world is just stunning. That is not our proudest moment.

Of course, nothing Obama has done has really turned out to be our proudest moment. . . or even a slightly-proud moment. In fact, now that I think of it, all Obama's done is make us look like idiots for electing him.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, makes me very happy -- especially as they're stating to duplicated it in other states. I'm thrilled they kept up in the face of intense pressure and I hope they keep on doing the right thing.

Let's hope this new-found spirit of ignoring the whining from the left and doing the right thing becomes a new Republican trait!

AndrewPrice said...

UPDATE: Oh boy, they just can't stop themselves. O'Keefe released a second video in which another NPR executive (who hasn't been fired yet) tells O'Keefe's people that they could make their donation anonymously to avoid federal disclosure laws.


NPR has already condemned her statements.


Ed said...

If O'Keefe brings down NPR, I'm going to buy the guy a gift! Great points about what we can and can't trust!

BevfromNYC said...

Maybe I heard incorrectly, but apparently that donation was from supposed to be from the "Muslim Brotherhood"...I love the way he baits them with a small strafe and then BOOM!! Drops another video bomb just to make it rub it in...That's Andrew Breitbart's handy work...

BevfromNYC said...

Ed, personally, I don't want him to 'bring down' NPR, but to expose their hypocrisy. Which btw he is doing beautifully. THey have no business being so self-righteous about how "fair" they are.

Ed said...

Bev, I misspoke (or mistyped). That's what I meant, I hope that they clean out the nest and straighten them out.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, at least Wisconsin is driving the liberals nuts! BH had a couple of trolls on last night going after all of us once the crap hit the fan, and they were mainly accusing us of being--wait for it--COMMUNISTS. How they made this brilliant deduction, I have no idea, but it was great to watch the libs have a full-fledged meltdown.

BevfromNYC said...

Why Andrew! I never, ever engage in sarcastic comments when it comes to our dear leader! He has "touched" me with his simple message of hope and changezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I hope he discomforts entrenched liberalism everywhere!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's what I heard too, that he said it was the Muslim Brotherhood that wanted to donate. If that's true, then we could be talking about a major felony if she was counseling a listed-terrorist organization on how to donate without getting caught!

The last I heard, they had suspended the women -- their "Director of Giving."

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I always knew there was something wrong with you people. LOL! Now we know, you're all communists.... because you are opposed to collective bargaining. Yep, makes perfect sense.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, My mistake. I can see that you were genuinely brainwashed. . . er, touched by his brilliant oratory! LOL!

T_Rav said...

Andrew, I know. It's one thing to be fake, but a communist fake as well? If I were a real commenter, I'd be questioning a lot of my life choices right now. Bet Barack07 is doing the same.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I would too.... if I was real! ;-)

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