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How news manipulates hearts

 
 
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 09:40 am
A recent news story tells of a lunch room cashier who allowed a student to take extra food items for free when he claimed not to have money to pay for them.

The natural empathic response is to sense injustice: "Children need food! Starving people who can't pay is cruel! Firing an employee for defying these evils and giving away free food is more proof of an oppressive system that terrorizes people into submission to capitalist evils!"

But then subsequent news stories fill in gaps that change our perception: It turns out the cashier could have put the items on the student's bill for him to pay later. It also turns out the items were cookies and fries, i.e. extra carbs beyond the allotted menu of nutritious items. Then, the student's mother even chimes in a says that she is not depriving the child of food at home.

So now we can conclude that the child just wanted extra treats and that the lunch room cashier was giving them to him without billing him because . . . ? Does she empathize with the desire for more cookies and fries? Does she feel the food is overpriced? Is she just trying to be popular with the kid(s)?

Whatever the case, it begs the question of how the media manipulates our hearts and minds as readers based on what information is given and left out; and whose responsibility it is to question and critically assess the information as such.

Do we have the right to expect media producers to provide sufficient information to avoid presumptive assessment on the part of readers, both intellectual and emotional?

Or should we accept all journalism, no matter how manipulative, as free speech and expect readers to sort out what to think and believe?

Finally, what about when people such as Trump, who is in the position of president, criticize the media? Is that his free speech and/or duty to rightly warn the public about media abuses? And if the media in turn ridicules him and generates negative public opinion against him for doing his duty to warn and inform the public of their abuse of free speech, is it also within their liberties to crush him with public opinion in order to replace him with someone more friendly to their abusive interests?

These are very hard questions. We seem to have reached a danger zone where freedom and democracy afford sufficient power to their enemies that such enemies might succeed in undermining and/or overthrowing them. If they succeed, what then?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 300 • Replies: 8
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maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 10:34 am
@livinglava,
Are you questioning whether there should be a free and independent media?

Your complaining is correct... but that is how free speech works.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 10:37 am
@livinglava,
Don't watch - NEWS.
All will make sense.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 01:55 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Are you questioning whether there should be a free and independent media?

Your complaining is correct... but that is how free speech works.

So then it's not really a problem that some people in Russia created some fake US political propaganda and spread it around the internet, but it's free speech for the Democrats to fund an investigation about it to smear Trump; and thus it is also ok for Trump to do the same back by investigating the source of the investigation, but then it is ok for the Democrats to respond by questioning/criticizing Trump for investigating the investigation . . .

. . . and that's all how free speech is supposed to work?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 02:31 pm
@livinglava,
I mostly agree with this. The issue is that it is a foreign government with the intent of influencing the US presidential election.

I still think the responsibility for parsing news lies with the American consumer.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 02:46 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I mostly agree with this. The issue is that it is a foreign government with the intent of influencing the US presidential election.

I still think the responsibility for parsing news lies with the American consumer.

Every government has interests in what happens with other governments.

Why isn't it a problem that EU governments attempted to retaliate against tariff threats by targeting products made in areas where key US government officials could be voted out?

Why is it worse for some Russians to make fake political propaganda than for some EU bureaucrats to manipulate markets to politically pressure key government officials?

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 07:03 pm
@livinglava,
You seem to be arguing two unrelated points.

1. That there should not be a free and independent press.

2. That the US should not have laws to prevent foreign governments from interfering in our elections.

Is disagree with you on both of these points.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2019 09:32 pm
@maxdancona,
What if the foreign interference is in the form of free speech?

I certainly agree that foreign governments should not be allowed to hack our voting machines and change election results. Nor should anyone domestic be allowed to do so for that matter.

But laws preventing foreign governments from running attack ads that criticize a candidate? That I'm not so sure about.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2019 05:19 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

You seem to be arguing two unrelated points.

I'm not necessarily arguing either point. I am inviting discussion on the issue(s).

Quote:
1. That there should not be a free and independent press.

If there should, should it also be free from business interests and other social-economic interests/biases besides that of truth-seeking?

Quote:
2. That the US should not have laws to prevent foreign governments from interfering in our elections.

Should it be illegal for US citizens to view/consume information produced/distributed/supported by foreign governments?

If so, how should citizens be policed and punished for viewing/consuming foreign-government media exactly?
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