DOES MEDIA ENGAGE IN MIND MANIPULATION

 

“Limbaugh Marries For Fourth Time.”
 
Such was the heading in a recent USA Today sidebar article.
 
So, what’s wrong with this?
In three sentences, the piece describes Rush Limbaugh’s wedding to Ms. Kathryn Rogers in West Palm Beach. Harmless copy, indeed.

A couple years back, I wrote about a newspaper headline in Cincinnati which read:

“White Cop Shoots Black Suspect.” It wasn’t until you got into the meat of the story that the reader discovered the officer(s) were shooting back at a suspect who was shooting at them, thus it was a self defense, justifiable act.

I wondered to myself: If the racial equation was any different, would the headline have read “Black Cop Shoots White Suspect?” … Or… “Black Cop Shoots Black Suspect?”

Well, we all know the answer to that. Fact is, the headline immediately incites anti-police sentiment among minorities that are generally inclined to dislike cops to begin with. It is a subtle way of suggesting an act of “racism” had been committed by law enforcement, unless the reader chooses to read the entire story…which does not always happen.

Deliberate or not, news channels and newspapers have enormous power over citizens by installing subliminal messages. By doing so, folks do not even realize their thought patterns are being manipulated.

The 2008 presidential campaign serves as a gross example of media-mind manipulation. An editorial written by Obama was gladly published in the left-leaning New York Times, while another editorial by right-leaning John McCain was submitted to the same paper, but never published.

The gushing news anchors from all three major networks traveled with Obama during his European visits, covering his every charismatic speech and behind the scenes repartee, while none traveled with John McCain to feature his strengths.

And the people never noticed. Regardless of Obama’s two autobiographies, an enormous number of questions still lingered about Obama’s secretive history, including the conspicuous absence of college records, his ties to extremists and close associations with sordid anti-Americans, all of which begged questions about his loyalty as an American leader. These issues are still unresolved, in the minds of millions.

So, what does this have to do with “Limbaugh Marries For The Fourth Time?”

The headline could have read, “Rush Limbaugh Marries Woman From West Palm Beach.” However, the reader will now zero in on “For The Fourth Time,” as though that is the issue that defined the event. Some, not all, readers will read no further and judge Rush Limbaugh accordingly; a man who has failed in three past marriages. So…what’s one more? A history of bad decisions. So much for the credibility of Rush Limbaugh.

Frankly, I’m not a big fan of Limbaugh though I agree with many of his political points of view. I rarely listen, because I find him pompous and predictable.

But we should all be aware of how our mental images are being molded by a few words in the title of a story, that really isn’t the story at all.

 

 

 

 

 

27 Responses to DOES MEDIA ENGAGE IN MIND MANIPULATION

  1. Jack Higgins June 7, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    The real issue is whether or not the media caters to what they think the pubic wants.I would bet many of your resondents listen mainly to FOX and will claim it is unbiased.
    There is very lttle, if any neutral media. left in this country

    I wonder why print media is disappearing and audio visual is purile.One problem is that the media have reduced their reorters to the point where much of the’news’ is irelevant,

  2. Frank June 7, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    That’s why I don’t read the newspaper anymore. I get the e-editions on the computer and pick and choose the stories I want to read. Saves me time, money and aggravation. The newspaper business is on the way out, and I for one will not miss it.

  3. Ray T June 7, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Newspapers rarely get it right..of course it is usually on purpose so they can print the news they want you to read…how about “Black suspect shoots at white cop and suspect gets shot” clear and true !!

  4. Sue June 7, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Heavens to Mergatroid and Jumping Jehoshaphat, sensational headlines have been around since Gutenberg.

    I’d rather hear 40 drunken-dorks drag their fingernails across a chalkboard than listen to Rush and I certainly have no interest in how many women married him for his fat wallet. A sex-pot he is not.

    I wish the Repbulicans would spend more time trying to find a leader or leaders, than finger pointing and folling Beck and Limberger. I would enjoy having a good choice, since I will vote either party.If I could vote for Nixon,(yeah, I really did), I could be tricked into voting GOP, again.

    Come on Radical Right, put your thinking caps on and give the country someone to vote for. Run a good strong campaign and not one of defense and blaming others, and taking us from bad to worse.

    ss

  5. Terry June 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    The newspapers are increasingly inserting opinion in news stories. Opinion belongs on the opinion pages. Period.

    And don’t get me started on TV news and some of the garbage that passes for news on some so-called news websites. Total fabrications.

    I’ll miss the newspapers because some of them still have some semblance of standards.

  6. Jerry Reichardt June 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Sue & Terry have left me with very little left to say. I don’t believe that Obama could take and pass the IL bar exams with no college records. Isn’t suggesting that he did a form of mind manipulation? But, sometimes I do wonder how Bush managed to graduate from an Ivy League school.

  7. Harold Swift June 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Marshall;

    I discovered a sudden twist in the media during and after the Kennedy administration. Johnson took this country to task to create the GRATE SOCIETY. He sure as hell did. I attribute 90 percent of our current social failure to those LBJ years and tampering with our welfare system and overall outlook for our future in that exchange of wealth.

    The Johnson/Goldwater election night turned my head and heart upside down. I watch ABC, NBC, CBS coverage and all night I saw the worst reporting (early in the evening as the rest of the country was voting) and came away with a sick feeling in my stomach. I had always held Walter Cronkite in very high esteem until that night. I never watched or listened to him again. His presentation of the election was the worst of the bunch and I lost a good president to be and what I thought was an old friend of freedom in the media, that very night. It was obvious the war years were over and he had a new agenda. TV was the medium that seemed to give them the idea they could and did create our mental destiny. (NOT ALL OF US.)

    This Government has been in free fall ever since, except for two brief moments when Reagan took the helm and then, when we had the Contract With America. Newt was great in the house until he let them beat him to death and the republicans sat on their duffs and watched the whole fiasco, having said nothing. Newt left the scene. I wish he had stuck it out and fought them. He didn’t show much intestinal fortitude then and he never has done so since. He has faded into and out of several presidential elections and shied away from all other serious endeavors. He is a great talker. Period. He could have been one of our saviors. He wasn’t. He should go back to point the way in some prestigious university and leave politics to those with a more powerful desire to succeed. He may save a few young soles there.

    The Media is dead. It has been converted and it is over. Why else would we be asked to bail out the National Press???? They served us poorly. It is time they left the scene like Newt.

    Swifty

  8. Ron P June 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    Personally, I believe everything I read and see in the newspaper and on TV news. I actually like the newpaper for its photographic content.

    Okay, now if you belive that then you are one of the ones that is helping fuel the media, no matter what form it is.

    Sorry Marshall, just had to add a little sense of humor and sarcasm.

  9. Renay June 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    What gets me is when the “news” is being advertised! Like “Watch chanel xyz tonite
    for the breaking news on “whatever”

  10. Mike R. Cole June 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Marshall,

    Very accurate description of how the media attempts to influence people’s opinion on various issues.

  11. JKR June 7, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Agree with you Marshall.

    I noted that Sue feels bad about voting for Nixon. I feel the same about having voted for Carter in his first run.

    The following is unrelated, but reflects on what the media considers newsworthy.

    Yesterday, June 6th, The Ledger, a subsidiary of the New York Times, made no mention of D-Day. The only item mentioning the anniversary was “Peanuts” by Schulz, which headed the comics section with a triple-size spread showing photos from the day. It said “JUNE 6, 1944 – TO REMEMBER”.

    With today’s media the invasion likely would have been cancelled during the first few hours on the beach, the war would have been lost,and we would be unable to have these dialogs freely.

  12. Nick June 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Goebels would have learned a lot from our media, unfortunately. Well, all is politically correct, and that is that.

    Nick

  13. Sue June 8, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    JKR

    I am sorry you voted for Carter, too.

    I did hang the flag for June 6 and didn’t have to be reminded by any of the media.Fox News in more interested in reporting the marriage of Limbaugh and him hiring Elton John for a million bucks I wonder if Elton knows that Rush has been less than nice about Gays?

    For those that need to be reminded about the landing in Normandy, on June 6,1944. Republicans and Democrats died on that beach.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings

    ss

  14. marvin wiley June 8, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Media is the Message; Marshall McCluen’ this is a book and the name of the author, circa”67.

    Marshall, I agree with all that you wrote, including your opinion of what is still “suspect”. You are media as well. Media has impacted our diet and economy more so than politics. It is quoted that the Jefferson/Madison debates were the most vitriol in American history..media said that during those debates. I cannot imagine any campaigns having more vitriolic ferver than those that I have witnessed in my life time, 65 yrs. We as well as media just keep making the same errors. Advertisement, an airline company came out of red because they painted the planes pastel, pastel uniforms for airplane hostesses, etc; Did that make the ride safer or shorter…..that’s what I’m thinking about.

  15. marvin wiley June 8, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    A gaff in former comment: Jefferson/Burr debates.

  16. Jan van Waardenburg June 8, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    There is a big difference between the two points you made.
    It seems that many turn the mariage of Limbaugh into politics.
    But few dared to touch the “cop” subject, which is far more fundamental.
    Please do not stop
    Jan

  17. Ed Reese June 8, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    I think the topic of this article should be “Does the Media TRY to Engage in Mind Manipulation”. The answer is unequivically yes but I don’t think they succede very much any more. Most people are wise to them – why else would the feds be trying to prop them up print media with a taxpayer bailout? The print media can’t make it on it’s own anymore, and this article enumerates one reason why.

  18. Sue June 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    The effectiveness of subliminal messaging has been demonstrated to prime individual responses and stimulate mild emotional activity.[6][8] Applications, however, often base themselves on the persuasiveness of the message. The near-consensus among research psychologists is that subliminal messages do not produce a powerful, enduring effect on behavior;[16] and that laboratory research reveals little effect beyond a subtle, fleeting effect on thinking. For example, priming thirsty people with a subliminal word may, for a brief period of time, make a thirst-quenching beverage advertisement more persuasive.[17] Research upon those claims of lasting effects—such as weight loss, smoking cessation, how music in popular culture may corrupt their listeners, how it may facilitate unconscious wishes in psychotherapy, and how market practitioners may exploit their customers—conclude that there is no effect beyond a placebo.[18] In a 1994 study comparing television commercials with the message either supraliminal or subliminal, individuals produced higher ratings with those that were supraliminal. Unexpectedly, individuals somehow were less likely to remember the subliminal message than if there were no message.[19]

    Copied from:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subliminal_stimuli

  19. Les June 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Remember Joe Friday of Dragnet? “Just the facts, Ma’am.” That’s all I want from ANY news source. Fair and balanced doesn’t cut it. Sympathetic coo-ers looking like they just finished a modeling shoot don’t cut it. I don’t care what they look like. I want facts. Political correctness is killing us and no one seems to be able to identify it. Screaming Hardball entertainers don’t cut it, either. I long for the days of Eddward R. Murrow and Chet and real men.

  20. Jim Harris June 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Marshall …. Good or bad, it is called “selling the news.”

  21. ValCap2 June 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Media mind molding has been a past-time of those given the privilege to report news to us for a very long time.

    When I was a naive age of 18 at the Communications Center at the MDPD, (youngest they ever hired at the time-yes I will take that credit). It was the very early 70′s and I had thoughts of becoming many things, one of the jobs I thought about was to become a journalist.

    The PIO released an important press release regarding the arrest of a wanted multiple-murder suspect and the circumstances surrounding this tremendous arrest.

    I was so excited to have the privilege to send out this vital information on the teletype (yepper, it was a good ‘ol teletype machine then) so the good citizens of Dade County could see what a great job our wonderful police officers were doing cleaning up the streets from the madness of a murder suspect.

    I waited to see the news and the newspaper, just so I could see it in black and white. I finally found the story in the newspaper; perhaps you can imagine my horror as I read a totally twisted account of a perfectly good arrest compounded and riddled with the assigned crime reporter’s inuendo and suspicion of the officers, instead of the dastardly suspect; and to make it ever so worse, no credit to the officers for the suspects horrendous deeds finally coming to a screeching halt becasue they finally found and incarcerated this disgusting criminal.

    It was an “a-hah moment” for me, and sadly, I knew I could never put my fervent efforts toward such a shallow industry, it was at that moment I decided to never trust the news media for my truthful information again. “Read everything-believe nothing” became my motto.

    And so it went and so it goes, I was no longer wide-eyed or naive, my starry eyes for journalistic quality and equality was totally erased, and came to a quick and speedy death along with a realization of an ever-growing media campaign and plague to society’s unsuspecting many, which, has continued to snowball downhill and become a cesspool of lies-exponentially swelling worse than they were so many years ago.
    In addition, as with all events, and situations…follow the money trail and you will see the real agendas flying out all over.

    I am so thankful we have the internet, thankful for writers like you, and thankful for the ability to research and get to truths untold by the so called “mainstream” media.

  22. gladys June 9, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Of all the comments above, “follow the money”, resonates loudest with me. It does not seem as obvious to those voters who continue to support causes and polititians who manage to be on the receiving end of the big bucks (which eventually come out of the pockets of these naive patriots.)

  23. Pat Wilson June 9, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Marshall, you and I both (and everyone who reads newspapers) know that since we were toddlers in diapers, the newspapers print what will sell. It’s not Obama! Clinton, Carter, Reagan, etc., etc. all put up with lies and partial truths. There’s them what leans one way, and them what leans the other. I have relatives who watch Fox all day long– I wouldn’t watch Fox on a bet. My husband and I used to listen to Limbaugh on the radio when we were traveling years ago, because we thought he was a big fat joke! The expression “taken out of context” is a well-known expression, and do you think that you and I can stop it? I don’t much read any newspaper any more.

  24. Roger Cox June 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    They do and they have succeeded to a large degree. I have been a student of this activity since the Democratic Convention in 1968 while still in the Armed Forces.

  25. Red Hunt June 10, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Specifically to the question: DOES MEDIA ENGAGE IN MIND MANIPULATION

    Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle?

  26. Karen Sampson June 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Having minored in communications, I know for a fact that the first premise in anything media related is to convince the viewer, reader, audience of the point(s) you are trying to make. In other words, Mind Manipulation 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302….. Whether it is Madison Avenue selling merchandise, products or reputations, mainstream “media” selling political agendas, propaganda or disinformation, talking heads selling ratings, yellow rags wallowing in innuendo or outright lies or even the latest movie or play, the purpose is to make money convincing someone of something. Many journalists prefer to delude themselves into thinking they are presenting an unbiased story and that it is for the good of whomever but the truth of the matter is EVERYONE is selling an idea or opinion, either their own or one they are being paid to sell. That is the very definition of communication and the whole point. Of course, the news is slanted. Of course, the media is pushing it’s own agenda – political, social, religious, moral or otherwise.

  27. millicent gustafson June 12, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    I liked Carter as president and still think the fact he was an outsider caused him so much grief. I think he is a good man who tried to be a good president. God knows, he was very much better than Bush ever was. The press does manipulate what ever they print. Any thing to brown nose the powers that be. and to sell papers, of course.