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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Looking for the forest themes amongst some recent media story trees

I don't often take the time to write pieces like this, but I started reflecting this morning and decided now might be a good time to take a bit more of a look at the forest (instead of getting lost among the trees). As a metaphor- consider an aspen stand. Looks like a bunch of different trees, but actually they are all essentially part of a larger single organism- same DNA, same root structure. One big tree despite appearances to the contrary.

Now with this analogy in mind, I'm going to take a quick look at some of the recent news stories and their spin(s) in the MSM vs. the blogosphere. This is all just hypothesis, of course.

What are some of our recent themes? Let's see-

Bad Reporter (no cookie)/ Good Reporter (don't report/spin)

Recycled News

The blogosphere is an inaccurate source of information.

9/11 was the way we say it was (or maybe incompetence, depending on which spin works better)

NSA wiretapping is legal, but it's for national security purposes (not for say finding leakers (which is legal if we do it despite what Fitz might say))

Spying is for your own good, America

Don't look at that, here's something else to distract your attention

recent evidence- Jason Leopold

the MSM spin- silence, denials by interested parties (Robert Luskin), a general discrediting of the blogosphere

A good analysis here

My prediction: we get the official Karl Rove gets indicted mainstream (look for it here first-  then press conference) announcement on Friday, most of Jason Leopold's article turns out to have been substantially true (the times were red herrings), the blogosphere gets a black eye from the MSM. Nice one Karl.

(themes- bad reporter, leaking is legal if we do it, the blogosphere is an inaccurate source of information)

Judith Miller-  old news, not reported on, Administration was incompetent on 9/11. Good reporter. A distraction from involvement in the case bad reporter was reporting on. Now that's news!

(themes- good reporter, 9/11 incompetence, old news, don't look at that)

Pentagon release of security video and MSM spin

(9/11 is the way we say it was, the blogosphere is inaccurate, don't look at that, recycled news)

NSA wiretapping

(old news, wiretapping legal, leakers bad unless we do it, spying is for your own good)

Stephen Colbert (NYTimes considers it newsworthy only several days later and only as an example of what those crazy bloggers are up to)

(themes- don't look at that (silence), those crazy bloggers)

I could go on, things seem to have a way of tying in with each other- (general Hayden, immigration (spying) etc.) but I think you start to see the gist of things here.

now for my hypothesis- all this is more or less a holding manuever until they can get the internet locked down. We are no longer being ignored- we are definitely in the ridicule and fight stages. Whether we can win or not is still open to question.

some of the tactics being used are-


conflation (all bloggers (conspiracy theorists, etc.) are lumped together for dismissal) my conflation rant

straw man arguments- pick an easily demolished (and often set up and/or trivial argument to destroy, destroy it and then imply that you've proven the case that x has no validity)

and of course, spin.

Pick it apart and tell me why I'm wrong, please. That's what scientific methodology is all about. That's what you won't hear from their side of the fence.

(originally posted at Dailykos- please feel free to critique, shoot down (rationally), support, enhance, pass along, etc. It is intended as a seed article, and could easily be expanded upon. I may do that at some point, but feel free to take the initiative for yourself.)



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