Thursday, December 04, 2008

How the Media Divides Us

On the topic of "Media Shaping Public Opinion", here's a textbook example that should be used by political science and psychology classes for decades to come.

In the interview Finance Minister Jim Flaherty seems reasoned and logical to me. But to someone who has a predisposition against the Conservatives and/or doesn't inform themselves beyond the headlines about the global economic situation, it's easy to imagine how, after watching this interview, they would be angry with Flaherty.

Throughout, Craig Oliver is clearly trying to shape the interview from a very specific agenda. He has no intention of obtaining information from Flaherty. Instead, he's just trying to embarrass him. His phrasing of the questions comes from the perspective of, "You moron, you dummy, you backwoods neocon, how on earth can you possibly not be spending billions more dollars now, Now, NOW?!?"

Mr. Oliver, if you and your friends in Le Coalition had your way, specifically how much money should be given to GM, Ford, & Chrysler? What will this do for them? Since the demand for their cars has dropped dramatically, who specifically will they be selling cars to? If the U.S. ends up balking at any bailouts to these same 3 companies, can we count on you to personally retrieve our wasted taxpayer dollars back?

But sadly, most people don't these questions of the media. The original narrative of the journalist is allowed to continue, without ever questioning it. In this way, public opinion splits ... and the media take absolutely no responsibility.

By the way, at around 6:10 in the interview, Craig Oliver wins the Economic Ignoramus of the Year award by saying, "Reducing taxes doesn't put money into people's pockets."

And yet he is considered to be one of the leading lights in the Canadian media. Sigh.

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