Sunday, February 27, 2005

Transmission of information

There are a number of “memes” or ideas that are propagated by the right-wing, one common one being this idea that the mainstream media (daily newspapers, most notably the New York Times; network television) is “liberal”.

A syndicated column by John Leo, which was carried by my local paper, has the columnist once more trotting out the tired rhetoric about the medias bias, and of course, it tilts leftward. While I wish that this was true (tilted left, particular towards progressive thought and ideas), the fact remains that the media that Leo is talking about—the mainstream variety—is biased in a direction befitting corporations and big-business. Because most media is owned by large corporations whose primary objective is maximization of profit—furthering their own bottom line by whatever means necessary—the needs of common, everyday, working-class Americans goes wanting in the press and other media coverage.

Columnists like Leo are transmitters—spokespeople whose job is to send or transmit information for consumption by the masses to determine how much traction these ideas garner. Over the past decade, those on the right—Leo, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity and others—have been disseminating ideas like this one—“the media is liberal”—and these “memes” have gained traction to where unsophisticated people repeat that mantra without giving it any thought, whatsoever. It’s an accepted fact, even though a casual analysis of much of what is accepted as “liberal” media, rarely, if ever, promotes ideas that are left of center, or progressive in ideology.

When these ideas become entrenched and internalized by the masses, it becomes difficult to refute the lies and misinformation. As often happens, those most likely to succumb to this subtle form of propaganda, are those most often hurt by this very propaganda. This is what makes it so insidious and effective.

4 comments:

weasel said...

Thanks for teaching me what the word for this is! I've been noodling around this subject for a while (as has my friend Listmaker- I'll find you the link to his musings on this) and you as always have done a great job in helping clarify some of the ether in my head around this. Enjoyed your tourney coverage on t'other site too, btw.

ChefDunn said...

Yeah, Jim is really good at using words that leave the rest of us scratching our heads. Thats what I get for watching too much tv and spending too much time playing video games.

Jim said...

Sometimes I think I should watch more TV and became a video game junkie, for as much good as contemplation and writing does me.

ChefDunn said...

Ha, well if you ever want to get started I'd be happy to hook you up with a few video games that I think you would find appealing. There are a few "God" (insert joke here) games that I think would be right up your alley.

You should give Desperate Housewives a shot too. The advertising for the show indicates that there is more sex going on than there really is. My wife and I watch it religiously.