Extirpating Biased Journalism

Since apparently I have some undefined plague wreaking havoc on Peoria, figured I’d take a little bit of time to get a post out there for December. This happens to be one of those cases where the prep time for the post significantly exceeds the actual post effort. The post really originated back in August do to becoming completely disgusted with the level of journalism these days. Well, to be honest, this might not be so much new as just me becoming over sensitive to it and with the election in full swing I was probably a little more tuned in to it. One of my hard fast rules is I NEVER read a story with emotionally charged words in the title. You know, those charged words that are intentionally placed either to excite their audience to reading their drivel or meant to demean whatever the subject happens to be.

Now take for example this article on 10/4/12:

specifically Mitt spoke forthrightly.  Now this isn’t the headline cap, but if they had used “Mitt Spoke Forthrightly During the Debate”, what kind of emotion would have that generated with you?  Is it enough to get you to click on the link to find out the details, does it reveal what position the author is taking on the subject?  Maybe it feels a little snooty.  To be honest I have no problem with it and since my intent was to learn about the debate anyway I’m likely going to hit the link anyway and, more importantly, I’ll be able to form  my own opinion of how it went.

Okay, now from 10/25/12

One dingy dingy, two dingy dingy, three dingy dingy.  If anything, this is a de-emotion word.   To Ding – To Dent (something).  Traditionally implying something small, trivial if you will.  By interpretation,  whatever the Register did to Obama was discarded as meaningless.  Guessing this had something to do with them having the audacity to cast Obama in bad light so the use of that headline by the media is expected.

Time to step it up a bit. Next up is 9/21/12:

To Hammer – Hit or beat (something) with a hammer or similar object. Now I find it extremely difficult to believe that a group of Senators was chasing down Obama and beating him with a hammer (or similar object).  Now again, since I would never read an article with such a charged headline I can only speculate but the little caption below it indicates they …wait for it … gave speeches.  More truthful would be The GOP Hurled Words at Obama.

The bloodshed continues after the jump

Again on 9/28/12:

I have visions of countless numbers of Americans literally beating newspapers with their mobile phones.  Granted stock prices in mobile phone companies may shoot up due to replacement fees, but in essence a better analysis would be “Society Digresses back to Stone Age” .. more news at three puffs past the next smoke signal”

Note, there are sometimes when the media traps me by an unbiased headline only to start inserting their opinions in the actual article as in the clip from 10/04/12

I predict network ratings would have been through the roof if they gave each of them a hammer when they got on stage.  It might have even held my attention long enough to actually sit in front of the TV and watch rather than using it as background noise while I worked on Project Auuuuunooold.

… and again on 10/24/12

Twice being hammered by Obama – he must be a bloody pulp by now!  Alas, nothing in the few lines of the header gave away details of the crime, but I’m sure there would have been a gruesome description if I had actually gone to the link.

Thump, thump, thump, the banging continues the next day but this time in the midst of being “counseled” by a former president who can no longer practice law because he “lied under oath to the Supreme Court”.  Now I’m no legal expert by any means, but if you can’t tell the truth in front of our highest courts then maybe you shouldn’t be counseling anyone beyond what type of cigar is preferred by 9 out of 10 interns .. but I digress for now you can apparently be beaten for saying something that is too aligned with your own party’s convictions.

Kind of like saying Obama was too liberal when asking for other people to pay for his socialist agenda

Wait, I take back all the bad things I said about being hammered… apparently there is something even worse per this 10/5/12 headline

Good lord, a defenseless man was mauled – that’s right mauled by critics.  To Maul – (of an animal) Wound (a person or animal) by scratching and tearing.  My mind immediately wanders to a victim in the middle of a mob of critics ripping handfuls of flesh and tossing it in the air.  On closer examination I might want to lay off the Zombie movies for awhile.  By the way, the noun option doesn’t feel much better – A Maul – A tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for tasks such as ramming, crushing, and driving wedges.  Zombies with weapons.. we are all doomed except for people around Romney – they are merely in jeopardy of being “offensed” per the 10/4/12 article. Like a little bunny

I am not sure about the next example here.  In the grand scheme of things it is better to be hammered, mauled or …

That’s right… “ripped” per the headline above on 9/4/12 the one below on 10/29/12.

To Rip – Tear or pull (something) quickly or forcibly away from something or someone.  Now if that is say a shirt or maybe a pants pocket then sign me up.  Now if that Zombie is beating me over the head with my own arms then I’m going to opt for the hammer or maybe even the mauling if it is just a rogue band of evil bunnies.  On second thought, maybe Oliver Stone and the FLA GOP just farted on their opponents.  Now that would have been worth reading about, but alas convictions are convictions.

Leave it to the Media to find an even more emotionally charged word to replace “made fun of” on 9/24/12

Call me crazy, but doesn’t this imply direct violence on a woman.  To Skewer – Fasten together or pierce with a pin or skewer.  Thanks Google for using the word to define the word .. well done.  They do define the noun – A long piece of wood or metal used for holding pieces of food, typically meat, together during cooking.  So SNL apparently took a kitchen tool and used it on Ann.  Where’s the outcry from the pro-Women lobby.  Not only do they imply violence to one of their own, but have the nerve to do it with something related to the kitchen – clearly a typecasting choice.

They were even so bold as to do it again on 10/15/12!

Now we come to the true catalyst for this post – the fodder if you will that drove me bat shit crazy enough to take the time to collect the data.  There is one word that immediately makes my blood boil in a headlines out of actual context.  This was the original word on my self imposed do not read list thanks to countless journalists using it as a crutch for lack of creativity.  Maybe it is just pure laziness of not wanting to open up that ominous looking book of Synonyms.  If not those two excuses, then all that is left is purposefully intent to insert bias.

For reference check out this headline on 8/22/12

Any word stand out in that clip more than the others from an emotional perspective?  If you said “dies”, I’ll accept that answer, but based on all the other horrendous things happening to the subjects above I’d think you would be desensitized to that word by now.  No, I’m talking about Slams – Shut (a door, window, or lid) forcefully and loudly per Google, but Merriam has a better one – to propel, thrust, or produce by or as if by striking hard <slam on the brakes> <slammed the car into a wall>.  In the case above, an officer propelled a woman into a car.  That is likely an accurate description of the event and the individual carrying out this crime was rightly taken to jail.  This use I accept and perfectly fine with.

Or in this case on 8/28/12:

It is clearly understandable that the wind took the rain and propelled it against everything in its path.  An object was moved at a high rate to another object.  Survey says… journalist should get an ‘A’

but the use on 8/24/12 gets  under my skin

Are they implying she took a bag of money and propelled it against a wall.  Maybe she was driving it and pushed on the bag to make it stop.  Time after time after time we are subjected to similar metaphors to the point it becomes nauseating.  Here Netanyahu took an insult on 8/31/12 and hurled at him and .. I don’t know threw it in his own face… you got me.

Take a week sometime and simply count the number of times journalist use this word in their headlines.  I think you will be shocked at the number.  It doesn’t really matter the topic

It could be Jeb Bush telling Obama to man up and finally take responsibility for something like on 8/31/12

Or one Mormon complaining about another Mormon about who is the bigger liar as in 9/5/12

Throw in a heavy dose of any side of a political debate as on 9/7/12

or whose speech has more holes in it per 9/7/12.  For the record, I always look to Mark Twain in these situations – “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”  Although I change it a bit now – Get your facts first, and then if you are still wrong you can use slam as much as you please”

Sure, they might drop it in a the meat of the article as on 9/13/12

but generally I find that if they prefer to use this juicy word for the headline grabber and then revert to the more accurate “discounted”, “debated”  or “discussed” in the body of the article.

But never, and I mean never forget to use the emotionally charged words when trying to get public opinion on your side as successfully documented 9/27/12.  No grocery store owner in the country is going to sit idly by when their accused of throwing the under privileged against the wall.  Sorry, but for some reason I felt obligated to go watch one of my favorite bits from the History of the World Part 1 (link here).

Romney slams Obama – ooooh big news 9/28/12

Wait, now the Bishops are hurling people against other objects.  When did they become so violent?  10/16/12

Obama slams back

10/16/12

Parents are slamming Obama 10/19/12.  Interesting that they jumped on that word and not the “just bumps in the road” comment… but then again, the media conveniently just ignored that little comment now didn’t they.

More the same on 10/25/12

Wait a minute!  Halleluiah.  Finally on 10/30/12 we have a valid use of the word slams in the media.  Let’s all take a minute to cherish this moment in media history.  Like a walk down a country path on a sunny morning.. ahhhh.

Congrats, we have to valid uses on the same day! 10/30/12

That didn’t last long – now we are simply going to us just the word for our headline – not context needed, clearly this is something I need to read, to absorb into every fiber of my being 11/2/12

Put slam in the headline and you have .01 chance of reading it – add any mention of Geraldo and that immediately goes to absolute zero.  I did her he was heading to Benghazi to investigate a a secret bunker they found which is said to contain not one but two empty cans of soda.  11/2/12

And now for the one day record.  Most of these headlines were taken from the Top News of the Days sites.  On 8/20/12 we had a slam nirvana or better yet a slam extravaganza.  In the top 4 headlines of the day there was not one Slam, but TWO SLAMS.  Can I get an Amen!..or at least a golf clap for a truly defining moment for biased media.

It’s time to step off my soapbox now.  It’s late and my antibiotics are “slamming” my stomach.  This is just something I’ve been observing for some time and as you can clearly tell it isn’t too hard to find evidence of.  In the end this is costing their viewership by at least one since I never click on the links to read the fruits of their labor….and biased media is like an infection.  If you don’t deal with it, it will eventually begin to govern you.

.. OR WORSE YET… it will – Destroy Utterly; Obliterate 10/4/12

and we all know how accurate that was don’t we!

[All rights to images and clips remain with the originating owner(s) and used only as reference material]

2 thoughts on “Extirpating Biased Journalism”

  1. Not to pummel you or anything, but what a bloody rant! A real head-butt in the face, or a full body slam, or a facebreaker knee smash!

    Hey, I can do this all night:

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

    And what about Denny’s and their “Grand Slam” breakfast? With whipped butter and scrambled eggs and fresh-squeezed orange juice with pulp. What a violent society.

    Speaking of overt bias, I read a news article that said the legislature in Michigan passed the Right To Work law with “ruthless efficiency.”

    BTW, regarding choice of words, am I the only one who does a double-take when I read that someone “castigated” someone else?

    Ron

    Like

  2. At least you didn’t salmon drive me! Grand Slam is perfectly acceptable in the baseball context in that you slammed your bat against the ball, although I would contend that any ball hit out of the infield should be considered a grand slam. The fact that it eludes to three extra base runners coming home does not make sense to me beyond the completely unacceptable. For the record, friends do not let friends use the word castigated in any context!

    Now I shall slam this sentence with a period. {SMACK}

    Like

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