How Media Frame Things in Your Head With Careful Use of Words

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Words are a major building block of life. They are what we use to describe things. A major part of the way we communicate. How we learn.

But the problem with words is that they can be lies as well. And cause misunderstandings, especially in English, which is a language more prone to misunderstandings than many. More prone than say the French language, which consists of far more words and also, makes more accurate use of words and grammar in order to minimise misunderstandings. It is not for nothing that French, not English, was the traditional language of diplomacy as French allowed for more precise meanings to be conveyed between gentlemen – essential if you are attempting to avert a war through the conducting of ongoing discussions. This isn’t done much anymore sadly. In any language.

But more than creating unintended meanings, giant media corporations today deliberately use words to build false pictures of reality in your mind.

A very simple example is the use of the word “former” in the following recent headline,

https://news.yahoo.com/former-us-diplomat-mexico-found-215655326.html

“Former US diplomat to Mexico sexually abused and photographed unconscious women for years.”

Simply by adding the word “Former” to all associations with this story, in fact making “former” the very first word, the severity of these acts is ever so slightly diminished.

By US diplomat Mr Bryan Raymond being a “former” diplomat, some readers might think that he has already been punished somehow, that he got found out and sacked. Which is already a punishment of sorts right? And he’s probably sorry for his actions.

Starting the headline with the word “former” might make other people misunderstand the situation and think that Mr Raymond committed these sexual acts as a “former diplomat.” Which is still bad, but it is not quite as bad as committing these crimes whilst still serving as the American people’s official representative to another nation is it?

Once again, quite deliberately I believe, the media use very simple techniques – sometimes just the inclusion of a single word – to downplay the seriousness of an article. Of course, in the case of some other nations or groups – say a nation that Washington or London doesn’t like very much as they might have different views – then the opposite in wordplay occurs. Harsh, exaggerated and misleading words are added left, right and center.

Studies show that between 60-80% of people only ever read the headline before forming an opinion on a story and its subject. Most people never read the article but simply rely on a headline to form an impression. Impressions add up.

The inclusion of just one word in the headline of this drug rape case committed by a then serving American diplomat to Mexico, over a 14 year period, will slightly diminish the global severity of the story, when it is read by many millions of people. Additionally, all of the other thousands of stories about American activities will have had the same treatment. None of these stories or headlines are huge in themselves, but when thousands are combined day after day, over the period of someone’s adult lifetime they can have a dramatic effect. It is called Brainwashing. Propaganda. Just as CNN Director Charlie Chester admitted and as reported on in other posts at The Font.

We laugh at North Korea with their huge portraits of the Dear Leader all around the country. We laugh at their media which constantly feature over the top stories of the leaders’ stupendous achievements. What stupid people they must be to believe all this, we think to ourselves. And how sad it is they don’t realize they are being brainwashed.

The German people were just the same in the 1930s. And in 2020, there were 74 million American people who believed Donald Trump was a good role model as President. Another 81 million thought Joe Biden was.

Western propaganda is just as effective as that in North Korea. It’s just that our propaganda is much more subtle, much more invasive, much more clever. It is pretty much invisible. That makes it even more dangerous. If North Korea uses a sledgehammer to brainwash its people, western governments use a fine surgical laser. But the results are the same.

It is impossible to miss someone wielding a sledgehammer. But a fine medical laser can be used very cleanly and painlessly – wihout even leaving a scar.

Other notible examples of how serious events can be downgraded in the public’s consciousness, or your attention refocussed onto something, or someone else occur when the media and governments simply ignore the prime subject of the event. By ignoring who or what was at fault, the public gets false impressions of things over time, even if just sub-consciously.

The “Monica Lewinsky Scandal” is an example of this. We all know straight away what I’m reffering to right? But why is it mostly called or remembered as the “Monica Lewinsky” scandal, sometimes the “Clinton-Lewinsky” scandal? Why isn’t the correct name of the scandal the “President Clinton Scandal”?

https://abcnews.go.com/US/photos/remembering-monica-lewinsky-scandal-pictures-23612435/image-23613828

“Remembering the Monica Lewinsky Scandal in Pictures”

or,

https://www.history.com/topics/1990s/monica-lewinsky

UPDATED: JUN 10, 2019 ORIGINAL: DEC 20, 2017

“Monica Lewinsky Scandal”

Of course, calling it the “President Clinton scandal” might be hard to pin down in the public mind to a specfic event. But calling it the “Clinton Whitehouse Sex Scandal” should suffice, especially if Ms Lewinsky’s name is added further into the article. But then, remember only a minority of people read past the headline. So that is no good. The Lewinsky scandal it will remain to many people.

Another example of how media push negative impressions onto innocent parties is the well known “Iran Contra” scandal during the Reagan administration.

Actually, Iran had very little to do with it. The major crimes being committed were by Reagan administration officials in Washington. Iran didn’t do anything wrong. There was no role for them in the American scandal.

Senior Reagan administration officials were violating American law by illegally selling weapons to Iran. That is not Iran’s problem. Furthermore, senior Whitehouse officials broke more American laws, by then giving the proceeds of the already illegal arms sales to rebels in Nicaragua. American laws prevented any American citizen from funding these people in Nicaragua.

Again, this is nothing to do with Iran or Nicaragua. Iran was simply a customer dealing with the world’s largest weapons seller, the United States. They don’t care about domestic American law.

But history has recorded this series of law breaking activities by the American government as the “Iran-Contra” scandal. No historical mention is made of “Reagan” or “American” or “North” or “Poindexter” or anything or anyone connected to Washington – where it was all actually planned and carried out, or to any of the 13 Americans who were criminally charged for breaking the law.

This New York Times headline, America’s most famous and respected newspaper, is typical – “Iran-Contra”, “Secret”, “Policy”, “Unraveled.”

None of these words sound particularly sinister do they? In fact, they seem to indicate that it was Iran was up to no good, not President Reagan’s officials. A series of major crimes were planned and executed at the highest levels of the American government, and the New York Times simply refers to that as a “policy”. Like education is a policy.

And when this series of high level crimes were discovered and the perpetraitors criminally charged, we’re told the “policy” simply “unraveled” like it was a ball of soft fluffy wool.

Out of the 13 government officials charged with criminal offences, including those senior staff answering directly to the President, only Thomas Clines, a low level CIA field officer, ever served time in prison, at 16 months. Clines’s crime was for tax fraud. The remaining 12 government officials were all either pardoned by President George H W Bush, had their convictions overturned or received probation.

We read and hear this type of gentle, almost invisible manipulation every single day. That is why it is so important to mostly disconnect yourself from the global mainstream media. As CNN Director Charlie Chester said on secret tape, the only real unbiased information today comes from private citizen journalists and media outlets. The mainstream media, Chester said, was just propaganda.

Mainstream media outlets are just brightly coloured circus style distractions. There is nothing real inside them. They are integral to the process of public manipulation and should be avoided, apart from maybe the weather report – probably the most reliable aspect of the mainstream media. Which gives you some idea…

You will never understand how the world works by engaging with it.

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"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." Goethe

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