New York Times Front-Page Celebrates the Absolute Moral Political Authority of Our Troops in Iraq

Bumped, as it was the most interesting thing I wrote this week month.

The picture, and the headline:

In Unexpected Visit, Obama Wins Cheers of Troops

There are quite a few reasons to knock this as bias. The New York Times never seemed to think it was worthy of prominent announcement that The Demon Bush was warmly received by troops being the most obvious.

Another obvious bit of bias is the claim that Obama "won" the cheers of troops. Did he? In what manner? By what action? It seems more likely that Obama didn't "win" anything from the troops, rather that the troops had, as patriotic Americans and sworn defenders of the Constitution, given the commander in chief the reception they extended to all of their superiors.

There's a last bit of bias here that I always notice in the news, but never mention because it takes a little bit to explain, and I'm not sure how much actual impact it has.

The bias I mean is the bias of perspective. The novelistic technique of making one "character" (in this context) the active character, making decisions that advance the "plot," with whom the audience is "with" and through whose eyes the audience sees the world. And making the rest of the world, whether fictional or real, either objects of the hero's action, or opponents for him to contest against. The press has a strong tendency to frame political stories from the vantage point of the heroes of their stories, who are, almost inevitably, Democrats.

Perspective is a powerful device. Objectively loathsome characters like Humbert Humbert in Lolita become at least partially sympathetic because the reader is forced to identify with them simply by being "with" them as they handle any challenge and make any decision. (Well, forced to, at least, assuming the continue reading the book at all.) Post-modern novels like Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince deconstruct the power of perspective -- Murdoch's book, for example, keeps the audience "with" the presumed hero for almost the entirety of the book, forcing the reader to root for him in his struggles and see his enemies as their own, before revealing, in a series of post-scripts, the perspectives of all the other characters -- which demonstrate the hero is no hero at all but rather the villain, and a pathetic one at that.

Rorshach in The Watchmen immediately becomes the graphic novel's most identified-with character, despite the fact he's a psychotic semi-midget with bad personal hygiene, because we see the mystery and explore the plot largely "with" him. He's our storyteller, through his journal and through his mental narration. Nite Owl -- a good-guy everyman who would be a much more natural and intuitive character for the readership to identify with -- never makes much impact, because we're never "with" him. We know about him, sure, but we don't know the world through his eyes. He's just a guy that our narrator and guide -- Rorshach -- happens to know.

Political stories are almost exclusively written "with" the Democrats, from the point of view of the Democrats. They are the Nouns who perform Active Verbs in the MSM's sentences; they are the heroes whose travails we are invited to sympathize with.

For example, a polling story about Democrats on top will always be headlined like this:

Democrats Reverse Conventional Thinking on Defense; Win Public Approval Over Republicans on National Security

They're the active-verb heroes in that sentence. The Republicans are the objects and the opponents.

And it's not just a case of "who's winning" getting the first-person hero treatment. If the Democrats are down in the polls, the headline will still feature them as the heroes we're with, like this:

Democrats Face National-Security Obstacle in Quest to Win Back Congress

If they're up, the novelistic technique of making them the characters we're "with" invites us to share in their triumphs. If they're down, the same technique is employed to invite us to wonder if they will ever overcome the Perils of Pauline the devious Republican villains have devised for them. Either way, we're "with" them as we read, and that subconsciously -- to an extent I cannot guess, ranging anywhere from beneath trivial to profound -- makes the public "with" them politically.

(I'm making up these headlines, by the way-- but you've seen their variations enough times, I trust.)

And thus the NYT's headline about the troops in Iraq. The headline could have made the troops the active-verb heroes...

Troops Greet Obama with Military Cheer

... but the NYT does not identify with the troops. The troops are not heroes in the NYT's narrative, making their own decisions based on their own psychologies and agendas and drives and wants. No, in the NYT's narrative, the troops are objects of the hero Obama's actions, chips for him to win in a high-stakes game of geopolitical poker. And in their headline, he wins them.

He (subject) wins (active verb) them (object of the verb).

Pretty much every political story is written like this, unless it's specifically and only about Republicans, such as a story about inter-party feuding. (And in that case, the story is written so that the moderate, centrist Republicans are the subjects active-verb fighting against the object-of-the-verb hardcore conservatives.

How much impact this has I don't know -- obviously, as Republicans, we've gotten used to rewriting the stories in our heads as we read so that we don't even notice we're doing so. We intuitively re-write a story so that instead of accepting the invitation to ponder "How will the Democrats get out of this jam?" we instead wonder "How do we force them further into this jam and keep them there?"

But even though we are capable of doing that -- at this point, without even noticing we are -- the natural, intuitive lens the stories present is through the eyes of the Democrats. And I wonder how much impact that has on a swing voters who have no strong affection for either party -- but who might very well be subconsciously pushed to the Democratic side of the aisle by this novelistic technique.

I do have to stress -- it is a potent technique, at least in literature. Few stories give you a "choice" of protagonist. The protagonist is almost always dictated to you by the author -- and if you don't like the protagonist, you can put the book down, but you can hardly choose a secondary character to be your own personal protagonist for the story.

But how much impact does it have in the real world? No idea. Given that, the media ought to be very careful they avoid this sort of point-of-view bias, but of course they won't; the fact that it's a potent shaping device which is nevertheless quite subtle and hard-to-spot makes it a win-win proposition for them.

And, on top of it, of course, they are themselves liberal Democrats, so identifying with other liberal Democrats as heroes is the most natural, intuitive way for them to write. To do otherwise would be, what's the word, extra work for them, and we know they're not about to take on any additional work.

Formally... We learn in third grade that there are three perspectives in writing: first person (subject is "I"), third person subjective (subject is "he" or "she," but we see the world through their eyes), and third person "omniscient" ("he" or "she" again, but we don't see the world through any character's eyes overall; the perspective frequently changes from one character to another).

Jay MacInerny added a fourth -- second perspective ("You"), but that is really just substituting "you" for "I," and I'm guessing he just did it on a bar bet, to prove it could be done.

In reality there is only one perspective. Very few books or movies are "third person omniscient" with no clear "viewpoint character." Such books are either too awful to be published at all -- close identification with a viewpoint character is one of the most basic techniques of making a book work -- or are experimental. Some such books work (I guess Lord of the Rings frequently shifts between the perspectives of several important characters) but they're the exceptions.

By and large all books are written, and all movies made, with a single strong central perspective.

And the distinction between "I" and "he" in books is largely formal. Chandler's Marlowe is written in true first person; Fleming's Bond is technically written in the third person -- Bond does this, Bond thinks that. But it is a trivial matter to change all of the "I's" in Marlowe to "he" and all the "he's" in Bond to "I" and thus make Marlowe third-person and Bond first-person. As a practical, functional matter, it doesn't matter if you're technically writing "I" or "he." If we're always with one character, and privy to that character's thoughts, and follow him through each of his decisions, he's our viewpoint character, and there isn't much distinction between "I" and "he."

Sure, third-person allows brief departures from the viewpoint character to be "with" other characters for a chapter -- Fleming uses this for a chapter or two to put us with his villains, so we have a better idea of what Bond is up against. But then we're back with Bond for the rest of the book.

First person shackles the writer to strictly staying with the hero throughout -- but this is easily enough to escape. Whenever a writer wants to jump out of first-person, he conveniently has the hero discover another character's journal, so that for a chapter we're with another character. (We read it with the main hero, but still, for that chapter we're with the other character.)

Most books are mostly first-person. Some are just formally first-person ("I") while others are constructively first-person ("he," but could just as easily be "I.")

I tried to avoid the first-person/third-person subjective thing in the main post because it's a sideshow. The media doesn't have to formally headline an article We Democrats are Behind in the Polls for the reader to understand that we're with the Democrats. The "we" is strongly implied.

Though it is amusing on occasion when a reporter slips up and asks how we can overcome, say, Obama's growing reputation for gaffes. In that instance, the implied "we" has simply become explicit for a moment.

Tommy V mentions something that I had wanted to mention -- even though critics, say, give props to Nabokov for somehow managing to get us to identify with the narcissistic pedophile Humbert Humbert, in fact it's not that difficult a trick -- perspective itself does most of the work. Assuming that a writer can keep the book interesting enough (which is a trick, obviously) then perspective will naturally force the reader to identify with murderers, rapists, and pedophiles. It's just that potent a device. Clarification: In case anyone thinks I just demeaned Nabokov, I didn't intend to-- I just meant the difficult thing for Nabokov was writing well, which he did. The easy thing was getting people to identify with Humbert Humbert -- easy, because if he's doing the hard thing (writing well), getting the reader to identify with the viewpoint character is easy.

For example, as Tommy writes...

As a professional screenwriter I can tell you that part of the fun of writing a story is trying to figure out how to get the audience rooting for who you want them to root for. Sometimes it's easy, and sometimes you deliberately find a loathsome character to see if you CAN get the audience to root for them. And it's never very hard. It usually requires the audience to actively step back and say, "wait a minute - I don't like this guy."

If they don't ACTIVELY step back to do that, you can pretty much get them to root for anybody.

One of my favorite examples of this is in PSYCHO when Norman is trying to hide the body of Janet Leigh in the swamp and for a moment it looks like the car isn't going to sink...

Here you are, watching a man cover up his mother's mindless murder, and your heart sinks with him for a moment because he MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO COVER IT UP.

That happens all the time. Woody Allen's Match Point had the viewer actively rooting for the murderer to get away with it, and worrying that he wouldn't, when in fact we really should have been worrying that the cops would fail to catch him. But simply by being "with" the murderer -- and not with the cops -- we are forced (or, let us say, strongly encouraged) to adopt his challenges as our own, so we wind up rooting for awful things.

Again, I have no idea how effective this potent device is when it leaves the novel and enters journalism. As it's so effective in novels, I have to assume it retains some of its power when used outside a novel.

Important Update: Avoiding First-Person When You Want To. MamaAJ points out...

As bad as this is here on political matters, what was truly horrific was the "Israelis kill" headlines vs. the "Bombs kill Israelis" headlines. See, the Israelis were actively killing people (110 % of them innocents, BTW), while bombs dropped on them, mysteriously and without any actual people responsible.

Exactly. And avoided for the same reason. In the case of a villainous act one can't get the reader to accept through perspective, change the subject.

Who's the villain when Israelis kill Hezballah or Hamas? Israelis.

Who's the villain when Hamas or Hezballah bombs kill Israelis? Bombs.


Posted by: Ace at 03:41 PM



Comments

1 Remember when President Bush made a surprise visit to the troops on Thanksgiving? I think the headline was something along the lines of "Bush hoists plastic turkey."

The media can't wither fast enough.

Posted by: Slublog at April 08, 2009 09:44 AM (qjKko)

2 OBEY

MARRY AND REPRODUCE


Posted by: eman at April 08, 2009 09:48 AM (RkZLl)

3 2
OBEY



MARRY AND REPRODUCE

*Looks at dollar bill* "THIS IS YOUR GOD"

Posted by: John Nada at April 08, 2009 09:52 AM (5uSdS)

4 Ace:

This is probably my favorite blog post of yours. This is dead on, good writing, and fantastic observation. I have never noticed this before but it's so darn obvious now that you point it out.

As a professional screenwriter I can tell you that part of the fun of writing a story is trying to figure out how to get the audience rooting for who you want them to root for. Sometimes it's easy, and sometimes you deliberately find a loathsome character to see if you CAN get the audience to root for them. And it's never very hard. It usually requires the audience to actively step back and say, "wait a minute - I don't like this guy."

If they don't ACTIVELY step back to do that, you can pretty much get them to root for anybody.

One of my favorite examples of this is in PSYCHO when Norman is trying to hide the body of Janet Leigh in the swamp and for a moment it looks like the car isn't going to sink...

Here you are, watching a man cover up his mother's mindless murder, and your heart sinks with him for a moment because he MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO COVER IT UP.

Thanks for this post. I am going to share it with as many people as I can.

Posted by: Tommy V at April 08, 2009 09:54 AM (/PwQS)

5 I would like to know what the setup was to this "meeting". I'm not a conspiracy theorist but this would have been the first time he has been received like this. Perhaps Axelrod learned from the past and held the meeting at a place where only his only most ardent supporters would travel to, to see him. Because they weren't just cheering, they were like children at a Jonas Brothers Show as they walked through the crowd to get to the stage. (I come from a military family and am not calling them children, just making the analogy.)

Posted by: TendStl at April 08, 2009 09:55 AM (WQ6tO)

6

This is horrendous in the extreme.

As one of the people who used to ‘orchestrate’ events in that very
palace and room, his appearance was FAR from what the AP describes it
as. Rummy got far more from the troops than what you hear on the videos.

I’ve reviewed the videos (go to Mudville Gazette to see the
downloads) and in the pauses where you could tell he was expecting
applause, you could hear a pin drop.

That atrium of the palace was all marble, 3 stories tall, and had a
chandelier the size of a school bus in it. Sounds would bounce off the
walls like crazy. But the cheering you heard was FAR from ‘thunderous’.
With a crowd that size, had they been as enthusiastic as for others
there, you would not have been able to hear any other sounds at all. It
would have been DEAFENING.

Second, look at those in uniform on the dais with him- go check the
makeup of them. 26 in uniform. Not close to representative of the
services.

Third- NO COMBAT types in the mix at all- all are FOBBITS. I had an
intereseting phone call re:Baghdad yesterday, regarding a young trooper
who called in to report about who was being selected to see the
president. The advance team wasn’t very smart about it, lets say.

The videos show the truth- it was far from a resounding welcome. The
band was louder than the crowd, and Ive been there when you could not
HEAR the band..

If they wanted a good pic/vid of him in front of the troops, they
should have shot it from the 3d floor balcony, as TIME did when Rummy
was there. FAR more dramatic. BUT, if they had in this instance, likely
it would have looked really bad- REAL troops wandering away, and
looking quite empty.

Mr Wolf

Posted by: Mr Wolf at April 08, 2009 09:59 AM (RDz7o)

7 It looks staged. There are lefties in the Military. Looks like they found a way to get them all into the same place at the same time.

Posted by: eman at April 08, 2009 10:00 AM (RkZLl)

8 Ace,
I must wholeheartedly agree with Tommy V. This article is such an excellent observation and description of something I must have always been aware of and yet never "realized" in conscience thought.
This article is so much help in advancing the press bias discussion because it goes so much farther than simply counting the # of positive and negative stories or trying to judge "tone". Instead, you have given us an objective analysis tool, a new prism through which I will, from this day forward, view all printed or broadcast news.
I too am sending this to all I know. Thanks for AOS. I read it every day.

Posted by: WhereIsJohnGalt? at April 08, 2009 10:01 AM (O1bXp)

9 I'm not a language maven, but shouldn't that be "During Unexpected Visit" rather than "In Unexpected Visit"? I mean, I expect ace to confuse "inevitably" with "invariably", but the NYT with its layers of fact-checkers and editors?

Anybody?

Anybody?

Bueller?

Good points all, ace. Now go have a blue popsicle and try not to think of Dr. Manhatten.

Posted by: BumperStickerist at April 08, 2009 10:01 AM (ruzrP)

10 It was a set up:
via Macsmind.com/wordpress/

Got this email from a sergeant that was there.

“We were pre-screened, asked by officials “Who voted for
Obama?”, and then those who raised their hands were shuffled to the
front of the receiving line. They even handed out digital cameras and
asked them to hold them up.”

Take a look at the picture at AP and notice all the cameras are the same models? Coincidence? I think not.


Posted by: OH at April 08, 2009 10:03 AM (NA0W6)

11 Those are huge smiles in the front row. My God, they can barely contain themselves. Everyone crushing forward, arms reaching desperately towards His Lordship and Commander-ness, hoping a billion dollars will rub off on them...

Posted by: t-bird at April 08, 2009 10:07 AM (FcR7P)

12 @10= OH: please send me that email to the.mr.wolf at gmail. In combination with my phone call, the evidence is growing re: the orchestration of his event.

Never was that done in that manner during Bush's visit, nor any of the others I worked on. EVER.

Mr Wolf

Posted by: Mr Wolf at April 08, 2009 10:08 AM (RDz7o)

13 #6

The term FOBBIT always makes me laugh, but REMF was a much more manly term to use. kids today, what are ya gonna do.

Posted by: Tokin42 at April 08, 2009 10:09 AM (VK9r3)

14 "and that subconsciously -- to an extent I cannot guess, ranging anywhere from beneath trivial to profound -- makes the public "with" them politically."
My vote. You've opened up something that I've never really thought about conciously, but now that you've put it out there, I've subconciously latched onto for (at least) the past three years, while watching the entirety of the election circus.
I say it is profound, because even though "we" tend to rewrite the stories in our mind, it can be, nonetheless, very very demoralizing. It is exhausting to read, over and over, these stories about how "your party" or "your guy" is constantly getting in the way of plot-progression (the happy ending, being of course, an awesome socialistic American utopia), from self-proclaimed fair and unbiased sources.
Seriously, go back and re-read the scores of CNN's "Fact Check:" featurettes, if they are even still available. I am sure that you will find in these nice little nuggets of, once again, self-proclaimed fairness and unbiased reporting of The Truth, a treasure-trove of instances where perspective-bias draws your mind, subconciously, to the conclusion that the author wants you to reach. Even when John McCain was found to make a truthful statement, it was still given a shady tint. Even when Barack Obama was found to make a misleading statement, it was still given a healthy sheen of mostly-true.
Off topic - CNN's power over the masses to pick-and-choose which statements from the previous night's debate were worthy of "fact checking," and which ones weren't, and the opportunity to selectively pick all of McCain's lies and all of Barry's truths to dig into would probably make wonderful fodder for a doctorate in sociology or poltical science. Beyond that, the ability to pick through everything that was said in a stump speech, and discard all the statements that were found to be true, yet report on the statements found to be in error, in order to subconciously smear your candidate of non-choice, yet still present yourself as fair and unbiased through constant trumpeting of how awesomely bull-free you are, delves into some scary territory.
Excellent post, Ace. Seriously, you will open some eyes with this observation.

Posted by: reason at April 08, 2009 10:11 AM (kZVsz)

15 Fuckin A, Ace. Well done.

Posted by: A Balrog of Morgoth at April 08, 2009 10:11 AM (wgLRl)

16 There is the other side of the story telling, as well. The motives of the hero. We seen and heard how he and his handlers are adept at leveraging crises. There is more to this than just the ability to get things done quickly in the smoke of the crises. There is also the facet where responding to a crisis in the right way, at the right time will silence criticism and evoke praise from his critics and cause some to question their negative perspectives. He and his team performed this maneuver with positive results throughout the election campaign first against his Dem rivals and then to sway influential moderate Repubs into his camp. Its continuing now. Just like in the story above. Did he visit the troops because of any sincere concern for them? Almost assuridly no. He did it to win some of them. Not that he needs them necessarily right now but because they would be nice to have in his camp. But eventually, he may very well need them and others who would otherwise be critical of him. He will need to be able to use them. And his efforts to bring them into his camp through this type of scenography will continue. Its not his response in these situations that is suspect. Its his motives.

Posted by: Kae Gregory at April 08, 2009 10:12 AM (P9zbv)

17 I think all of us have noted the slant in the news from the liberals. Sometimes it is obvious and sometimes it is subtle. Sometimes they slant the news by what they cover and what they ignore. But regardless of how they do it you can almost place a bet on how any one story will be covered just by looking at the main characters in the story.

This is why they are all going broke.

Posted by: Vic at April 08, 2009 10:13 AM (f6os6)

18 What would be the chain of command and origin of staging this?

I'm guessing the WH bitches to the Pentagon that O needs a tongue bath from the troops. The the folks in Iraq get their orders.

Posted by: eman at April 08, 2009 10:15 AM (RkZLl)

19 Framing matters. Language matters. Agatha Christie used the identification device quite neatly in one of her novels. It's written first person and it is ultimately revealed that the narrator is the murderer. He specifically notes that he never lied and it's true, if you go back through with the knowledge that he did it, you can see all the clues laid out. The reader is not likely to have thought though, however, since why on earth would the Bad Guy be the one telling the story?

It does have an impact and that impact can be profound. Hell, the semiotics of white hat/black hat in cowboy films now is an accepted linguistic short cut for good guy/bad guy. We mock For The Children all the time but that presentation would not be used if it didn't have an impact.

Not to poke that enormous sore spot again, but this is why I find the assumption that those on the Right must work within the Left's paradigm to be faulty. No, the paradigm should be broken. The assumptions should be challenged. Until that happens, we're fighting with both hands and a leg tied behind our backs.

Hell, Slu's right, the damn lie about the plastic turkey simply won't die, no matter how many times it's pointed out that it wasn't true. No one hears the corrections, just the initial presentation of the story.

Posted by: alexthechick at April 08, 2009 10:15 AM (SHHaV)

20 BTW, this was the NYT headline and lead for the Bush visit:

Bush, in Iraq, Says Troop Reduction Is Possible

Bush made a surprise eight-hour visit to Iraq on Monday, emphasizing security gains, sectarian reconciliation and the possibility of a troop withdrawal, thus embracing and pre-empting this month’s crucial Congressional hearings on his Iraq strategy.

Posted by: Vic at April 08, 2009 10:16 AM (f6os6)

21 Thanks, Ace. I never knew about this kind of slant. Perspective. I'll start looking for it. Subject, active verb, evil Republican object.

Posted by: klrtz1 at April 08, 2009 10:17 AM (Q5asM)

22 So what you're saying is that we're allminor characters in the Obama narrative? Wonderwho's writing this unfolding story--I'd like a Dickensian name like Edgar Fundlebruns.Right now,it seems more likeHunter Thompson.
I think Hillary! touched upon this during the primaries, when she said Obama was on a voyage of personal discovery, a Mein Kampf if you will, a Triumph of the Will. This is gonna turn out great.
And I have yet to find a non-minority person in the Air Force who's terribly thrilled with teh One (which is why I mentioned yesterday that I'd like toattend the Tax Day Riots in uniform).

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at April 08, 2009 10:19 AM (XoYY8)

23 Somebody had to have snapped a pic from that 3rd floor balconey, right? Where is it?

Posted by: sherlock at April 08, 2009 10:20 AM (G9/8V)

24 Great post, Ace. With so many points on which to comment, I'll leave you with this, as it might be somehow productive:
As Obama is our protagonist in the news, the Coyote is the character we're "with" in the cartoons. He's very smart, he always has a plan, he procures the equipment, and the outcome is always the same. It never matters what Road Runner does, and it doesn't matter if you're identifying with him or cheering him on or hoping he fails: The Coyote never succeeds.
Meanwhile, the Road Runner runs on the road all day. Sure, he sometimes makes minor adjustments to his routine, but in the end he's fine.
(You and I and most Americans, by the way, are the Road Runner.)

Posted by: FireHorse at April 08, 2009 10:20 AM (5KNeJ)

25 How much impact does this have? I say lots. Because I like being led by the nose and having all of my personal biases confirmed by multi-million dollar media entities. It's much easier than actually trying to think for myself, after all.

Am I right?

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 10:20 AM (hYxDh)

26 This post is basically just because I can. In my world, greater redundancy = greater truth.

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 10:22 AM (hYxDh)

27 If the Democrat Party started a news channel called "Democrat News", how would we be able to distinguish it from CBS, NBC, CNN, et al?

Easily. It is the only one that doesn't pretend otherwise.

Posted by: eman at April 08, 2009 10:23 AM (RkZLl)

28 Good find, Vic. And here, we see a reversal of what Kae Gregory was talking about.
When Bush went for his surprise Thanksgiving visit, clearly the evil man had a motive to pre-empt and steal the thunder from the Congressional hearings that would soon follow.
When Barry went for his surprise "I was already in the neighborhood, so I figured I'd stop by..." visit, clearly the wonderous Lightworker had no motive, just a heart filled with kindness and love for those fellow Americans would would, someday soon, be paying all their own medical bills through their own health insurance coverage.

Posted by: reason at April 08, 2009 10:24 AM (F26eZ)

29
I'll believe that the troops support The One when Democrats stop trying to get military absentee ballots tossed out of recounts.

Posted by: Brown Line at April 08, 2009 10:30 AM (4kWlC)

30 Even more biased: right below the pic is an entire article about how tough gays have it in Iraq now. They can be more open, sure, but if they are they get killed! Oh the horror.
Strangely- I never see frontpage NYT exposes on how gays are basically murdered routinely in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait, and elsewhere. Guess we cant blame that on the evil Bush junta.
Oh, and you positively never EVER see anything about Israel- and how gays have the most open community in the entire middle east. Because Israel as a "good guy" doesnt fit Pinchs cunty little fantasy narrative.
Fuck you, times. Fuck you.

Posted by: TMF at April 08, 2009 10:31 AM (waaUg)

31 Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 10:20

I'm a querelous fuckwit.

No son you’re not. You would have to attend constant classes for twenty years to rise to the level of fuckwit. That is if you could ever pull your face out of El Duce’s crotch to attend.

Posted by: Vic at April 08, 2009 10:32 AM (f6os6)

32 As bad as this is here on political matters, what was truly horrific was the "Israelis kill" headlines vs. the "Bombs kill Israelis" headlines. See, the Israelis were actively killing people (110 % of them innocents, BTW), while bombs dropped on them, mysteriously and without any actual people responsible.

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 08, 2009 10:33 AM (X6Zdh)

33 "Tax Day Riots"
NO BAD STOP NO.
There is no reason that these cannot be peaceful demonstrations.

Posted by: reason at April 08, 2009 10:34 AM (F26eZ)

34 Very good post. Spot on. You wondered how powerful this is in real life. I would say very powerful. It has worked on me, especially when I was much less political.
In fact, it might even be affecting us, in how WE frame stories.
For example, in the sidebar, one of the links title is this:
"Democrat Crushes Republican To Hold Emanuel's Old House Seat"
Which follows exactly the same pattern you describe: Democrat (subject) crushes(active verb) Republican(object of the verb).
We could have written it "Repulican loses Seat to Democrat", but we didn't.
I'm not saying that whoever wrote that title screwed us, but I am saying that we all could stand to think about the premeise of your article and perspective before we write our own stuff. I also suspect that when we speak to other people perspective plays a roll.
Good article. Very good.

Posted by: Ed at April 08, 2009 10:35 AM (VplQ7)

35 "Tax Day Riots"
Kidding. How violent can one get with tea bags?

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at April 08, 2009 10:36 AM (XoYY8)

36 Whoever has their cock in erg's mouth, withdraw for a moment. I can't quite make out what he is trying to say.

Posted by: A Balrog of Morgoth at April 08, 2009 10:38 AM (wgLRl)

37 Actually, Mama AJ, after reading the thread yesterday about smuggled Stingers...assuming that any of these ever actually hit an IDF target, odds are it was an absolute fluke...
*hurr!*
But yes, you are correct about the bias in that regard, as well. I was blind to it, as well, until about a year ago, when Jack Hayford pointed it out on one of his radio programs.

Posted by: reason at April 08, 2009 10:39 AM (F26eZ)

38 Erg was more interesting before Ace's spot-on post melted his tiny brain.

Posted by: Waterhouse at April 08, 2009 10:39 AM (/PEZV)

39 I wondered how DL was going to deflect his 'Amerika Bad...' spiel with the 'America loves/respects Islam gig in Turkey, i.e. - the resultant news/blog cycle.

Question answered.

And yes, I noted the camera angle in the photo above. A typical optical trick to make 'small look large'. The report yesterday said there were 1500+ people posted at that base; my [calibrated] eyeball says about 10+% of that number present in the photo...which is below the regularly quoted number of military personnel who vote democrat.

Just my two cents...

Posted by: CPT. Charles at April 08, 2009 10:39 AM (lYKj1)

40 There were a lot of big words in that article. I'm confused.

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 10:40 AM (hYxDh)

41 Truthful headlines we’d like to see:

Obama Opens Mouth And Lies Spew Forth

Democrats raise Taxes Yet Again While Denying It

Obama Nationalizes Banking Industry

Obama Nationalizes Auto Industry And Fires CEO

Obama Proposes To Cut Electricity Production And Raise Rates – Blackouts To Follow

Posted by: Vic at April 08, 2009 10:41 AM (f6os6)

42 I guess it depnds on the size of the bag...
And if your opponent is allergic to any of the herbal contents? I dunno. I got nothin'.

Posted by: reason at April 08, 2009 10:41 AM (F26eZ)

43 This could be what the Times was referring to.....
The rest of the caption in the print edition says:
Military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad applauded President Obama on Tuesday when he said "It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis."
So when Ace says: Another obvious bit of bias is the claim that Obama "won" the cheers of troops. Did he? In what manner? By what action?...they could be referring to his statement that prompted the applause.
It's easy to read the caption quickly and see: In Unexpected Applause, Troops Cheer Obama. The Times knows that there is a strong undercurrent of revulsion in the military for men like Obama and Bill Clinton.

Posted by: CJ at April 08, 2009 10:42 AM (9KqcB)

44


Did he show up with a fake turkey?

Posted by: Rev. Dr. E. Buzz Miller at April 08, 2009 10:45 AM (FPYe+)

45 You know who likes narratives? Me. Just as long as they're narratives with which I agree completely. For instance, I still haven't let go of the 'Bush as failure' meme, even though it's clear Iraq never would have been liberated without his leadership and vision.

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 10:45 AM (hYxDh)

46 And at least one of those guys on the stairs in the far background is taking a photo - would love to see that one!
Also, I think there are between 200 and 300 people in that picture, no more. When I sawGWB in those settings it was thousands and theywere all going nuts like thehandful in the front of this picture.
I wonder if CNN and the other members of The Ministry of Truth are busy clearing out their archived footageof W's visits? Some quick screengrabs and downloads, for the sake of history,may be in order.

Posted by: sherlock at April 08, 2009 10:45 AM (G9/8V)

47 Keep swinging and missing the point, erg. You're batting 1000 so far. That'll get you into the big leagues.

Posted by: Waterhouse at April 08, 2009 10:46 AM (/PEZV)

48 I guess he's really batting 0. But in the "reality-based" community of leftard fuckknuckles, that's 1.000.

Analogies are hard when dealing with deranged lefty fuckwits.

Posted by: Waterhouse at April 08, 2009 10:49 AM (/PEZV)

49 You don't need an advanced writing course for this, everybody does it. Read (or write) an article about your college team in your college paper. The author can't not identify with the home team, and why shouldn't he?

If there's someone smart enough at the Times using your thesis, he doesn't have to indoctrinate the writing troops to get these effects. He just has to let them write what comes naturally and not train them.

Posted by: t-bird at April 08, 2009 10:49 AM (FcR7P)

50 He just has to let them write what comes naturally and not train them.
Thus the inevitable question: what takes 4 years to learn in J-school? Probable answer: the correct Marxists perspective on everything you thought you understood.

Posted by: sherlock at April 08, 2009 10:52 AM (G9/8V)

51 What though the field be lost?All is not lost; th' unconquerable will,And study of revenge, immortal hate,And courage never to submit or yield.

Face it, there is a reason that nobody but nobody reads Paradise Regained. You'd think that would sound like a happy time, huh? But noooo, too boring. You miss me doncha?

I mean, I'm Satan fer cryin' out loud!


Posted by: Satan, Paradise Lost at April 08, 2009 10:55 AM (1jglO)

52 Sometimes, I like to wipe my ass with the NYT after I take a dump. Not because I'm out of toilet paper, but because of the connection it gives me with the writers.

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 10:56 AM (hYxDh)

53 I've known about this for a long time but couldn't have articulated it nearly as well...excellent post, Ace.
I would add that once you finally see what they're doing, you see it everywhere and almost start thinking you're being paranoid...certainly when you point it out to someone you know they blow you off as being paranoid so you feel a bit like you're in isolation.
The best thing about this is that the lefty journalists are seeing us seeing them and it has the equivalent effect of looking a liar right in the eye and saying 'bullshit'.
There needs to be a lot more of this before the next elections happen.

Posted by: CanaDave at April 08, 2009 11:01 AM (nkWf+)

54 Excellent post.

Posted by: Dogstar at April 08, 2009 11:04 AM (cZxbM)

55 Notice how Obama NEVER FUCKING uses the word VICTORY while discussing Iraq? Or when discussing Afgan.?

Posted by: Assman at April 08, 2009 11:04 AM (t5YAE)

56 52
Really, all you have to do is just read things confirming your ready-made world.

Projection.

Posted by: 13times at April 08, 2009 11:05 AM (TVuOc)

57 Did I mention my fear of big words that actually mean something? When I use big words, it's a pretty transparent attempt to disguise my narrow world-view and utter lack of intellectual curiosity.

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 11:06 AM (hYxDh)

58 Poor erg.

Drowning in his own goo.


Posted by: eman at April 08, 2009 11:06 AM (RkZLl)

59 This picture and the entire charade is utter bullshit.

Obama's meeting with "the troops" was pre-planned, staged and choreographed just like every other event he ever had. Don't be misled by this phony, contrived crap.

Posted by: rplat at April 08, 2009 11:06 AM (C8Klv)

60 BHO in his speech in Iraq:

"Under enormous strain and under enormous sacrifice, through controversy and difficulty and politics, you've kept your eyes focused on just doing your job."

Politics!!!??? He has big fucking balls to go there, him and others like him played politics regarding Iraq! Showing a divided US to the Jihadis, giving the other side hope and prolonging the war!

Fuck Obama until his eyes bleed!

Posted by: Assman at April 08, 2009 11:07 AM (t5YAE)

61 Great post, but there is a rare variety you missed: First person omniscient, where the author uses the first person, but knows things he couldn't possibly know. Most famous use is Joseph Conrad's Narcissus (Omitting full title, darn spam filters!) The press does this to, intuiting and inferring "facts" and "motives" they can't possibly know.

Posted by: Travis at April 08, 2009 11:07 AM (lxHg0)

62 This is why I check in with Ace two, three, four times a day. One of your best.

Posted by: ccruse456 at April 08, 2009 11:08 AM (GHJ3w)

63 Great article Ace. Feel like I just put the sun glasses on for the first time.

Posted by: John Nada at April 08, 2009 11:09 AM (WGcw3)

64 I thought I was aware of every form of media bias, but I had really not thought of that before. Like you, I don't know how much of an effect it has, but it is a very perceptive observation. I would love to see it quantified in some selection of newspaper headlines.

Posted by: Scott at April 08, 2009 11:09 AM (/ttc3)

65 erg, I think most of the readers of this site are open to facts that might tend to disconfirm the biases we have. You, unfortunately, aren't bringing any facts.
Read your last comment. It's insult and invective. There are no links, no examples, nothing. Why should I listen to a whining child? You bring nothing to the debate.

Posted by: MarkD at April 08, 2009 11:12 AM (MMy4A)

66 But how much impact does it have in the real world? No idea.
A tidal wave is merely lots of individual water molecules moving in the same direction. It matters.
This is why I still write letters to my local paper (and frequently get published). The people that read it still go out and vote. And while many will not read a 700 word editorial, they will read a 70 word letter where I can get across one idea, even if it's just to piss in the well.
I would encourage others to do the same. It takes no longer than writing a blog comment and it reaches a completely different demographic.

Posted by: TakeFive at April 08, 2009 11:16 AM (/3pxq)

67 Great post, Ace. I always wondered why I'd still get that uneasy feeling after reading basically the same facts from an MSM source versus an biased one.

And, I still don't know why I can't make a hard return (paragraph) on this site.

Anyway,no plastic turkey this time - justa plastic man.

Posted by: bergerbilder at April 08, 2009 11:17 AM (2lks9)

68 Now I'm going to accuse you all of being racists, and the media of being in your pocket, because ignoring all evidence that is contrary to my warped worldview is more convenient and less intellectually taxing than acknowledging what's right in front of my eyes.

These posts are brought to you by Translate-A-Troll, a division of Acecorp.™

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 11:19 AM (hYxDh)

69 "unbiased" source. Still can't make a post without any errors.

Posted by: bergerbilder at April 08, 2009 11:20 AM (2lks9)

70 What Tommy V said. Excellent post.

"How much impact this has I don't know"? I have worked in academia, journalism and the literary world as a writer, and I say that not only does it have a big impact, it has an intended big impact. My editor used to change those nouns and active verbs to reflect the privileged POV (the liberal one). Most of advanced studies in literature and film are dedicated to advancing the liberal POV, to "destroy the patriarchy."

Very few people trust newspapers any more, but in the '70s and '80s they were gods. "All the President's Men" and all that. I unthinkingly felt that they were right, that liberalism was the default position of any good, decent person. There are people today who still believe that, but the number is diminishing. Blogs grew out of the feeling that something was just not right in The Official Narrative.

But the media liberals sowed the seeds of their own destruction. When I got my master's in film and studied narrative and its conventions to destroy the mean old patriarchy, I began to deconstruct liberal sources and saw that it was agenda driven, to say the least.

You have exposed the tricks that every writer uses to write more effectively--or, in the case of the media, to deceive you into believing something you wouldn't if you were told both sides.


Posted by: PJ at April 08, 2009 11:22 AM (oUBw8)

71 objecively loathsome characters such as Humbert Humbert

Sez you.

Posted by: Roman Polanski at April 08, 2009 11:30 AM (HaGdt)

72 Did he show up with a fake turkey?
No. Biden's back in the States.
And let's not forget that only critics are quoted relating to conservatives [e.g. "Critics say Republican/Tory plan will... produce negative results"] but only supporters are quoted relating to liberal issues [e.g. "Democratic/Liberal plan meets with x group's approval"].

Posted by: andycanuck at April 08, 2009 11:34 AM (ws1tw)

73
Here's a fun game. Next time you hear Obama or Biden tanking the troops for liberating Iraq and setting them on a course toward freedom and democracy, picture then saying those same words to President Bush.

It's very strange.

Posted by: Dang at April 08, 2009 11:38 AM (0kuJD)

74 The bottom line is that the MSM is manipulating us into believing something that isn't necessarily true, or isjust a downright lie. While the majority of the reading public may not be fully aware of the literary devices they employ, our bullshit meters are still on, functioning, and frequently pegged over in the red zone.
At least when you read, you have the opportunity to go back and re-read a section of print. When the manipulative style of journalism is done via TV or radio,distortions are notquite as easy to detect, and becomes more effective.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at April 08, 2009 11:42 AM (ZGhSv)

75 When I have business meetings and need to feel empowered (either because I am insecure or meeting very powerful people), I usually wear a suit, perhaps obama needs that to appear before American Heroes.

Posted by: Judith at April 08, 2009 11:43 AM (w6P9N)

76 Not to worry, this time next year the NYT will be gone.

Posted by: GarandFan at April 08, 2009 11:46 AM (x9n+V)

77 #45: "Mission Accomplished!" What a narrative!
Good point. Let's think it through:
OnMay 1, 2003, President Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq -- that is, the mission of conquering a country, removing its dictator, and liberating its people had been completed. The venue for this announcement was the USS Abraham Lincoln, on which was a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." During his announcement, the president said that there was still a lot of work to do in Iraq, and there would still be losses and sacrifices along the way.
What the media reported was -- well, exactly the same thing,but they approched it in a manner that fit their storyline. (The storyline, by the way, is that Bush was stupid and a liar.) So, when the next American died in Iraq, the media showed pictures of the banner with their own interpretation of its meaning. "Bush said Mission Accomplished but the war is still going on! He lied! He's stupid!" And Bush, not savvy to what was going on, went along.
There's more. The enitre "Iraq War," 2003-present, is also a narrative construct. Everything that our country and her allies have done in Iraq over the last six years has been more than a battle but less than a war; it's been a long campaign of several stages. But protesters around the world chanting "Stop the war" would have appreared foolish without a war to stop. So this campaign became a "war" that's still going on today -- a "war" that our story's hero, Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the Republic, will some day bring to an end.
Bush went along with that part, too. Instead of insisting that ridding the world of Saddam Hussein, a key sponsor of transnational terrorism, was an important component of the greater Global War on Terror (or The Long War) Bush surrendered the word. In doing so, he also gave up on the idea of a global was against terrorism, so that it became "the so-called war on terror" and later "Overseas Contingency Operations."
Would you care to compare the term "Global War on Terror" to "Overseas Contingency Operations" and apply what Ace said in his post to these terms?

Posted by: FireHorse at April 08, 2009 11:48 AM (5KNeJ)

78 Dude, where are the spoiler warnings for The Black Prince? What? The hero is the villain? Nooooo...

Posted by: Contributor X at April 08, 2009 11:48 AM (RcGCt)

79 Very insightful, Ace. Thanks.

Posted by: Fred at April 08, 2009 11:53 AM (+BCNM)

80 I cling to my biased media like a blankie whenever some mean right-winger says facts that I HATE! After all, thinking is hard.

Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 12:00 PM (aLGkf)

81 More Examples:

The most powerful special interest group lobby in the country; the NRA

The grassroots people power organization for bettering the planet; The Sierra Club

Posted by: Vic at April 08, 2009 12:04 PM (f6os6)

82 Suggested reading: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, so you can see when the graphs are lies, too.
(link to Amazon)

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 08, 2009 12:15 PM (X6Zdh)

83 Great post. One of the things I most enjoyed about the old 'Columbo' mysteries was that they did this same trick of changing perspective, without being obvious about it. We started each episode "with" the killer, following him as he lays his plans then executes the murder. Columbo enters the scene AFTER this, and while he's the hero, and we start following him throughout the investigation, we never lose our identification with the murderer. Because we know what HE knows, we share his anxiety as Columbo gets closer to the truth. We can tell the full significance of every clue before Columbo can - the whole story is a process of him catching up to us in terms of knowledge and insight.

This "hero story" that the press is inextricably committed to has had a most annoying effect on me over just the past few days. I wanted to hear more about that terrible earthquake in Italy, so in my innocence, I went to the channel that I thought would have the most complete coverage: CNN. I was completely frustrated, though, to find that the only story they wanted to cover was Obama's Wonderful Adventure. The only news was Obama in Turkey! Obama before the Turkish Parliament! North Korea's missile launch - How Will Obama Respond? The Italian earthquake was nowhere on the radar - a crawl at the bottom of the screen, at most. Because Obama wasn't there, it didn't matter.

I remember the endless, agonized coverage of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, 5 years ago. I suspect the only reason the press was interested in THAT story was because it happened to an enemy nation, and they were hoping it would provide some embarrassment to Bush - will his atavistic conservative instincts to prevail, and will he betray some shameful "Serve 'em right!" sentiment in public? Since he didn't, and behaved as a well-bred Christian would, they lost interest.

Posted by: Dr Mabuse at April 08, 2009 12:16 PM (AVYqB)

84 This is a very smart and insightful way of saying the NY Times is dogshit. Which I'm perfectly OK with.
Interesting take on framing the viewpoint to make unsympathetic charachters sympathetic. TV shows do it all the time. Tony Soprano was a vicious, self-centered monster who corrupted almost everything he touched, yet me and millions of others rooted for him every week. Same with Vic Mackay on The Shield; Mackay was a corrupt, violent cop who violated a very sacred public trust-yet he was the most compelling anti-hero I've seen on TV.

Posted by: UGAdawg at April 08, 2009 12:19 PM (IE6OO)

85 Clicking on Politics at NYTimes.com right now:
"Obama Presses Iraqi Leader to Unite Factions"
"Tables Turned in Stevens Case"
"Gay Rights Groups Expand Marriage Push"
Which, with a different perspective, easily could have been
"Iraqi Leader Faces Pressure on Domestic Issues from U.S."
"Stevens Pursues Justice"
"Traditionalists Defend Marriage against Gay Activist Groups"
(What Ace said applied to photos, too.)

Posted by: FireHorse at April 08, 2009 12:25 PM (5KNeJ)

86 you've hit on the "real" bias, thanks for pointing this out
"The bias I mean is the bias of perspective. The novelistic technique of making one "character" (in this context) the active character, making decisions that advance the "plot," with whom the audience is "with" and through whose eyes the audience sees the world. And making the rest of the world, whether fictional or real, either objects of the hero's action, or opponents for him to contest against. The press has a strong tendency to frame political stories from the vantage point of the heroes of their stories, who are, almost inevitably, Democrats."
if we are to ever implementany true conservative reform in our society, this is the bias that must be broken or subverted to our ends

Posted by: shoey at April 08, 2009 12:40 PM (IRh55)

87 I had the misfortune of watching the end of a recent Olberdick show. Can you believe that jackass is still ending every broadcast by pointing out how many days it has been since President Bush said "mission accomplished"?

He's still doing it.

Posted by: Kensington at April 08, 2009 12:41 PM (fThxX)

88 Excellent article. In my mind, I read the entire thing with a robotic voice.

I saw a few seconds of this story on TV, and it looked to me like a much higher than normal percentage of African Americans were present.

On bias, a few months ago NYTimes-owned WQXR FM fired their news readers in a cost cutting measure. They replaced them with hourly feeds from Bloomberg News. The difference was glaring. The old readers were teeth-grindingly obvious in their pro-Democrat/anti-GOP/anti-conservative bias. They were biased in the stories selected, the order of presentation, the words used, the words emphasized by the reader and his tone of voice. The Bloomberg feed, in contrast, is cool, neutral and unbiased, as far as I've noticed.

Posted by: lmg at April 08, 2009 01:00 PM (A/vgC)

89 It was a constant theme of the news broadcasts that Obama was "earning" and "winning" the admiration of the crowds in Europe, but every photo and interview of the attendees showed they arrived not needing to be converted.

Posted by: Chris C. at April 08, 2009 01:04 PM (yoDw9)

90 Gay Activist Groups
GAG--how appropriate.

Posted by: andycanuck at April 08, 2009 01:13 PM (ws1tw)

91 I get where Ace is coming from on this Humbert thing; by the end of "Sound of Music" I was actively rooting for the German soldiers to catch and execute that fricking singing family.

Posted by: Brad at April 08, 2009 01:26 PM (LZs5x)

92 In my mind, I read the entire thing with a robotic voice.
It took me a second to get that. Unfortunately, during that second, I took a sip of coffee...

Posted by: Mama AJ at April 08, 2009 01:45 PM (X6Zdh)

93 Great post on point of view.
This is why I hate mob movies (Godfather, Sopranos, etc.) I can never identify with the mob and keep wondering when the cops/FBI are going to bust in heroically and fix it all.

Posted by: luagha at April 08, 2009 01:47 PM (Dk9yX)

94 I get this entirely.... Its like my epiphany watching the final episode of the Shield. It wasn't until then I realized that Vic Mackey was the villain. Why? Because we were with him...

Posted by: liquidflorian at April 08, 2009 01:54 PM (RH6bz)

95 "Here you are, watching a man cover up his mother's mindless murder, and
your heart sinks with him for a moment because he MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO
COVER IT UP."

Pretty much exactly the reason I got sick of The Sopranos, and why I've since had a tendency to sometimes put down books and turn off movies within the first few minutes - granted in some cases my opinions were prematurely formed, but I really hate realizing 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through a book/movie, "Wait - I want all of the characters in this story to die (including and sometimes especially the protagonist)... why am I reading this?"

Posted by: scott at April 08, 2009 02:31 PM (Rel3K)

96 Another obvious bit of bias is the claim that Obama "won" the cheers of troops. Did he? In what manner? By what action?

...By visiting them. Not too hard to figure out.

Posted by: The Explainer at April 08, 2009 02:37 PM (8KSPr)

97 Well, he did cure several cases of scrofula too, The Explainer.

Posted by: andycanuck at April 08, 2009 02:42 PM (ws1tw)

98 Nice work but most books are written second person (he does this) instead of first person. First person is typically reserved for genre works like detective novels and westerns.


I don't think the press deliberately writes from this perspective. That is I don't think they sit down and ponder how they can win the reader and shape the story to sway readers incrementally to their political side. I think it comes naturally and unthinkingly because of the journalist's personal perspective and lack of proper training.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at April 08, 2009 02:59 PM (PQY7w)

99 On this theme of perspective: it is used heavily in video games to make otherwise loathsome and/or morally-suspect characters sympathetic to the gamer.

One good example is the game "Shadow of the Colossus" in which a young man travels a mythical land seeking out enormous creatures in hope that obtaining from them an artifact--upon their respective deaths--might bring his enfeebled love full health.

After the third creature, I couldn't play the game anymore because I asked a basic question: What had those creatures ever done to the main character that gave him a modicum of authority needed to kill them? His inability to get over a personal loss and overwhelming selfishness necessitated the slaying of wholly peaceful entities...it made no sense.

Posted by: addison at April 08, 2009 03:11 PM (tZPUt)

100 But they're professionals!?!?!@#@!
I'm certain that you've ripped yourself off, Ace, as I've seen you write nearly the same thing previously (not complaining - this drum should be beaten from time to time for the newbies). It's sad that one has a 50% better chance of bumping into a Republican in the conservative bastion San Francisco than in a typical newsroom (15% vs 10% roughly). Why it matters is an insane way to run a newsgathering operation isnailed down by this post.

Posted by: EBJ at April 08, 2009 03:32 PM (ocHBO)

101 @35: "Kidding. How violent can one get with tea bags?"
Obviously you've never seen some of the more avant garde adult movies out there. Or were you referring to actual pouches of Earl Grey/Orange Pekoe?

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at April 08, 2009 03:43 PM (KSnlH)

102 #6

Mr. Wolf:

I can concur on all you have siad. The event was staged. There was nothing to compare with the reception of Bush or other officials. It reminded me of Hillary's visit.

What a joke.

Posted by: Thomas Jackson at April 08, 2009 03:43 PM (0Qynq)

103 Very Well articulated. I've attempted to point this out on a smaller scale with much less proficiency with much less success, but the points of this post are precisely the reason War On Terror News was conceived. Recognition of the bias of published grammar and focus in the "journalistic" world forced me out of the silence of the shadows.

Good Job!

Posted by: WOTN at April 08, 2009 03:58 PM (RYutq)

104 CJ (#43)
I had the exact same thoughts about Clinton and Zero. But the left-minded thinkers will continually defend any action. An example: "So, he skipped the MOH Ball, but NOW, now he shows up and the troops cheer and it's not good enough for you?"

Frankly, no. Because MY revulsion allows me to dig deep and see just that "orchestration" which is void of the heart and respect that Reagan, Bush 41 or 43 showed our military.

His actions have spoken and he has earned nothing unless it is from the blind, who will soon "see".

Posted by: DefendUSA at April 08, 2009 04:19 PM (q3kbS)

105 My guy just got back from Iraq this last week. With the exception of a very few people who all have similar resumes and characteristics, they hate him. Flat out hate. We know a couple who didnt. They are jerks losers and not in any combat-ready MOS.

Posted by: Karagush at April 08, 2009 04:20 PM (wGdPp)

106 PJ (#70)
"You have exposed the tricks that every writer uses to write more effectively--or, in the case of the media, to deceive you into believing something you wouldn't if you were told both sides."

That is a gem of a quote and boy, I gotta say how I have burned a liberal or two with being able to give both sides. They walk away stunned because the trusted source has just been blown to bits by backing it with facts.

Posted by: DefendUSA at April 08, 2009 04:24 PM (q3kbS)

107 Terrific article/post. This point needs to somehow be hammered home again and again. My feeling it is very significant. The votes we need are, ugh, those in the squishy middle, those who probably don't follow events all that well and never even think about this type of thing going on. All they read, over and over, is a steady drumbeat of liberal/Democrat good, conservative/Republican evil, insensitive, bigoted, moronic, whatever. It has to have an effect over time.
The first words I heard early this morning when I snapped the TV on was a hack from CBS talking about how the troops responding to the young Lightworker's visit, "basically treated him like a rock star, were all over him, wanting to touch him, speak to him, just share the moment." I snarled in disgust at the TV and changed the channel, but there are literally millions of people listening to this who voted for him and are a little shaky now, but who desperately want to believe and are sopping it up.

Posted by: RM at April 08, 2009 04:30 PM (1kwr2)

108 This is an excellent post. Thank you for this, Ace, you have opened my eyes, and lo, whereas before I was blind, I can now see.

Posted by: bour3 at April 08, 2009 05:22 PM (9YONe)

109 Identification with the protagonist is natural. The hero of the 1957 British movie The One That Got Away is a German POW (Franz von Werra, the only one who ever escaped from the Americas back to Germany). Because he is only trying to escape, and not to kill British soldiers, even a British audience could "root" for him without feeling wrong about it.

But you have put your finger on a key issue. This factor is part of what R. Emmett Tyrrell at The American Spectator dubbed "kultursmog": the ubiquitous network of assumptions and language that shapes perception below the conscious threshhold.

It is perhaps ironic that the concept derives from one beloved of the Left: that a culture has biases and shapings built into it at very low levels. There was some truth to that, and exposure of that fact now enables us to look for and perhaps counter the shaping assumptions projected by the Left into the general culture.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom at April 08, 2009 05:29 PM (MHFFK)

110 "I couldn't play [Shadow of the Colossus] anymore because I asked a basic question: What
had those creatures ever done to the main character that gave him a
modicum of authority needed to kill them? His inability to get over a
personal loss and overwhelming selfishness necessitated the slaying of
wholly peaceful entities...it made no sense."

You might want to consider going back to this. It really is a first rate game, and one of the reasons is that the gamemakers are not unaware of the issue you raise.

Without spoiling anything specific, let me just tell you that the matter is eventually dealt with.

Posted by: Kensington at April 08, 2009 05:31 PM (fThxX)

111 He's a shitstain, pure and simple. The majority in the Army have no use for him whatsoever, to put it VERY mildly.

Believe me.

Posted by: 1SG(ret) at April 08, 2009 05:47 PM (7fyrS)

112 Kudos ace; I particularly like your use of Nabokov in fleshing your points out. Vlad had a wicked sense of humor and I'm pretty sure a significant amount of his work was done to illustrate just how much he could fuck with readers by having them endure dealing with loathsome characters because of the beauty of his prose. Plus Pale Fire was a huge high colonic on the lit crits.

Posted by: Captain Hate at April 08, 2009 06:20 PM (dYNX5)

113 Great post Ace.

Posted by: Kevin Canuck at April 08, 2009 08:10 PM (sS03U)

114 I'm sorry I cannot completely agree with Tommy, but
--SPOILER ALERT--
in Psycho, Norman's mother didn't do it. It was Norman. She was dead.
Thank youfor your attention to this matter. Now, a word from our sponsor.
(cue Funeral March of a Marionette)

Posted by: The Other "Hitch" at April 08, 2009 11:20 PM (aK/ua)

115 91
I get where Ace is coming from on this Humbert thing; by the end of
"Sound of Music" I was actively rooting for the German soldiers to
catch and execute that fricking singing family. Posted by: Brad at April 08, 2009 01:26 PM (LZs5x)

Perfectly stated, Brad, re Sound of Music. A thorough-going barf-up. Re Presidential visits, in the States when you're invited to a gathering where POTUS is featured, you not only have to go through a minor background check and social security number submission but a photo ID check. Since my boss attended a number of closed gatherings during the Clinton years, I had to get that info to the Secret Service. I don't imagine that anyone gets near Obama unless he/she is checked out security-wise. As for cheering troops, the way our media has presented Obama since his arrival on the political scene would, of course, lead many to think he is more than he is; so I'm sure many of the troops were excited due to their lack of knowledge but also just being around a President no matter whether you agree with him or not is an exciting moment and people get caught up in it. That said, my view of Obama is the same as my view of SOM.

Posted by: Lynda at April 09, 2009 01:49 AM (yo4Pw)

116 Notice there are no firearms in the picture. Anyone seen a pic of Obama with armed soldiers yet? Looks like the USSS might be doing what they did with Clinton, disarming all soldiers within firing distance.

Posted by: ParatrooperJJ at April 09, 2009 06:24 AM (nx1/z)

117 Memo goes out... Get any troops that voted for this turd together. SHAZAM! room full of troops fawning over pres panty waste. Don't see any MARINES there. We haaaaaaaaate him!

Posted by: marine43 at April 09, 2009 05:27 PM (jcqkA)

118 52
Sometimes, I like to wipe my ass with the NYT after I take a dump. Not because I'm out of toilet paper, but because of the connection it gives me with the writers.


Posted by: ergastularius at April 08, 2009 10:56

ergastularius,

. . . . solid.

tahDeetz

Posted by: tahDeetz at April 09, 2009 07:12 PM (DmeVV)

119 My two Lincoln heads,

Imho, Axelrod got wind of the W to O comparison and the politically devastating video was probably gaining more steam in the general blogosphere as well on the mil-blogs.

They knew his Ft. Bragg performance was tepid at best.

Nothing politically sensitive ever gets by Axelrod.

Axelrod drastically needed a positive military storyline in order to limit the possible damage done by the comparisons.

Digital pushback was woefully needed.

Now the video comparisons will not have quite the same impact.

They or their web-minions now have an effective rebuttal to refer to, if need be.

This has been in the works at the WH level Axelrod knew he could take full advantage of this staged photo-op and establish the ubiquitous BHO alternate-reality.

No tin-foil hat required.

Posted by: tahDeetz at April 09, 2009 07:34 PM (DmeVV)

120 I was going to go to graduate school but why waste the money when you can read posts like this one.

Posted by: Beto The Elder at April 11, 2009 03:12 PM (G6YRo)

121

Holy Saturday alert:

Two dozen baby chickens successfully aborted. One dozen more to go.

Why do lefties care more about chicken embryos than human embryos?

Posted by: Tinian at April 11, 2009 03:15 PM (Ohodx)

122 Well, the perspective thing is the reason I hardly ever go to movies. I just can't stand the feeling ofparticipating in the success ofevil, or the denigration of good, and face it, that's what Hollywood is all about, ain't it?

Posted by: sherlock at April 11, 2009 03:17 PM (L4jPh)

123 Huh,

Who knew language could be so subtle?

Posted by: Jeff Goldstein at April 11, 2009 03:25 PM (k39jK)

124 One of your best, Ace.

Posted by: Mikki at April 11, 2009 03:33 PM (fPerD)

125 Ace, please report to Room 101 immediately!

Posted by: O'Brien at April 11, 2009 03:35 PM (ewXBY)

126 OT: Must've missed this if it showed up on the blog, but I just heard that Fox fired that douchebag Roger Friedman for downloading and reviewing an illegal copy of Wolverine. Yay!

Posted by: jaleach at April 11, 2009 03:35 PM (gHrZU)

127 Must. Watch. This.
http://tinyurl.com/casn53
I told you this fucker was stoned on 60 minutes

Posted by: hutch1200 at April 11, 2009 03:44 PM (BnuPz)

128 Hey!,

I said I WON and I meant it, bitches!

Heck, just last night I won a piece of ass off Michelle, ha, ha! Somebody Help Me!

Posted by: Former President-elect Barak Obama at April 11, 2009 03:59 PM (MzvX7)

129 As a distant descendant of Longshanks, I am patiently waiting for Braveheart II – The True Story. In this epic, Edward I struggles to protect his poor subjects from the barbarous Scottish brigand William Wallace. He shows his deep concern, compassion and humanity when his son’s friend mysteriously falls from a castle window…

Posted by: voodoo at April 11, 2009 03:59 PM (dvJNC)

130 117 Memo goes out... Get any troops that voted for this turd together. SHAZAM! room full of troops fawning over pres panty waste. Don't see any MARINES there. We haaaaaaaaate him!
Posted by: marine43 at April 09, 2009 05:27 PM (jcqkA)
As a former (retired) Soldier who keeps in touch with personnel still serving over there, I can attest to the fact that there's no great love for him in the ARMY, either.

Posted by: sfcmac at April 11, 2009 04:00 PM (kNmyI)

131 This was one of your best, most in depth posts. At least you just cut 'n' pasted it though when you rehashed it, rather than go full-on hollywood and do a remake starring young hip actor #1 and slutty, hot actress #2.

Posted by: A.G. at April 11, 2009 04:07 PM (LOq8a)

132

Notice all of the digital cameras taking pics of The Won are the same model?

Somebody posted a link to a blog that claimed that 15 military Obama voters were selected to get up front and all of them were given digital cameras.

I can't find that thread right now. Any help in finding it would be greatly appreciated.

*Time to blend and cook the last dozen chicken embryos.*

Posted by: Tinian at April 11, 2009 04:08 PM (Ohodx)

133 when his son’s friend mysteriously falls from a castle window…
Never go on a cheap package tour of Prague.

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2009 04:08 PM (vulJH)

134 What we need is corroboration of that sergeant's claim:
"We were pre-screened, asked by officials 'Who voted for Obama?', and then those who raised their hands were shuffled to the front of the receiving line. They even handed out digital cameras and asked them to hold them up."
I also put up a post (at my link) on the hysterical outrage of our media elites when some troops were "caught on tape" planning who would answer questions on what subjects in a televised chat with President Bush, even though there was not a word about WHAT should be said.
And can you PLEASE get rid ofyour horrible tinyurl requirement so that people can post links without jumping through absurd hoops?

Posted by: Alec Rawls at April 11, 2009 04:12 PM (c+6of)

135 I can't find that thread right now. Any help in finding it would be greatly appreciated.
Doh! It's this (recycled) thread, Tinian. Comments #6, #10 #12 cover orchestration points (and probably some more in the first fifty posts or so).

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2009 04:14 PM (vulJH)

136 Ace turns an Obot attack into a win by re-posting one of his best most recent articles for all the new visitors to read! I bow down before him, deeply, and eagerly.
p.s. Tinian you sick fuck cooking chicken embryos!
What? What's that on my lips? I can assure you that it isn't deviled egg. Nope, nothing to see here, move along.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 11, 2009 04:15 PM (AJ4xq)

137 And here's Newsbusters with a direct comparison of the NYT's coverage of O in Iraq and of Bush. (Amongst other such headline comparisons.)
"Obama Wins Troops' Cheers" in Iraq; Bush's Dramatic Visit Greeted Petulantly
"In Unexpected Visit to Iraq, Obama Wins Troops' Cheers -- Military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad applauded President Obama on Tuesday when he said 'It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis.'" -- Front-page photo caption over an enormous photo of Obama meeting troops on his first trip to Iraq as president, April 8, 2009.
vs.
"President Bush with American troops yesterday at the mess hall at Baghdad International Airport." -- Front-page photo caption to medium-sized photo of Bush's dramatic, secret Thanksgiving visit to Baghdad, November 28, 2003.
"President Bush posed for a photograph yesterday during his surprise visit to American troops at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq. Few journalists were told of the trip or allowed to cover it." -- Photo caption to a jump-page photo of Bush's Thanksgiving visit, November 28, 2003.

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2009 04:28 PM (vulJH)

138 Paranoid,

I second your bow.

Was just thinking about how odd it was that the Obots got so frothed up about Pizza-Gate of all things and playing with the idea of directing them over to one of my favorite recent posts about a certain prominent figure who may or may not be proficient in wielding a bat'leth, just to hear the sounds of tiny heads bursting.

I'm glad Ace bumped this post though before I decided to indulge myself. It's a serious post about an important subject and I'm happy to see it again.

Posted by: Deety at April 11, 2009 04:33 PM (1jglO)

139 Does everyone remember that time Ace wrote the article about Obama ordering pizza but every fact in it he just made up? I do.
Perhaps bullshitting stories is normal on this blog.

Posted by: Fuck Ace at April 11, 2009 04:37 PM (wIKo2)

140 Reading comprehension skills are lost on the Obots, I blame public school education. Ace didn't write the pizza post, Jack M. did.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 11, 2009 04:47 PM (AJ4xq)

141 Does everyone remember that time Ace wrote the article about Obama ordering pizza but every fact in it he just made up? I do.

Pull your underwear back over your head and settle down. In the meantime, I believe I'll review the Sun.co.uk article on the 850 mile pizza run while your Ativan and Thorazine kick in.

Toodles.

Posted by: Additional Blond Agent at April 11, 2009 04:47 PM (SHKl9)

142 Obama's main support in the mil is among lower ranking support MOS's. Sorry to say it but its true.

Posted by: MAJHAM at April 11, 2009 04:54 PM (oCiFA)

143 139 - I know it's hard for fucktarded Obots (is there any other kind)
to read or show signs of independent thought, but the story you are
referring to was not posted by ace. Perhaps you'd like to comment on
the substance of this particular
post, which was written by ace, but you'll have to go back to Axelrod
and your crack-addled Digg pals to give you a list of talking points
to regurgiate, won't you, you pathetic sheep.

Posted by: Waterhouse at April 11, 2009 04:54 PM (c8GW3)

144 Ace, for an ewok you are one smart motherfucker. Fox News your nextgig? Just guessing you'll need to shave that shit.
GOOD WORK! Happy Easter!
Kemp

Posted by: kempermanx at April 11, 2009 04:57 PM (2+9Yx)

145 Hey! What about Pizza-gate? Where's the retraction? Oh right, AceHole hasn't heard about it yet. It's all JackM's fault or something.

President Obama was greeted with hugs and cheers because he's going to extricate our troops from this trillion-dollar abomination your pretendizent Chimpy sank our economy and national standing over. Go figure.

Posted by: BlowMe at April 11, 2009 04:59 PM (VxJ0h)

146 That was really well said. Something I've often wondered about but never put in the time to analyze in detail.

I'm sure you're familiar with the book Story by Robert McKee. It has been a few years, but as I recall it he introduces a concept called "the center of good." It's the idea that in any given scene, the audience is drawn to whichever character seems to be the most moral. So in a group of thieves, the audience will naturally attach themselves to the one thief who tosses a buck to the homeless guy or is kind to his wife at home or who loves his dog (whereas the other thieves like dog fighting and have no respect for women).

I think we see this some in news stories as well. Sure the Democrats are crooks taking your money by the fistful. Sure they lie about the draft coming back or the dangers of the Patriot Act. But -- damn it -- they all do it. At least these guys love minorities and children in their hearts. They're not good really, just better than the alternative. Always.


Posted by: John at April 11, 2009 05:01 PM (NcsIb)

147 I got a post up making fun of Ace of Spades about the pizza.
I'm cool.

Posted by: Charles Johnson at April 11, 2009 05:01 PM (7FgWm)

148 I read here often but don't comment, this post necessitates an exception. This is an extraordinary piece that clarifies how the MSM creates the narrative that serves the Democratic agenda. I think this is the basis for a book, one that is desperately needed I might add.

Posted by: Mary at April 11, 2009 05:11 PM (RTsgq)

149 Hopefully, absent a BAILOUT, the NYT's will be GONE by the end of the year.

Posted by: GarandFan at April 11, 2009 05:12 PM (Thc2c)

150 Ace, that was a well articulated post. I also caught when olbermann said and I paraphrasing here "what should we do" when referring to obama's special olympic gaffe.

Posted by: Ginger at April 11, 2009 05:22 PM (TeSUC)

151 AMERICAN president Barack Obama's half brother was REFUSED a visa to enter the UK after being accused of an attempted sex attack on a young British girl.

Posted by: Jones at April 11, 2009 05:25 PM (KOkrW)

152 I'd like to tie Ace's excellent post to the pizza drama. I wonder if the swarms of commenters realize that they arecreatinga new perspective for the pizzastory. By their actions they are changing what would've been another eye rolling Obama moment into something more because of their need to vociferously defend the pizza party. Instead of providing talking points that put the matter to rest they've now opened up more questions.
I think when we see so much energy devoted to changing the perspective that it indicates the old adage "where there is smoke there is fire." Also, the attempts to change the narrative have actually made their main character (Obama) look less sympathetic. Kinda like the bow incident.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 11, 2009 05:31 PM (AJ4xq)

153 Jesus H. Christ these trolls are boring and ill-informed.

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at April 11, 2009 05:35 PM (OkrJ4)

154 Judging by the photo, doesn't look like a hardened combat soldier in the bunch. These look like support personnel, the types that join up to get the college money and benefit's and then get all butt hurt when they actually get deployed. Not trying to insult anyone in uniform serving in whatever capacity, jus sayin'

Posted by: Blazer at April 11, 2009 05:36 PM (+FzLa)

155 Personally, I think their "deconstruction" of the Pizza story is hilariously lame. Their entire point is based on: "Ace said 'jetting in', which implies that he was flown in on Air Force One, but he flew coach, so it's all a lie!"

Um, I really didn't think the chef was flown in on Air Force One. Here's a secret: people who fly coach -also- do so on these things called "jets". The entire claim that Ace "lied" is by deliberately inferring something Ace never said, and then proving that it wasn't true.

Except, actually, it wasn't even Ace who said it, it was Jack M. So basically, Ace still didn't say one damn thing provably wrong, while all the Obots are consistently fudging even basic authorship-101. It really is funny.

Qwinn

Posted by: Qwinn at April 11, 2009 05:38 PM (/y1J0)

156 Somebody frame comment 145. If it's not satire, that has to be the most picture-perfect example of lefty dumbfuckery condensed into a few sentences in a long time. Every accusation is false, every 'fact' wrong, every insinuation a lie. The only thing carrying it is the breathtaking arrogance, born of hanging around fact-challenged Kos and fuckwit-central Digg all day), that no-one would ever dare challenge its authority.

Posted by: Waterhouse at April 11, 2009 05:42 PM (c8GW3)

157 BTW, these trolls sound like some members of my family. That's why I try to avoid them (my family) at all costs.

Posted by: Ginger at April 11, 2009 05:50 PM (TeSUC)

158 I bet the trolls drink corporate water too!

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 11, 2009 05:52 PM (AJ4xq)

159 The main strategy I've noticed in getting an observer (reader of a book, watcher of a TV show) to root for a despicable person is to surrond the person with even worse characters than he is. "Amercian Beauty" was a movie about a pot-smoking middle-aged loser who wanted to jump his daughter's friend, yet you couldat least relate tohim because, of all the characters in the show, he was the least repulsive. And soap operas pull the schtick all the time; you cheer for the chick who's lying her head off and screwing up the "young couple in love" just because said young couple is so stupid, emotionally stilted, and milquetoast that you WANT someone making them miserable.
So, in order for socialism/fascism/communism to appeal, all one has to do is make the alternative seem far worse, whether it actually is or not. Worked like a charm for Hitler and Castro, to name two. And Obama's well on his way, riding ona wave of media stories ranging from the corruption of the banking system to the airheaded adventures of the latest blonde heiress.

Posted by: Barbelle at April 11, 2009 05:54 PM (qF8q3)

160 The reason we come here to defend Our Lord and Master (pbuh) is that, in most of the country, if we said this stuff in public the nearest American would beat our asses like we owed them money.

Posted by: left winger speaking truth to power at April 11, 2009 05:56 PM (WhoZn)

161 #145 sounds like my brother.

Posted by: Jones at April 11, 2009 05:56 PM (KOkrW)

162 No, the pizza story doesn't sound too much like elitism no matter who was picking up the tab. Not at all. [HuffBlow link.]

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2009 05:56 PM (vulJH)

163 I had the misfortune of watching the end of a recent Olberdick show. Can
you believe that jackass is still ending every broadcast by pointing
out how many days it has been since President Bush said "mission
accomplished"?
Yes, and his ratings are going down faster than a $5 crack whore. Maybe Olbie should display his cow-college diploma on-air again. I've never seen a more pathetic act by a grown man on television. Even Maddow, who was the favorite son of the Lib Media, has taken a huge hit. Meanwhile, conservative-leaning shows are up. Rush has record ratings, and Beck has become a phenomenon.

Yes, we'll endure the bias from the NY Times for a while, but we'll have the satisfaction of watching their editorial page rail against the invevitable as it goes belly-up, all the while repeating their version of Pauline Kael's "Nixon couldn't have won. I don't know anyone who voted for him".

Posted by: Ombudsman at April 11, 2009 05:56 PM (fWF4Q)

164 Oh, and a hat tip to Mad Mullah posting in LGF's comments for the link. (Most of Charles's commentersseems to think that Ace's hasn't been criticizing O over anything substantive, so "we" shouldn't be wasting our time on this.)

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2009 05:59 PM (vulJH)

165 Hi Ace, I am glad you bumped this piece you wrote.

I thought it was absolutely brilliant.

So brililant, that it could well be part of a book.

Perhaps you never thought of yourself as a book writer, but maybe it is time to rethink that.

Well done

Posted by: Village Idiot at April 11, 2009 06:07 PM (E6zbw)

166 I don't want to be a sticky wicket, but embryos are FERTILIZED eggs.

What you're cooking are OVA.

Trust the farm boy, it's much messier trying to clean up chicken embryos. For one, the blender blades tend to dull quit a bit on the bones.

Posted by: Mr Badman at April 11, 2009 06:09 PM (CuRAm)

167 Great post, Ace. My favorite example of this is The Sixth Sense. The Usual Suspects employed this technique well also.

Posted by: AmishDude at April 11, 2009 06:13 PM (i01iV)

168 This is definitely the best article you've written all month, perhaps all year. Hammer this a lot. The more you hammer it, the more it will sink in.

Posted by: CT at April 11, 2009 06:20 PM (YzNAm)

169 The term FOBBIT always makes me laugh, but REMF was a much more manly term to use. kids today, what are ya gonna do.

This is very embarrassing for me but if I want to learn then I have to ask:

I know what "REMF" means but what the hell is "FOBBIT"? I assume F stands for either "fuck", "fuckers" or "fucking" but beyond that I haven't a fucking clue.

Posted by: Aaron at April 11, 2009 06:21 PM (gftD1)

170 Fuck you, andycanuck! Fuck you! Fuck you!

Posted by: mandymanners at April 11, 2009 06:22 PM (7FgWm)

171 Fobbit is a play on the word Hobbit (Lord of the Rings), and it refers to troops who man the FOB, or Forward Operating Base.

Posted by: Hillbilly Mike at April 11, 2009 06:23 PM (yiNoG)

172 ...And as far as I know, it doesn't have the same ring of derision that REMF does.

Posted by: Hillbilly Mike at April 11, 2009 06:24 PM (yiNoG)

173 Thanks for the commentary -- basic 'tricks' of the trade that competent newsroom editors are supposed to prevent. Hahaha, not any more.
Listen, the MSM is NOT into truthtelling in any way, shape or form -- it's 'advocacy' journalism all the way -- writing styles, emotionally charged headlines, imbalance in sources, omissions, and even plain old incorrect facts about an eventare the norm these days instead of the exception. But the omissions are the deadliest.
Once more,give thanksfor blogs and independent news sources.

Posted by: Observer at April 11, 2009 06:27 PM (u0GlI)

174 Great post.

How much impact this has I don't know -- obviously, as Republicans, we've gotten used to rewriting the stories in our heads as we read so that we don't even notice we're doing so. We intuitively re-write a story so that instead of accepting the invitation to ponder "How will the Democrats get out of this jam?" we instead wonder "How do we force them further into this jam and keep them there?" But even though we are capable of doing that -- at this point, without even noticing we are -- the natural, intuitive lens the stories present is through the eyes of the Democrats.
And I wonder how much impact that has on a swing voters who have no strong affection for either party -- but who might very well be subconsciously pushed to the Democratic side of the aisle by this novelistic technique.
"I do have to stress -- it is a potent technique, at least in literature."--Ace

Advertisers know that the 3rd time is the charm. The impact of indoctrinated perspective is as deep as the repetition goes. Hence, the sheer obstinacy of lunatic leftists who repudiate historical record WHEN PRODUCED BY CONCERNED CITIZENS (CONSERVATIVES) because it doesn't mesh with "what everyone knows" from "popular" culture. Youth who generally are not interested in research anyway are very irritated when confronted by facts that they have been doctrinally brainwashed via "academics" to reject as either unfounded or outdated.

Of course propaganda matters. If it didn't work, people would eventually quit propagandizing, at least to economize if not to set the record straight. Advertising=propagandizing. And the perspective=target audience. If those techniques were ineffective, the people manufacturing tag lines and fabricating whole cloth from trivia would not enjoy employment.

Yes, those "in the know" read the writing on the wall. Problem is, today's youth think that graffiti is the writing on the wall.

btw, "Who's the villain when Hamaz bombs Israelis?" The not so well kept
perspective hidden under the media rug is that Israelis are at fault
for being (whether in the way or not). That is not my perspective, but having made it to the end of your blog post, I answered.



Posted by: maverick muse at April 11, 2009 06:34 PM (G6YRo)

175 Village Idiot is right.

Ace could definitely make a great pamphlet to awaken high school and college kids, hook them at the age they seek the truth with perception to seek at least two perspectives to weigh, and research techniques and sources.

Or Ace could get into the character development and make a marvelously intense espionage perspective NYT best seller.

Posted by: maverick muse at April 11, 2009 06:43 PM (G6YRo)

176 #170 Eh?
8=^(

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2009 06:50 PM (vulJH)

177

Doh! It's this (recycled) thread, Tinian.
Comments #6, #10 #12 cover orchestration points (and probably
some more in the first fifty posts or so).

Posted by: andycanuck at April 11, 2009 04:14 PM (vulJH)
Thanks.

I've been busy aborting chicken embryos. Thirty-six down for the count.

Next question: why does the yellow Paas coloring tablet dissolve in vinegar much more quickly than the other colors?

Posted by: Tinian at April 11, 2009 06:54 PM (Ohodx)

178 Don't forget Berthold Brecht and the Verfremdungseffekt - preventing the audience from identifying with the protagonists, or letting them identify with the protagonists and then punishing them for it....

Posted by: anonymous irishman at April 11, 2009 07:00 PM (IbuHd)

179 Well Tinian, I'm no scientist but I bet there is a chemical reaction thingie happening so whatevercompound they use to make yellow reacts more quickly with the vinegar than the other colors do. Kinda like how certain crayon colors melt faster than others.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlInSeattle at April 11, 2009 07:01 PM (AJ4xq)

180 Obama was always Winston Smith but without the integrity. The NYT is trying to cover up its disgraceful editorial advocating genocide to escape Iraq. Now that their master is there, and the bored troops hoping to leave,they must celebrate with psalms to the greatness of their lord.. Formany summersof my younger life I hearded sheep. No shit pellet I ever stepped on in the parching dust and sun flooded Colorado desertheat was ascruchy, low, and stinkingas the New York Times.

Posted by: mytralman at April 11, 2009 07:08 PM (26p91)

181 171
Fobbit is a play on the word Hobbit (Lord of the Rings), and it refers to troops who man the FOB, or Forward Operating Base.

Thanks, Hillbilly Mike. REMF is a much better term.

Posted by: Aaron at April 11, 2009 07:08 PM (gftD1)

182 Ace, this post isso fucking awesome, I'm going to steal it, re-write it, and get myself a Ph.D and a <s>six-figure</s>high seven-figure book advance with it.

Posted by: Nordbuster at April 11, 2009 07:25 PM (uyfhV)

183 Fuck. Damn WYSIWYG!

Posted by: Nordbuster at April 11, 2009 07:26 PM (uyfhV)

184
Who's the villain when Israelis kill Hezballah or Hamas? Israelis.


Who's the villain when Hamas or Hezballah bombs kill Israelis? Bombs. Israelis

Posted by: mamma b at April 11, 2009 07:52 PM (2JnOF)

185 Uhm ... how many of the troops voted for Obama? I believe close to 70 percent went to McCain.

hehe

Nuff Said.

Oh one more thing - let them put their money where their mouth is - and we'll see how many vote for Ogabe next time. Although - most of Ogabe's tax hikes won't affect the military much.

But cuts in defense will. And you can only "buy" so much loyalty from a trooper. They want to belong to the world's greatest military. Money is great - but they want to be a part of the best thing going. Under Bush - they were.

Posted by: HondaV65 at April 11, 2009 08:20 PM (9vlDt)

186 Alternate Headlines:

Obama: 'Mission Accomplished!'
Obama Apologizes to Europe, Not Troops
'Because Bush Won War, We Can Go Home Now': Obama
Prez to Troops: "You Did Everything Asked Of You--How Could You?"
"That Thing About 'Air-Raiding Villages and Killing Civilians'?--Nevermind!
"You Did Your Jobs So Well I Can Now Slash Defense--Thanks, Guys!"
Troops Take Oath To Constitution Seriously. Politicians--Not So Much.

Posted by: Noel at April 11, 2009 08:41 PM (7FgWm)

187 I guess this explains why the Dhimmierats have to disqualify military votes whenever they have the chance. Because they love Chairman Zero so much.
Right.

Posted by: Thomas Jackson at April 11, 2009 08:43 PM (0Qynq)

188 Hand picked and coached admirers, what a shock. Democrats are so brainwashed they no longer play hop scotch, they link tongue up butts and follow each other. They will be experienced colon cleansers in the near future.

Posted by: Scrapiron at April 11, 2009 08:55 PM (1kwr2)

189 If you have any POV beyond that of an "off the rack" liberal, the reading process is very active--very assertive.

In effect, it is like reading news as if it were first-person fiction, from the POV of an "unreliable narrator."

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 11, 2009 10:00 PM (TpmQk)

190 Top Notch, Ace. Top Notch.

Posted by: nikkolai at April 11, 2009 10:25 PM (yeqYy)

191 Great job Ace

I haven't had the pleasure of reading all the comments, but the post is fascinating. I'm always amazed at how little the left understands the right, and how well the right understands everything from psychology, tactics, motivations, and now literary devices to push forward their propaganda as if it were fact. The right's understanding of the left is so much greater than the reverse, that I know it will be a potent political weapon if we find ways to use it properly. Know thyself, know thy enemy, two keys to ultimate victory.

This post is a classic. I'd like to link it to my other women's political blog, and we just might do that.

Posted by: sis at April 11, 2009 11:51 PM (hm0CN)

192 NFL Star's Bentley Kills Pedestrian
This headline was on the foxnews.com website for some time last Saturday. I expect the anti-semitic editorial types who write about "bombs killing Israelis" do so out of habit. Skewing the news is old hat to them, but it takes effort, not to mention chutzpah, to accuse a car of such a heinous crime. Even a very expensive, evil, capitalist car.
Ken

Posted by: Ken Jackson at April 11, 2009 11:55 PM (bZiZD)

193 Excellent, excellent piece, Ace. My late English teacher mother would point out that since students today are seldom taught sentence diagramming, the active vs. passive voice is a total mystery to them, making them far more susceptible to these techniques.

I think this is such an important post that I am going to link it to a couple of other sites I visit. I want people to be able to understand this information and use it.

Perhaps the best way is to craft some examples that are non-political, using sports teams maybe. That way people could get familiar with spotting the technique before they realize that they have been duped in their political information gathering.

I so much appreciate the time and effort that went into this post. And it would make a darn fine book. You have no competition on this, because the PhD types aren't about to publish anything like this...they don't want to give up their secrets.

Consider a book, please.

Posted by: Miss Marple at April 12, 2009 01:34 AM (A9BhC)

194 Ace, absolutely brilliant analysis! A Goddamn work of genius. Best press relatedblog post I have read.

Posted by: shaun at April 12, 2009 06:46 AM (C4BXt)

195 May I add a point?

Obama passed up a photo op at Normandy in favor of this one. That's interesting.

In either context, the politician is the focal point. But the message is different.

A picture taken in the cemeteries of Normandy sends the message "Look at me! I value what you value! See? I am paying tribute to those you honor!" Yes, self-centered (what politician isn't?) but at least trying to play up to the viewer. And usually with at least some degree of sincerity.

The chosen setting adds an additional layer of self-service. It says nothing more than "Look at me! They love me! They really love me! You should love me like these soldiers do!" There is no attempt to identify with the values of the viewer; It is showing an what is desired of the viewer. And it too is sincere -- sincere Narcissism.

Or am I reading too much into this?

Posted by: Sweet Lou at April 12, 2009 10:30 AM (oDVxN)

196 I know this doesn't have much to do with this subject but, upon surfing the internet I came across this and thought you would "enjoy" the read.

http://www.nostate.com/77/fuck-the-troops/

Posted by: Theofonias at April 12, 2009 01:25 PM (dh7pG)

197 Bush made a similar surprise visit to the Rotunda back in December. No press was present. All people back in the states saw on TV was the shoe incident at his next stop after us. Sad.
The really sad thing about the staging of the photo is that it wasn't necessary. I'm sure there are enough Obama supporters on VBC (thousands of people there but only room for a few hundred in the Rotunda) that would have headed to the front on their own without coaxing. The number of photos on the servers is also a testament to how many soldiers were snapping photos without prompting.

Posted by: SecretSquirrel at April 13, 2009 12:49 AM (pcQbO)

198 test

Posted by: Fish at April 14, 2009 03:25 PM (CG+cG)






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