The media doesn't even care anymore

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Montez, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    So the past few days I've been seeing and hearing "Redheads more prone to skin cancer" everywhere, in newspapers, on television, on the radio. Being a red head, my first impulse is naturally to pay attention. My second impulse is to write an op ed piece entitled "No crap, you morons" - since redheads sunburn easier, and since overexposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together. I've known this since I was 5 and got my first sunburn. So why is the media screaming about this now?

    Boldface and underlining is mine, not the article's.

    Link

    Hmmm, ok, forget the question of "why is this story surfacing now?" - there is something else a little more interesting going on here. Ok, so scientists have finally made the groundbreaking discovery that pigment is the main factor in red heads sensitivity to the sun, and not witchcraft and sorcery as has been supposed up until now. Once the earth-shaking, paradigm destroying implications of that have sunk in, reread the bolded section of the article. Now re-read the headline. Now reread the bolded section. I'm used to the media exagerrating things and trying to create attention-getting headlines, but this is my first encounter with an article whose contents flatly contradicted the headline. The headline states, as if it were a fact, "Pigment Makes Redheads More Prone to Skin Cancer", while one of the scientists who did the research says that there is no definite link and that they aren't even sure if their discovery is important in any way. Maybe I've been out of the loop too much, but when did the news media start resorting to out-and-out lying in order to "sell" their articles? I know that they come pretty close to lying with political headlines, but they can get away with it because politics is almost always open to subjective interpretation. But stating the exact opposite of what the scientific research they are reporting on indicates?

    I know the media has been steadily declining for years and years, going from being somewhat respectable to being a group that relies on sensationalism and blowing things out of proportion in order to manufacture news, but this is my first encounter with something where there's no "spin", no "different perspective", just a lie. A harmless lie, perhaps, but a lie nonetheless. So, since I know almost everyone on this forum is more interested and informed on media and politics than I am, I have a question: Is this a unique mistake, or are more and more things like this starting to show up? Or, is it already prevalent?

    My hypothesis is that the media is so powerful and influential now that they just don't really care what they say or report anymore because they know the masses are going to eat it up regardless, and if anyone does complain then they'll just manufacture a story on the complaint, so it's a win-win situation for them. Anyone else feel this way?
     
  2. Murdoch

    Murdoch Half-way Through My Half-life
    Orderite

    Nov 24, 2003
  3. The Vault Dweller

    The Vault Dweller always looking for water.

    Aug 24, 2004
    That f***'in blows...

    "Scientific" my ass...I suppose I could publish incredible work about "Link found between being cold and getting sick!" or "Loss of hair increases likelyhood of baldness!"

    :roll: ,
    The Vault Dweller
     
  4. ferdinand

    ferdinand First time out of the vault

    96
    Jul 24, 2005
    Is Forbes is tabloid? Because that would explain a lot...
     
  5. c0ldst33ltrs4u

    c0ldst33ltrs4u Vault Dweller

    702
    Jan 12, 2004
    From what I know Forbes is not a tabloid so this article is three notches below lame... How fucking hungry could they be in order to use such tactics. This kind of article would fit perfectly in the local tabloid.
    [insert nationality] researchers have discovered that [insert bullshit here]
    that kind of title shows up daily in tabloids, the researchers are anonymous and the "discovery" is a crappy piece of fiction at best. Not impressed anymore... I don't read the papers anyway, they are nothing more than glorified toilet paper anyway.
     
  6. Montez

    Montez So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 20, 2003
    Forbes was the most egregious example but dozens of internet news sites have been running variations on the story, all based on the same research - that lack of pigment can lead to higher oxidation, which can lead to free radicals, which can affect cell DNA, which can lead to skin cancer. That is a huge chain of conjecture, with none of it conclusively proven in any way, yet all the news pages are making it sound like a concrete link has been established and verified beyond doubt. Take a look for yourselves:

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&q=redheads+skin+cancer&filter=0

    Take note of the fact that most of the headlines or stories say that pigment is to blame, when in fact it is lack of pigment which makes people more sensitive to sunlight. If these dopes can't even get something like that right, how is anyone supposed to trust them to report news that actually matters?

    On the plus side, I guess this means redheads are becoming enough of a sizable demographic that the media is willing to pander to them. Ha, just kidding - it's probably just an excuse to post pictures of redheaded women, whom every guy who isn't a redhead seems to be fascinated with, and thereby increase their traffic.
     
  7. ferdinand

    ferdinand First time out of the vault

    96
    Jul 24, 2005
    I like the way you think, maybe we could conspire to eliminate Murdoch together.

    Do you read magazines like National Geographic, incidentally?

    EDIT: Whoops, sorry, wrong Murdoch, Murdoch. I meant Rupert Murdoch, owner of crappy papers worldwide.
     
  8. 4too

    4too Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 30, 2003
    All Editorial Content, All The Time

    All Editorial Content, All The Time




    M.:
    Always has, always will.

    Town crier, print, audio, video, .. i-pod, all media content is filtered by editorial values.

    Even when ""the truth"", a fact pulled out of context to become - A HOOK -
    to lure, eye balls, and influence opinions.
    Even when ""the truth"" starts it's aromatic spiral into rank ""spin"".
    ""The truth"" becomes the means to an ulterior motive, sales of issues, sales of ideas, sales of souls.
    The font, the vocabulary, the grammar, the insidious links that are all chosen links in the .....

    M.:
    ... all 'means to an end'.

    Perhaps, this spree of conjecture, it's all 'summer time blues' for the titillation of the fair of skin.

    Perhaps the 'science of conjecture' (a 'too close', incestuous cousin to the art of miss direction) is used to manipulate the media and stock markets too. Feed the need for despair that ''entertains'' us into a sensory over loaded comma. Unconsciousness with eyes wide open is the state of the Cake Eaters, the Lotus Eaters. All we need is a 'red headed' wonder drug, at your pharmacy soon, to inflate the value of the parent corporation stock. Once the - need to feed - has been established.


    .... sales of souls. ....

    The selling of these conjectures has lowered the standards for 'real science'.
    The mythic: Scientific Method.
    Witness the political Blitzkrieg for ""Creationist Science"".
    30 or 40 years ago, the ""New Age"" was dreaming this deism in lotus position while negotiating the dancing dualities.
    Now the strict interpretation-ist mind set has discovered it as a POLITICAL wedge issue. Rather than campaign for comparative religious philosophies as an educational tool. Force - religion - , their religion, into school science classes.
    Kill two 'birds', achieve two goals, with one drug like 'rock'. Insert religious dogma into the state supported 'public schools' , and discredit ""the monkey's uncle''" that masquerades as 'science' in our shallow mass culture.
    The problem is that this 'creationist theory' is still in it's philosophical infancy, still clouding the public debate with evoking the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (Physics) to apply to the "Origin of Species" (Hypno-biology).
    And, 'creationist theory' must be propagandized to evoke 'street cred'.
    "CT" still a softer 'science' then 'psych' and 'econ', or even 'communications' [a.k.a. Public Relations (PC-PR) and journalism (PC - PR)], but we can be sure there is a little cross discipline, -cross- fertilization .

    This 'witnessing' , this drum beat of the truth, gives more 'cred' to the concept that all our reality is our perception, all is illusion.
    Hardly the stock Sunday schooling of the King James Bible.

    The propagandists manipulation: tell a lie long enough, consistently enough, and it becomes "" truth"".




    4too
     
  9. Murdoch

    Murdoch Half-way Through My Half-life
    Orderite

    Nov 24, 2003
    Who? What? Huh?

    Looks like someone needs a warning! :wink:
     
  10. quietfanatic

    quietfanatic Ancient One

    Dec 10, 2003
    As an (ex)redhead, I came up with this kind of explanation as soon as I learnt about pigments, free radicals etc. I have a possibly bad habit of constructing elaborate chains of conjecture myself, but I would never publish a theory with no evidence or detail.

    I suspect that they know how misleading it is and are cynically just trying to sell papers. They can't think of anything better that people would want to read. Many papers have been doing this sort of thing all the time, but are usually more careful about it.

    In Australia we have Mediawatch, which is a television show produced by the national broadcaster which watches out for media misbehaviour. It has many examples of bad reporting in Australia but I believe that it does raise standards. A more respectable paper or news outlet doesn't want to be embarrassed by a tarnished reputation but some still don't care. Those who read the Murdoch rags probably see Mediawatch as another leftist pinko conspiracy or wouldn't care much anyway.

    It can be argued that the mass-media just reflects how the general public thinks. Supply and demand in the information business. If people wanted better quality media coverage, they would get it. The argument that 'the masses are going to eat it up regardless' seems to be correct. I believe that to a large degree all people are either stupid, ignorant or have little time, which leads to a corrupted media. There isn't much you can really do about it except try to support the few struggling groups that care more about accurate reporting that profit.

    But the media isn't totally selfish, as can be seen from this disturbing Mediawatch report, Shock report: Media does good!. The Australian Federal Government is trying to quash the Freedom of Information Act to stop the public easily finding out about what they are doing. In the last court case pursued by News Ltd., the government got the result they wanted, leaving questions about confidentiality to a Minister's discretion. This means that even minor things can be easily covered up if they are perceived to be inconvenient for the government.

    Which is impossible. This is going to go to the High Court, but seeing that the government appoints judges, freedom of speech and accountability could take a devastating hit. Most of the Australian news groups are giving support to the campaign against this extreme and undemocratic practice. This is such a mess.
     
  11. c0ldst33ltrs4u

    c0ldst33ltrs4u Vault Dweller

    702
    Jan 12, 2004
    If we are going to overthrow him we should be quick about it, before he discovers our conspiracy! :D
    As for the media... Over in Romania we have a little thing called the five o'clock news, on one of the "independent" TV stations. This news bulletin is nothing less than 45 minutes of killing, mayhem, and anything that might hook the audience. the news look like this:
    - X an Y (alcoholic peasants who drank their minds a long time ago) were drinking together when xi remembered that Y owned him some money (or any other reason for a fight) so he grabbed an axe (scythe, shovel or any other such tool found close at hand) and cracked Y's head open. Sometimes xi and Y are father and son or brothers, but mostly neighbors.
    - xi was coming from the disco (xi being a girl and what the peasants understand by disco you don't want to know) late in the morning when she was ambushed by several young men who brutally raped her.
    - After returning drunk from the local pub xi (same kind of alcoholic peasant) brutally beat up and disfigured his wife and children.
    On a side note these guys drink an alcoholic drink obtained from the fermentation of chicken excrements.
    This is what the public over here wants: violence, blood and gore, this sells, that and sex.
    Also putting a spin on a certain event is common practice.
    I don't trust the news, I don't watch them, I'd rather watch some documentary on Discovery, Animal Planet or National Geographic.
    So this thing about how the media lies to sell is nothing new to me. The media is almost always full of shite.
     
  12. ferdinand

    ferdinand First time out of the vault

    96
    Jul 24, 2005
    In Australia we seem to be lucky enough to have a channel with news that isn't total crap - SBS with Mary K. Course, as it's run by the government, it could just be a propaganda outlet. But if it, it's pretty well done and subtle, and I don't think that Little Johnny is capable of either of those.

    But it seems that it's not just the media that doesn't care, it's also the 40+ year olds who just don't care about it anymore. (Thats the majority, not a rule). Seems they're just after anything that might attract their attention for a couple of minutes, rather than anything important.

    Humphrey B. Flaubert sums it up rather well, I think:

    All of us must face the day,
    When our ideals have been blown away,
    Just give in to our dismay,
    Watch Wilisse, not Mary K.
    Time has been, in our youth,
    We sought accuracy and truth;
    Scoffed at the commerical news,
    Satirised Hinch and all his views.
    But oh, how does time unnerve us,
    The Special Broadcasting Service,
    Doesn't seem worth the hassle;
    Don't change your life,

    Change the channel.
     
  13. quietfanatic

    quietfanatic Ancient One

    Dec 10, 2003
    Don't forget that there is some very good news on ABC, as I have said many times before. Most notably Lateline and Four Corners. But SBS coverage is still the best. Although our public broadcasters are heavily reliant on government funding, they are not under firm control, which is why they are constantly being sabotaged. The government wouldn't bother to subtly alter SBS reporting, as the network has such a small audience and Murdoch does a good enough job for them already. It is an interesting situation which probably exists elsewhere: when a conservative government has to fund 'the enemy'.

    I can also tell you, based on my (limited) experience, that the youth of Australia is just as apathetic and mindless as the 40+ group. It seems to be universal, but I don't know how different things are compared to the supposed golden age of the 70's, long before my time. If you're an oldie you might be have a better idea about that, as opposed to second-hand 'back in my day' tripe.
     
  14. Lazarus Plus

    Lazarus Plus The smoovest

    679
    Apr 1, 2005
    This reminds me of the connections to cancer that the news trumpets about.

    If you read the newspapers or any scientifically focused news you'd have heard about some of these things years ago. Sheesh.
     
  15. killap

    killap Bear Dude Moderator Modder

    May 16, 2005
    This reminds me of an article I once read that stated: after much research and testing it is clear that high salt high fat foods are not good for you. I cannot remember the exact wording but this is essentially what the researchers had come to the conclusion to. Heh, and I always wondered where research grants were going. Heck, I should get in on this type of research. :roll:
     
  16. ferdinand

    ferdinand First time out of the vault

    96
    Jul 24, 2005
    You're probably right, as it seems who ever wins the latest televised singing contest is more important to the 'dynamic go-getters' of australian youth than what is happening in the world that might actually affect them. We must preserve the small group of the enlightened that make up SBS viewers.

    Do not worry Montez, if you seek real (ish) news, watch the artsy-fartsy channel no-one else watches. Works here.