Join the Mailing List
* indicates required



FFP Twitter Feed
Home Media

Media

A Candidate Whose Ads Are Never Off the Air

banner_nyt_1
screencap_p13
Linda Lingle, the Republican nominee for Senate in Hawaii, has turned a cable channel into a 24-hour advertisement for her campaign.
 

Our gullible press: Ryan Holiday explains how the singular pursuit of traffic makes online media suckers for fake news

banner_cjr
One thing has been conspicuously absent from all criticism of online media and the future of news: an understanding of incentives. Incentives explain behavior. They explain nearly every major issue facing online media—from over-aggregation to speculative, iterative journalism, from pagination to the dearth of investigative reporting.
I understand these incentives intimately for a simple reason: It’s my job to exploit them. As a media manipulator for controversial media figures—billion-dollar brands like American Apparel, best-selling authors like Tucker Max and others who prefer to remain nameless—I use the Internet, specifically bloggers, to make and control news. I am asked to create fake scandals, get names in the news, launch products, spread disinformation, and protect against misinformation—all of which relies on an understanding of what makes blogs, and the web, work.
My former occupation is not easy to stomach
One thing has been conspicuously absent from all criticism of online media and the future of news: an understanding of incentives. Incentives explain behavior. They explain nearly every major issue facing online media—from over-aggregation to speculative, iterative journalism, from pagination to the dearth of investigative reporting.

I understand these incentives intimately for a simple reason: It’s my job to exploit them. As a media manipulator for controversial media figures—billion-dollar brands like American Apparel, best-selling authors like Tucker Max and others who prefer to remain nameless—I use the Internet, specifically bloggers, to make and control news. I am asked to create fake scandals, get names in the news, launch products, spread disinformation, and protect against misinformation—all of which relies on an understanding of what makes blogs, and the web, work.

My former occupation is not easy to stomach... (keep reading)
 

The Politics of Cognitive Dissonance

banner_wsj
"Don't repeat conservative language or ideas, even when arguing against them."
That bit of advice, No. 1 on a list titled "The 10 Most Important Things Democrats Should Know," comes from the promotional material for "The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic" by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling. (You may remember them from our June 12 column.) In a PJMedia.com essay, the anonymous blogger whose pen name is Zombie draws out the implications:
Many politicians, pundits and talking heads have taken Lakoff's recommendation to heart. This is why conservatives and liberals can't seem to have the simplest conversation: liberals intentionally refuse to address or even acknowledge what conservatives say. Since (as Lakoff notes) conservatives invariably frame their own statements within their own conservative "moral frames," every time a conservative speaks, his liberal opponent will seemingly ignore what was said and instead come back with a reply literally [sic] out of left field.
Thus, he is the progenitor of and primary advocate for the main reason why liberalism fails to win the public debate: Because it never directly confronts, disproves or negates conservative notions--it simply ignores them. . . .
By intentionally refusing to challenge, disprove, understand or even acknowledge the existence of the other side's argument, you allow that argument to grow in strength and win converts.
This is an important insight, not only into the way the left debates and otherwise communicates, but into the way the left thinks--or fails to think. The book's subtitle, after all, promises an instruction in "Thinking and Talking Democratic." Lakoff and Wehling command their readers not only to act as if opposing arguments are without merit, but to close their minds to those arguments. What comes across to conservatives as a maddening arrogance is actually willed ignorance.
"Don't repeat conservative language or ideas, even when arguing against them."

That bit of advice, No. 1 on a list titled "The 10 Most Important Things Democrats Should Know," comes from the promotional material for "The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic" by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling. (You may remember them from our June 12 column.) In a PJMedia.com essay, the anonymous blogger whose pen name is Zombie draws out the implications:

Many politicians, pundits and talking heads have taken Lakoff's recommendation to heart. This is why conservatives and liberals can't seem to have the simplest conversation: liberals intentionally refuse to address or even acknowledge what conservatives say. Since (as Lakoff notes) conservatives invariably frame their own statements within their own conservative "moral frames," every time a conservative speaks, his liberal opponent will seemingly ignore what was said and instead come back with a reply literally [sic] out of left field.

Thus, he is the progenitor of and primary advocate for the main reason why liberalism fails to win the public debate: Because it never directly confronts, disproves or negates conservative notions--it simply ignores them. . . .
By intentionally refusing to challenge, disprove, understand or even acknowledge the existence of the other side's argument, you allow that argument to grow in strength and win converts.

This is an important insight, not only into the way the left debates and otherwise communicates, but into the way the left thinks--or fails to think. The book's subtitle, after all, promises an instruction in "Thinking and Talking Democratic." Lakoff and Wehling command their readers not only to act as if opposing arguments are without merit, but to close their minds to those arguments. What comes across to conservatives as a maddening arrogance is actually willed ignorance. (keep reading)

Last Updated (Friday, 13 July 2012 06:41)

 

Mitt Romney's Summer Vacation

banner_wsj
"You know, I'm delighted to be able to take a vacation with my family. I think all Americans appreciate the memories they have with their children and their grandchildren."
—Mitt Romney, July 6, 2012
Truer words were never spoken. Fourth of July, family, grandkids. That's what it's all about. So how did it come to pass that in this particular Fourth of July week, amid a presidential election, the memory Mitt Romney allowed to imprint itself on the American electorate was an Associated Press photo of himself looking absolutely fabulous on a fire-engine red jet ski driven by his fabulous-looking wife?
Surly news editors instantly likened it to failed presidential candidate John Kerry windsurfing off Nantucket Island. Political junkies by the thousands stepped away from backyard grills to send the jet-ski photo to their distribution lists: "Have you seen this??!!"
"You know, I'm delighted to be able to take a vacation with my family. I think all Americans appreciate the memories they have with their children and their grandchildren."
—Mitt Romney, July 6, 2012
screencap_p9

Truer words were never spoken. Fourth of July, family, grandkids. That's what it's all about. So how did it come to pass that in this particular Fourth of July week, amid a presidential election, the memory Mitt Romney allowed to imprint itself on the American electorate was an Associated Press photo of himself looking absolutely fabulous on a fire-engine red jet ski driven by his fabulous-looking wife?
screencap_p7

Surly news editors instantly likened it to failed presidential candidate John Kerry windsurfing off Nantucket Island. Political junkies by the thousands stepped away from backyard grills to send the jet-ski photo to their distribution lists: "Have you seen this??!!" (read on)

Last Updated (Friday, 13 July 2012 06:21)

 

What people think of Obama and Romney — in 4 word clouds!

banner_washpost
Perception is everything in politics. It can create a reality or run counter to one — all without a politician having much say in the matter.
Given that, we we were intrigued this morning when Chuck Todd (on his “Daily Rundown” show) showed the positive — and negative — words that respondents to the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll used to describe both President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
That he showed them in word clouds — the Fix is a sucker for a good word cloud — made it all the more intriguing. We asked the good folks at NBC if we could get the four word clouds and they sent them over.
We’ve posted them after the jump. The findings are fascinating.
Let’s start with the positive words mentioned
Perception is everything in politics. It can create a reality or run counter to one — all without a politician having much say in the matter.Given that, we we were intrigued this morning when Chuck Todd (on his “Daily Rundown” show) showed the positive — and negative — words that respondents to the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll used to describe both President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.That he showed them in word clouds — the Fix is a sucker for a good word cloud — made it all the more intriguing. We asked the good folks at NBC if we could get the four word clouds and they sent them over.We’ve posted them after the jump. The findings are fascinating.Let’s start with the positive words mentioned...(finish the article)
screencap_p5
screencap_p6

Last Updated (Friday, 13 July 2012 06:11)

 

Political Perceptions: Obama Disdains the Quick Q&A

banner_wsj_wire_blog

 

Reporters don’t normally interrupt the president of the United States midspeech. That’s what hecklers do. So when a reporter for the Daily Caller website yelled a question at PresidentBarack Obama last weekduring an address on immigration policy, he didn’t find a lot of sympathy in the White House press corps.
The normal practice is to wait until the president is finished — and then holler out a question.
Not that respecting protocol is very likely to yield an answer.
Three and a half years into the term, Mr. Obama plainly disdains the quick question-and-answer exchanges with the press.  Indeed, they are far and away his least favorite forum for speaking publicly.
Look at the numbers. Martha Joynt Kumar, a political science professor at Towson University, has been studying the communications style of Mr. Obama and his recent predecessors. Her research shows that as of the end of May, Mr. Obama took part in 99 short exchanges with reporters. By contrast, at comparable points in their presidenciesGeorge W. Bush had done 324 of these sessions; Bill Clinton, 538; George H.W. Bush, 289; and Ronald Reagan, 123.

Reporters don’t normally interrupt the president of the United States midspeech. That’s what hecklers do. So when a reporter for the Daily Caller website yelled a question at PresidentBarack Obama last weekduring an address on immigration policy, he didn’t find a lot of sympathy in the White House press corps.

screencap_p11

The normal practice is to wait until the president is finished — and then holler out a question.


Not that respecting protocol is very likely to yield an answer.


Three and a half years into the term, Mr. Obama plainly disdains the quick question-and-answer exchanges with the press.  Indeed, they are far and away his least favorite forum for speaking publicly.


Look at the numbers. Martha Joynt Kumar, a political science professor at Towson University, has been studying the communications style of Mr. Obama and his recent predecessors. Her research shows that as of the end of May, Mr. Obama took part in 99 short exchanges with reporters. By contrast, at comparable points in their presidenciesGeorge W. Bush had done 324 of these sessions; Bill Clinton, 538; George H.W. Bush, 289; and Ronald Reagan, 123. (continued)

 

Last Updated (Friday, 13 July 2012 06:40)

 

How Opponents Won The Health Care Messaging War

banner_npr_shots_blog
OK, so it's not exactly news that the Obama administration hasn't done the best job in the world selling the Affordable Care Act to the American public.
But now the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has some statistics to demonstrate just how sorry that job has been. And it suggests that the media gets at least some of the blame.
It seems that during the pivotal period during which the legislation was being crafted (and the public was forming an opinion), from June 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, nearly half the media coverage (49 percent) "focused on politics and strategy as well as the legislative process." How much focused on what the measure would actually do? Just 23 percent.
OK, so it's not exactly news that the Obama administration hasn't done the best job in the world selling the Affordable Care Act to the American public.

But now the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has some statistics to demonstrate just how sorry that job has been. And it suggests that the media gets at least some of the blame.

It seems that during the pivotal period during which the legislation was being crafted (and the public was forming an opinion), from June 1, 2009, through March 31, 2010, nearly half the media coverage (49 percent) "focused on politics and strategy as well as the legislative process." How much focused on what the measure would actually do? Just 23 percent. (read on)
 
More Articles...
Search
Quote

" 'That’s disgusting,' he tells his tutor, 'but it’s funny, and I’m going to keep using it.' "

--- Congressman John Dingell, upon learning the sexual meaning of the term "teabagging" as quoted in Robert Draper's new book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do (tip of the hat to Slate.com for their review.)