Next day, Friday, unbeknownst to us, the White House arranged an interview with Bob Woodward (like me, a certified Bigfoot, the sobriquet of media biggies) and Walter Pincus of The Washington Post. Mr. Gray gave these two old pros what sophisticated news handlers call an Inoculation Story.
What a joy it is to see really professional media manipulation. An ''inoculation story'' is an authorized leak of just enough embarrassing information to justify a front-page story (below the fold) - but because the source is so forthcoming, he gets full credit for candor. The reporters so used are not told that the White House purpose is to take the wind out of the sails of a much more thorough story about to break.
Friday night, the half-story appears in The Post; the headline tut-tuts about Mr. Gray's unwillingness to put his miscellaneous holdings in a blind trust, hardly significant. The New York Times, for competitive reasons, must then run the full and damning story by Mr. Gerth in its late Saturday editions, not distributed in Washington. A second-day Times story, on Sunday, received a necessarily lesser display. The ''inoculation'' did the trick.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Boyden Gray called me at home to determine whether I planned to write for the next day. A trusting soul, I said yes. He then called The Wall Street Journal and pulled the editorial trigger of Bigfoot Robert Bartley.
On Monday morning, The Journal was in print denouncing a column its editorialist had not yet read. At the White House press secretary's morning briefing, this pre-emptive defense by a respected Bigfoot was cited as proof of rectitude, along with the announcement that Mr. Gray would resign his board chairmanship only for appearance' sake.
Another PR triumph. President Bush could then say, without being challenged, that his lawyer ''did the correct thing every year in asking what was proper.'' He is at best misinformed. Mr. Gray had good reason to drag a foot in submitting his forms throughout the campaign year, without the required extensions; only now do we discover, from the close inspection of those documents, that he failed to disclose $87,000 in deferred income from his corporation in previous years.
Under a 1982 Department of Justice ruling, reiterated yesterday by an embarrassed director of the Office of Government Ethics, all deferred income must be disclosed in the year earned. Mr. Gray's concealment of -or his repeated failure to disclose - a whopping chunk of his outside income is not ''the appearance of'' wrongdoing. It was the fact of doing wrong, or making a hugely advantageous mistake, and no approval of this was asked or given.
Thanks to swift damage control and the acquiescence of an incompetent Office of Government Ethics, C. Boyden Gray won't be rebuked, much less punished. The chief Bush ethics adviser doesn't even have to admit a mistake, and the new President is entitled to a hearty laugh at all us Bigfeet.Continue reading the main story
Essay on Media Manipulation
569 Words3 Pages
The media and advertising hinder do indeed hinder our being fully human. Mass media including radio, television and newspapers endeavors to shape public opinion on a variety of things. The media attempts to manipulate those values instilled by parents and society in general, thus taking away from our being human. Messages designed to influence peoples’ attitudes, desires and decisions fall upon society urging those people to buy a certain product, vote for a certain political figure, or support a “worthy” cause. The daily attack of media and advertising persuade the public to be one and the same, rather than allowing them to function as humans who follow their own beliefs.
Public opinion is formed through…show more content…
Parents try to teach their kids that smoking is wrong, for example, yet commercials showing the rich and glamorous smoking are seen everyday on television. Subliminal messages are sent to the viewer that those who smoke drive fancy cars and are beautiful people, thus enticing the viewer to smoke their product. One cannot be fully human without values, yet the media tries to interfere with those values acquired from infancy, causing a major conflict in human lives.
Advertisements, commercials, and carefully crafted messages fly at consumers over the radio, through television, newspapers, magazines, posters, flyers, mailings, and on billboards displayed across the city. A huge amount of skill, effort, research and money goes into creating these advertisements, exposing the average Canadian to over 2000 commercial messages daily. Not surprisingly the average consumer tends to purchase those products that have appealing/catchy commercials attached to them. A person who claims to be fully human would not be affected by this propaganda, yet that person does not exist or is a dying breed at best, for every human being has formed at least one opinion/belief based on something the mass media has dictated to the world.
The mass media prevents us as human beings to be fully human. Propaganda unconsciously causes the public to act in ways they may not