Wednesday, December 22, 2004

If Leni Riefenstahl Alive, Would She Work for Sinclair?

It's more than a little odd that Mark Hyman would revisit his rant about the New York Times editorial writer Andrew Rosenthal as one of his year's "best." It's little more than a collection of baseless assertions, distortions, and out and out lies based on what is surely a less-than-complete accounting of the conversation Hyman and Rosenthal had. As we pointed out in our initial response to this commentary, this commentary is a classic case of scapegoating--projecting one's own shortcomings and flaws on someone else.

The only thing we'll add to this is that Hyman also offers us a series of obvious propaganda techniques. His use of them is so hamfisted and blatant that they seem more contrived than even the examples we've seen in middle school language arts textbooks that warn kids about "glittering generalities" and the like. We've reproduced the commentary below, with accompanying labels for the specific propaganda techniques used. Enjoy.

We all know [Bandwagon] that some of the nation's major newspapers are out of touch with ordinary Americans. [Everyday Folks] None more so than the Gray Lady. [Pinpointing the Enemy]

"Will America's Veterans Please Shut Up?" That's the sentiments expressed by the New York Times. [Assertion]

In a conversation I had with editorial writer Andrew Rosenthal during the recent brouhaha over John Kerry's snub of American POWs, Rosenthal offered a perspective of how the paper views America's servicemen and women. [Testimonial]

"I'm sick of hearing about Vietnam," he offered. Rosenthal made it clear that the New York Times didn't deem it newsworthy that 13 American POWs [Testimonial] - including two Medal of Honor winners [Transfer] - who collectively suffered nearly 84 years of horrific abuse and unspeakable torture ended 31 years of self-imposed silence in order to set the record straight. [Card Stacking] These American icons [Glittering Generality] rebutted [Assertion] Kerry's claims that his 1971 Senate testimony accusing American servicemen of "war crimes" committed on "a day-to-day basis" harmed no one. [Card Stacking] Not true, they say, as Kerry's testimony was used by their Communist captors. [Testimonial] Rosenthal dismissed their torture as no big deal. [Name Calling] He also admitted that the Times had not covered the POWs nor would it - underscoring that the paper's editorial policy drives the paper's news reporting. [Simplification and Assertion]

Now the New York Times can show all the disdain it wants toward our military veterans. That's the paper's right. They can hate whomever they want. [Name Calling]

But we find it odd, considering the business it claims to be in. Using the First Amendment to report news may only entail a daily subway commute for Rosenthal and his liberal friends, [Name Calling] but it didn't come without the terrible sacrifice of millions of servicemen and women [Transfer] - sacrifice that Rosenthal arrogantly dismissed [Name Calling] when he stated, "The New York Times has done more to support the First Amendment than any other group." I think the two million American war dead and wounded in the 20th century alone tell a different story. [Card Stacking, Simplification, and Transfer.]

But then again, Rosenthal and his elitist friends [Name Calling] don't care about American troops as he made so abundantly clear. [Assertion] "I'm sick of what the right-wing fanatics are doing to this war. It's the same thing they did to Vietnam," Rosenthal told me. His chief complaint? That this nation's sons and daughters who put on the military uniform would dare to hold accountable people like John Kerry who testified before Congress that their fathers who served before them were war criminals. [Simplification, Card Stacking, Assertion, and . . . well . . .Lying.]

I support Rosenthal's and the New York Times' First Amendment rights to write what they want - no matter how ugly the sentiment. [Glittering Generalities] It just saddens me that when he and his arrogant friends [Name Calling] ride home tonight in the comfort of a New York City subway car [Plain Folks] that they cannot at least give a little thanks to the brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. [Transfer] But then that's not the way of the New York Times. [Assertion and Pinpointing the Enemy]

And that's The Counterpoint [Assertion!]


At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I love you. The Point is bad enough, but now I'm forced to watch that AND Get This. I've been annoyed with this guy since day one, and recently decided to send a comment to him:

"Ever since I've been cut off from cable TV, I've been forced to watch basic TV, mainly NBC and FOX. I watch my local news daily now, and am sickened by this "real" look at global "news." I heard enough of it from FOX News, but you're making them look like an unbiased network. Forced to watch some monkeysuit VP spouting scripted political rhetoric, clichéd opinions, and completely inane commentary infuriates my intelligence. You can't forget those 5 second clips of you in different global locations that look like they were recorded with a cellphone camera just to show some redundant sign of relevancy. I'd rather not have some right-wing corporation inject their political agenda into my "bland" and "homogenized" local news. I guess I prefer my news without some sort of Action Copter tracking the latest car chase, or something of the extremely sensationalized sort. Do yourself a favor and remove your inept politcal awareness from broadcast existance, leave it to the talk radio and TV media mouthpieces. The only thing you reject newspersons are good for is wasting my time with recycled news stories filled with obscene political bias. Local news is meant to be objective. We're watching for the local basketball scores, community events, and the oh-so loved meteorology type of weather report, not the political kind of weather. The one way your show made me happy was removing that lame "insert random unneccesity here" quip about going to war without France from your ads. You may be as big as Rush Limbaugh (physically), but your points aren't. That's MY point."

Keep up the good work.

At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Found this job posting, tho't you'd might be interested in applying:

At 3:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best of your entries, Ted, as far as teaching the art of propaganda. It also has the best comment, the letter to Sinclair. I love the work you and your bloggers do. I plan to continue to come here on a regular basis. Keep up the good work.

Myron in ND


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