Saturday, November 5, 2016

Who was the first liberal journalist?

In the wake of Rolling Stone and its activist being found guilty of manufacturing a fraudulent rape hoax story, I wanted to start back at the beginning.

Who was the first liberal journalist? Everything has a beginning. Where can you find that very first yellow brick in the road? Well, the first thing is making sure that we get the question right, otherwise we will produce garbage answers. In computer science, that falls into the category of "Garbage in, garbage out".

So, "Who was the first liberal journalist in the age of objective journalism?".(meaning, when they started hiding their biases) I think there might be an even better question. "Who was the first liberal journalist in the age of objective journalism, as the liberal media's monopoly was being built?" This question really nails it, because as modern media came to be ABC, NBC, and CBS, and the newspapers, how they all came to largely be one reporting entity is crucially important. Even though we ultimately only want to know who is the man who started it all.

His name is Walter Lippmann. Walter Lippmann stands at the center of a perfect storm when journalism becomes a profession - at his request and leadership - while at the same time journalism becomes a taught study in colleges - where, you know, the students will be indoctrinated en masse - and where Lippmann's own tactics of manipulating the news become both the de-facto as well as de-jure way that journalists operate - at the same time the big modern media entities that we have all known for so long were being built. Modern objective journalism largely came into existence in the 1920's/30's, as did the completely one-sided media monopoly. Lippmann's book Public Opinion was published in 1922.

Walter Lippmann has been called the "Father of Modern Journalism" by people in the industry for a long time, for good reason. That's not my designation, and his book "Public Opinion", a book for which every single conservative should be reading, is a public domain book that is free to download. The audiobook is also for free in the public domain.

Some of you may not realize, or even argue against the notion that Walter Lippmann's way of journalism is at the heart of what Rolling Stone did, and I only have one question for you:

"What stereotype was Rolling Stone hoping to supply to its readers?" For those of you interested in journalism, the left wing aspects of journalism, etc, this question is a whopper. Lippmann was obsessed with stereotypes, and in particular how to manipulate them to effect. Let's examine the answer to the question first. Rolling Stone was hoping to play off of various stereotypes about how evil men are, about the victimization of women, rape culture, and several others. Other commentators who are much better at dissecting this can and have already done the job, so I'll move on.

So along comes Rolling Stone, hoping to supply a stereotype about fratboys and their mass rapes. How does that relate to Lippmann? Here's what he wrote: (page 355)

It is a problem of provoking feeling in the reader, of inducing him to feel a sense of personal identification with the stories he is reading. News which does not offer this opportunity to introduce oneself into the struggle which it depicts cannot appeal to a wide audience. The audience must participate in the news, much as it participates in the drama, by personal identification. Just as everyone holds his breath when the heroine is in danger, as he helps Babe Ruth swing his bat, so in subtler form the reader enters into the news. In order that he shall enter he must find a familiar foothold in the story, and this is supplied to him by the use of stereotypes. They tell him that if an association of plumbers is called a "combine" it is appropriate to develop his hostility; if it is called a "group of leading business men" the cue is for a favorable reaction.

It is in a combination of these elements that the power to create opinion resides. Editorials reinforce.

Did Rolling Stone intend to provoke feelings in its readers?

Did Rolling Stone intend to induce its readers to feel a sense of personal identification with the story?

Did Rolling Stone intend to offer the opportunity to its readers to introduce themselves into the struggle?

Did Rolling Stone intend to see people participate in the news, in other words, did it think protests may occur because of this article?

Did Rolling Stone intend to label the fratboys (in an equivalent fashion) as a "combine" instead of labeling them as a "group of leading business men"? In other words, were they just boys having a good time? Or were they rapists?

Did Rolling Stone's editorials reinforce the original article? In the first few days, I bet they did.

People who are tired of the left wing bias constantly ask, "How can we do damage to this media" and the answer to your question is that you should be reading Walter Lippmann. He built the blueprints for all of this. You have questions, his books are where the answers reside. Particularly, the book "Public Opinion". How does this machine work? Ask it's creator.

It would be best, by far, if people read Lippmann's book in full. If an audiobook is preferred, click here. I can only scratch the surface, and even then, it is hard in this format to cover every single detail.

But, if you're simply looking for a small write up, I have one here. There is no substitute for a full read.

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