Mainstream Media Parrot Right Wing Disinformation by Ignoring Problems in the Policing System
Here is an excellent Twitter thread about some aspects of Right Wing disinformation that mainstream media consistently go along with — probably without realizing they’re feeding their consumers Right Wing biased misinformation.
This thread is about individual focus vs. systemic focus in describing events, problems and solutions. It was written by Dr. Dannagal Young, Professor of Communication and Political Science at University of Delaware. Click below to read it.
Thread by @dannagal on Thread Reader App
Hi. I think this fact bears repeating in light of reporting on Uvalde: The media's bias in favor of specific…
A common response to this kind of concern about individual, rather than systemic, focus is that Americans are individualistic and value personal freedom and responsibility. Yes, we do. They’re important and useful values. However, even good values can go overboard or can be used in ways that don’t fit the situation.
Propagandists study the culture they want to destroy, in order to match the propaganda with the culture’s values. They take advantage of both the culture’s weaknesses and its strengths . They try to make the weaknesses worse. They also try to apply the strengths or values in distorted or inappropriate ways that lead to weakness — not strength.
In the case of school shootings, the problems are not only the decisions by individuals in one town’s police force. The problems are far wider than that — problems in our system of policing and in the easy availability of high powered weapons, with little regulation. To focus only on the decisions of individuals — without the social, historical, political or legal context — amounts to deceiving the public about the fact that we have a societal and cultural problem in this area.
Choosing individual — rather than systemic — framing is one of many ways that supposedly liberal mainstream media habitually go along with the Republican party’s choices of words, frames and focus. These choices, among others, bias media consumers toward agreeing with Republican views and thus toward voting for Republicans in elections. Corporate mainstream media are not liberal. The view that they are, is just more Right Wing disinformation.
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We can all help to solve this problem. Any time we see or hear media choosing Right Wing framing, we can phone or write the media outlet and complain — telling them what they did that was Right Wing biased and explaining what we want them to do instead, in order to objectively inform the public. If you google the name of a news outlet and “contact” you can get contact information for that outlet.
If you’re on Twitter, @froomkin @brianbeutler and @jayrosen_nyu post frequent examples of Right Wing bias in media.