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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Could this be the same story?

As an example of why you should not judge an article by its cover and you why you need to consult multiple conflicting sources before you make a judgement, please consider the headlines in the New York Times and the Las Vegas Review Journal concerning reactions to President Obama's speech on Tuesday night calling for 30,000 additional troops to go to Afghanistan and laying out terms for withdrawal.

The Reveiw Journal's Page one headline read "Critics target Afghan strategy".

The New York Times headline read "Obama's war speech wins over skeptics."

Both are true, yet both have definate leans on how the story is progressing.

Immediate headlines during the actual speech (and before due to advance copy provided to the media) read "30 billion dollars to be spent on Afghanistan" for the RJ and "30,000 troop temporary increase in troop levels" in the New York Times.

Again, both are true.

You do not need to compare Fox News with MS NBC to find paralyzing polar interpretations of the same events, views, legislation or statements.

Why?

My thought is that consumers now want to hear extreme views that support or reinforce what they feel fits into their own vision of the truth. Assimilation, in the communication definition of the word, is becoming the rule not the exception. In the need for readers, viewers, listeners and advertiser attracting numbers, the media is not providing what the consumer wants rather than truth.

If you think about it, in most but not all things, the truth is often in the middle, with leaning one way or another based on perception, on the noise/screens/filters of those involved.

Four people see a car accident from four different locations. They are all in different states of mind. Will more than two ever see the accident anywhere near the same way? Ask any police officer.

First published 12/3/09

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