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Scoot: How the news media gets your attention

Any doubt that the exaggeration of reality is the life blood of the news media can be erased by several current stories in the news.

News Story #1: Tom Brady drops the F-bomb!
That headline, along with a picture of New England Patriots’ QB Tom Brady scolding an official, appeared everywhere in the news media clearly suggesting that following the Patriots’ loss to Carolina Panthers Tom Brady dropped the F-bomb live on television in front of a national audience.  Technically, it is true  that Brady dropped the F-bomb, when he was expressing his frustration over what many believed was a missed call by the officials, which ended the game and the Patriots’ chance to score and win.  But this was more the news media’s depiction of the incident rather than an observation based in reality.

To be fair – Brady was simply venting his anger over what he thought was a blatantly missed interference call in the end zone.  The ESPN cameras followed Brady as he was walking off the field and caught up with an official.  Brady did use profanity, but it was intended only for the official.  The profanity was barely audible, but it could be heard and Brady’s lips were easy to read – so it was obvious he dropped the F-bomb.
For the subtle use of the F-bomb in that moment of emotion and in that context to be described as “Brady drops the F-bomb” clearly demonstrates the media’s propensity to exaggerate reality for the sole purpose of grabbing the attention of the audience.
Sadly, much of the audience will accept only the headline as an accurate reflection of the moment without considering the overall context in which it was barely uttered.  Through social media, the headline will spread and since the use of profanity contradicts the general public image of Tom Brady, the story generates more human interest – which is the primary goal of the news media.

News Story #2: “Exclusive interview with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
I can’t fault the media for sensationalizing this story because it is sensational on its own.  But I do want to expose the fraudulent use of the word “exclusive” by the news media.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word exclusive is defined as “restricted or limited to the person, group or area concerned.”   Several news networks promoted their interviews with Mayor Ford as exclusive interviews – meaning that it was an interview only that network or news source secured.  But there were interviews with Mayor Ford everywhere.  So how could they be exclusive?

The fact is the interviews were not exclusive and prostituting the word exclusive should cause audiences to no longer respect the use of that word by the media.  This is one example and observing the news media will reveal frequent misuse of the word exclusive.

New Story #3: Jeb Bush promotes that he is a real conservative
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he is a “practicing” conservative during a question-and-answer session before the 92nd Street Y in New York City last night.  That led to several news stories comparing Jeb Bush to Chris Christie, who has been portrayed as a more moderate Republican in the wake of his overwhelming election victory in New Jersey.

Since the news media’s primary goal is to attract the largest possible audience, it is motivated by the instinct to create conflict and drama – two important elements in any compelling entertainment.  The recent national buzz about Chris Christie being the savior of the Republican Party, because he is perceived to be more moderate than many high-profile conservative Republicans, presented the news media with the perfect scenario to continue exposing what has been described as the civil war within the Republican Party over more conservative or more moderate ideology.

In his recent book, “Informing the News,” author Thomas Patterson quotes linguist George Zipf in describing the news media’s tendency to imply the “principle of least effort,” when creating conflict in news stories.  Patterson addresses the news media taking a comment from one politician and then finding a strongly opposing opinion to establish conflict about an issue.  The news media, in most cases, fails to add context or depth to the newly created debate and further fuels the flames of the conflict.
Since the news media is trying to grab our attention in its goal of attracting a mass audience for every news story, it is imperative that we, the audience, understand this underlying motive and not be so quickly swayed by the sharp divide which serves to create drama in the news. 

We, the audience, should also become cognizant of the fact that the news media will destroy the meaning of words like exclusive in a self-serving attempt to promote the brand of the news outlet.  And the news media will go to great lengths to create controversy over an incident like Tom Brady dropping the F-bomb live on a national broadcast to stir the emotions of those who are convinced that America’s morality is lost forever!

The audience is eager to blame the media for the very strategy that does attract their attention.  But, shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the audience to better observe how and why the news media presents its content?

Tags :  
Topics : Entertainment_CulturePolitics
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Locations : FloridaNew JerseyNew York CityToronto
People : Carolina Panthers Tom BradyChris ChristieGeorge ZipfJeb BushRob FordTom Brady

11/19/2013 6:47PM
Scoot: How the news media gets your attention
Please Enter Your Comments Below
11/19/2013 9:56PM
Folks you have to remember that Scooter is a liberal and is not going to
trash his own team. Scooter is a fill-in when sports is not on WWL ... just laugh at him and mock him ... Scoot is a mere áss clown. LOL ... http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2013/08/17/the-25-stupidest-liberal-quotes-of-the-last-decade-n1666619
11/19/2013 10:03PM
Lots of people would like to vote Democrat but Obama is such a dumb-áss ..
they are being driven away ... LOL ...
11/19/2013 10:29PM
Scooter trashes conservatives to get a response so you have fun with this
and enjoy playing Scooter’s insult game ... Scooter is an Obama þutt kisser ... literally, if he could get pass the Secret Service ... LOL.
11/19/2013 10:46PM
Scooter would never use MSNBC host Martin Bashir as an example of stupid despite
the fact that he recently said someone should defecate and urinate on Sarah Palin. Naw, Scoot would be first in line to drop his pants ... LOL.
11/20/2013 1:21AM
Vote Blue
Lots of people will get their chance to vote Democrat in 2016 - when Hillary Clinton runs and will win even red states. No worries there!
11/20/2013 5:56AM
Vote Blue ... you spend way too much time humping your Obama Blow-Up Doll ...
LOL ...
11/20/2013 5:57AM
Vote Blue ... YOU are delusional .... get your head out of your áss so you
can take a breath. You have suffered too much brain damage already.
11/20/2013 5:59AM
Sad that blacks are still fainting and chanting over the clown Obama ...
such massive ignorance and laziness in the black community.
11/20/2013 6:01AM
Poor Mary Landrieu ... she is still on her knees servicing her Lord and Savior Obama ...
what a true piece of human debris. LOL.
11/20/2013 6:04AM
Hillary is too old and ugly for the low information voters who never vote on the
basis of substance.
11/20/2013 6:06AM
Scoot would be better served talking about concerts and festivals and
chasing male tail ... he does not have a clue about much else.
11/20/2013 6:10AM
Vote Blue ... how embarassing for you. If you are voting for Hillary then
you are admitting you cannot survive a single day without 24 hour government oversight. Guess you go through a lot of adult diapers.
11/20/2013 6:12AM
Obama is a petuant, incompetent, tyrant wanna-be——a B!TCH that should be
impeached for his corruption.
11/20/2013 9:11AM
Serial Troll Poster...step away from the gene pool
I am from the SOS Police, the Survival of the Species Police. Sir, step away from the gene pool. We don't need you reproducing. Just because you can breed doesn't mean you should breed.
11/20/2013 6:47PM
Poor Scooter getting a grouchy ... he has not sodomized a farm animal in
over a week. Cut Scooter some slack he needs to visit the zoo. LOL
11/20/2013 6:52PM
Poor Scoot Boy ... he likes to trash people but whines when the garbage is dumped
back on him ... poor baby. LOL.
11/21/2013 12:14AM
Is a gentleman. You, anonymous spamming poster, are not. You are foul mouthed, repetitive, obsessive, and have a high school toilet humor mentality. Seek help.
11/21/2013 8:59PM
Poor Scoot in a rage.
11/21/2013 9:02PM
Scoot trashes good people all the time ...
... gentleman he is NOT.
11/22/2013 6:40PM
Good People
Don't post the filth you post here about Scoot. Doubt you recognize what a "good person" is with a foul mouth like that.
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