Saturday, January 30, 2016

How to Lie and have the press repeat your lie

StrategyPage has a short article on the 3000 year history of propaganda and political spin, and it's not pretty.

what, Ramses the Great didn't win the Battle of Kardesh?

And of course, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great were bloody conquerers, but you rarely hear of civilians who got killed in their wars.

In contrast, to try to "get Bush", one famous British medical journal published a hugely inflated number of deaths from the Iraq war, and then when actual statistics suggested fraud, claimed they couldn't understand what when wrong: After all they hired an Iraqi with public health experience under Sadam to collect the statistics.

Aside from the scandal that a foreign medical journal was trying to influence an American election, it ended up putting anything the journal published into question: who "peer reviewed" the data? If they let a political partisan collect the data, would they let in an article biased because the writer was working for a drug company? And the selection bias which was probably the reason for the inflated numbers: it would be like taking a survey of inner city American schools for sickle cell  anemia, a disease mainly found in those whose ancestors were West Africans,  and extrapolating those deaths as if they represented the entire country.

A similar item is the press using veterans suicides to demonize the war and paint veterans as crazy: yet statistics show that most "veteran's deaths" were not from Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, but from aging VietNam veterans (from a demographic where the suicide rate was high in non veterans too).

Of course, the problem that the medical journal ignored was biased sample, and many of the other "atrocities/ain't it awful" spin was similarly spun: reporting all deaths, ignoring many were terrorist attacks and that the US troops were trying to stop them. This is similar to the "BLM" propaganda: ignoring that there are bad guys out there, who can spin the press to show the "cops" trying to stop them are the real problem:

StrategyPage points out how the reporters were spun by Sadam's minions:

 the Sunni minority (20 percent of the population) had exploited and terrorized the majority (Shia, Kurds, and Christians) for centuries. The Sunni were rich because they took most of the oil revenue as well. When Saddam Hussein was overthrown by a U.S. led invasion in 2003, those who opposed this operation had no trouble finding Sunni families (who were now poor and not powerful at all) who could tell sad stories of fathers and brothers killed by the Americans and the family reduced to poverty and oppression. 

Not revealed was that the lost menfolk were often members of the security services that had been killing and terrorizing Iraqis for years and grabbing most of the oil wealth.
 The Sunni Arab Iraqis were also the best educated segment of the population and often spoke English and other foreign languages. Journalists looking for sympathetic victims always had Sunni Arabs ready to step up and give the human side. What was rarely mentioned was that most of the terrorism in Iraq (that killed over 50,000 Iraqis in five years) was carried out by the Sunni Arab minority, who felt it was their right to rule and get most of the oil income.
 No one tried to humanize that angle. ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), founded and run by these same Iraqis, is killing even more people.
no, because the story printed needed to condemn the war. And all that stuff about US preventive war being evil ignored that the UN was not intervening, so the US became the world's policeman.

So why is the world in turmoil now?
In the US, it's called the "fergueson effect": a cop fighting for his life against a much larger thug trying to grab his gun is demonized as killing an "unarmed child with his hands up".
The result is police are reluctant to stop criminals, and the crime wave soars. But since most of the murders are minorities killed by other minorities who belong to gangs, the Obama inspired activists don't care, and the press ignores it.

But the same bias can be seen not just in the middle east, in the anti Israel spin of the European media, and in "activism" by SJW, but in the US elections.

Framing the debate is often complemented by efforts to "interpret" A Statement. Have you ever seen a writer say that someone said something, then what the person said followed even though it didn't look anything like what the writer claimed was meant? Selective presentation of information by misinterpretation is as good as an outright lie. A variation on that is withholding Information. Is it the same as lying? Some in the media might not want to answer that question.

it says a lot that one way the debate is framed is that Bernie Sanders is being ignored by the press, who prefers to cover Trump. And not just Sanders: other "bland" governors are complete non entities, with no one suggesting maybe they actually know how to run a state and would be able to run a country.

Alas, this last part is also being ignored is Sander's background: A complete ignorance of basic economics and a history of not being able to keep any job except in politics, in a legislative job where his ability to produce blarney keeps the locals happy.

and I won't even bother to go into the spin about Hillary's emails.

read the whole article and then try to read the news without exploding.


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