Sunday, August 23, 2009

Faked Photographs Nothing New

We learn from the piece in the New York Times that faked photos are nothing new to journalism.

"“The very nature of photography was to record events,” said Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Dartmouth University and a detective of photographic fakery. "

what an opportunity for manipulation. It didn’t take long for schemers to discover that with a little skill and imagination, photographic realism could be used to create manufactured realities.

But faking or manipulating photo images is not the only way editors and reporters alike distort reality to "sell" their "version" of the "news." In this story posted on the Cambridge Chronicle website, Wickedlocal/cambridge, it is noted that the headline, or title, if you will, of an op-ed piece by the CEO of Whole Foods was replaced by the Wall Street Journal's own staff.

"the title of the piece was changed by Wall Street Journal staff from Health Care Reform to Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare, giving the impression that Mackey is actively opposing the Presidents plan. "

Certainly, for many reporters, letter to the editor writers, and now in an op-ed piece on an important issue, changing the 'title' of the piece is one way the editors of MSM can skew or distort both the purpose and the meaning that people get from reading the piece.

In some cases, like this one, the title results in inciting emotional bias to the point that those who 'support' Obama's plan, cannot give a fair reading to what Mackey wrote.

I found Mackey made several extreemly excellent points and suggestions, while other points fell well short of the mark. I am thrilled that he put himself 'out there,' in the current enviornment that has been poisoned by the two Ps in a pod, Palin with her death panel remarks, and Pelosi calling Americans who express different views, 'Unamerican!' We not only need a discussion of health care reform, we can all learn from such discussion, and learn about how others are actually doing in America.

The substtuted headline for the op-ed piece being is emotionally disruptive it generates outrage rather than considered discussion. It might sell papers, but it won't further civil discourse.

For what purpose does manipulation like this occur?

In my opinion, this kind of distortion constitutes a denial of free speech, or should I say, a denial of the people's right to know. The reader is robed of his "mind" by being supplied a false "truth" and therefore is unable to form his own opinions. This is the true danger of propaganda like this. people fail to understand where and how they develop their "own" opinions.

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