Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Media manipulation and the art of distraction

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A smart poet friend just posted that quote on his Facebook page. It got me thinking. We carry the myth of freedom because we can choose what we want to eat at the grocery store and post whatever we want on our Twitter. Once you start connecting the dots, you see we are  more manipulated than ever by our media. It’s the art of distraction. A technique that parents of crying toddlers use as well as dog trainers.

Wonder why Rhianna’s butt gets more coverage than Obama signing over the Gulf of Mexico oil rights to Exxon?  Today in Canada we are all  fired up about a Saskatoon woman losing her court case against her boyfriend who posted nude pictures of her on the Internet. The article finishes with this paragraph: "However, she noted that a new provision of the Criminal Code — part of Bill C-13 that is still before Parliament — could change all that." Our reaction: pass the bill, protect ourselves. Where is the in-depth discussions about how Bill C-13 will be a huge loss of privacy for Canadians? Let's see if the nude picture story gets picked up by the other news outlets.

We have all heard about the Tar Sands and the controversial pipeline they want to push through. Have any of us heard about the fracking going on in northern British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia? Did any of us hear about the millions of dollars in subsidies given to companies without British Columbians getting anything in return?

We do have articles about the Joslyn oilsands project northwest of Fort McMurray, Alta., being put on hold indefinitely. The final quote: “McKinnon said it's "no coincidence" Joslyn's shelving comes on the heels of an indefinite delay of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would enable oilsands crude to flow to Texas refineries.”

What's the next article? Statistics Canada sounding the alarm about the unexpected deficit in April as energy exports declined amid refinery shutdowns. No discussions about investing in alternative energy but we do have an article about how Canada’s energy patch (and its investors) are under a green siege. Why a siege? Why can’t Canada’s energy patch also be developing alternative energy? Wouldn’t that be another revenue development? Isn't developing new revenue streams part of havong a business?

Remember March 28, 2013? Probably not. It’s the day Obama signed a bill giving immunity to Monsanto for any harm caused by GMO foods. It wasn’t dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act for nothing. Not much in the news that day about that. In the headlines that day: Obama meeting Pope Francis and the traffic jam scandal at the foot of the George Washington Bridge. Which issue is going to have the most far reaching impact on you, your children and your children's children?

Buyer beware. When you see some big gossip scandal break, read between the lines. What else is happening in the world and off our radar? Remember that our media is a business just like Walmart. Only their product is ideas.

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