Monthly Archives: November 2009

All the news that’s fit to distort. NY Times “Week in Review” section is a textbook in propaganda techniques.

The subtext of the entirety of the “Week in Review” section in yesterday’s Sunday New York Times was decidedly right-wing, especially when it comes to social/value issues.  The section was, in fact, a textbook in advanced propaganda techniques, to whit:

Posted in Ideological Subtext

Wal-Mart presents a realistic picture of fatherless childhood

Holiday commercials are starting to appear in TV and radio.  I love to look at them for clues to the current state of things.  For example, one of the TV commercials that Wal-Mart is running for the 2010 holiday season

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters, Social & Political Issues

The New York Times’ version of the American turkey-roasting experience: we’re dumb and it gives us the sweats.

In this past Sunday’s “Week in Review” section, New York Times’ food writer Mark Bittman describes the shared emotions of millions of people when approaching the task of cooking the sacred and sacrificial bird of late November.  Does Bittman describe

Posted in Social & Political Issues

The not-so-hidden ideology of a “Best Places” list: if it’s in a city it can’t be good.

Business Week has published a list of the best places to raise children and surprise, surprise, the Top 10 are all small suburbs or rural towns except for Honolulu.  All these suburbs are without mass transit and most have very

Posted in Social & Political Issues

From a news plotline trend, a practical tip for both journalists and PR writers.

I know I’m late to this trend, but it seems to me that there has recently been an enormous increase in the number of news stories in which the essence of the plot reduces to someone caught doing something very

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters, Social & Political Issues

The argument by anecdote: every demagogue’s best friend

Argument by anecdote is when you prove a point with a story.  It is a very compelling argument, because people like stories about other people more than they like cold, hard facts.   Too often, though, the argument by anecdote is

Posted in Social & Political Issues

The politics of selfishness trumps decency once again

The Associated Press did its own poll about the attitudes of the American public when it comes to health care and health care reform.  The results demonstrated once again that the politics of selfishness reigns supreme in the United States

Posted in Social & Political Issues

Another Darwinian fairy tale gives us old time religion in our jeans. Or was that genes?

The latest “Week in Review” in this Sunday’s New York Times has one of the most odious examples in recent memory of what I call Pop Darwinism—inferring a basis in genetics or natural selection of behaviors that the writer wants

Posted in Social & Political Issues

To Those Lost Souls Who Are Saving Too Much and Could Be Spending More

Kicking around the Internet this week is a Friday, November 6 Bankrate.com article by Marilyn Kennedy Melia titled, “Could you be saving too much?” The premise of the article is that “About 10 percent of the population is accumulating too

Posted in Ideological Subtext

Praise and Blame is Harder to Assess than You Think

Whenever Congress talks of raising taxes on the wealthy, as in the current House bill on healthcare reform, people complain that it isn’t fair for the government to take a greater percentage of wealth from people who are successful.  Inherent

Posted in Social & Political Issues