Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Kids are All Right is a step forward, but maybe also a step backwards for gays.

I finally saw The Kids are All Right the other night, thanks to Netflix, and I thought it was a good, but not great movie: a nice evening’s entertainment for adults with a message to convey, but not necessarily a

Do the attitudes on TV drama reflect or create public opinion? Let’s compare a scene in Kojak and Law and Order.

While riding my exercise bicycle the other day, channel surfing brought me to Kojak, a police series starring Telly Savalas popular in the early 70s.  A very short scene employed a standard convention of police dramas, the lineup, and the

In the propaganda of National School Choice Week, remember that the real meaning of “school choice” is lower teacher salaries.

How can a word convey a wonderfully positive sense in one context but mean something immoral and hateful in another?  If you’re an archetypal right-winger, it can happen if the word is “choice,” which for some reason means a good

NY Times floats the balloon of state bankruptcies to rip off workers of hard-earned pensions.

The lead story on the front page of today’s New York Times floats the idea that states enter bankruptcy as a means to avoid paying retired state workers the pensions that the states promised them.  Currently, states are not permitted

Mythmaking at its best: We hollow the contents out of MLK, then turn him into a “Smokey Bear” of volunteerism.

Once we have established an individual or event as an American myth, marketers, the news media, politicians and others slowly hollow out the person or event of its content, so that it can come to represent anything—and everything. I analyzed

Why is the American Legion spending money to lobby for harsher treatment of illegal immigrants?

It seems as if no matter what time of day it is, whenever I turn on my local ESPN AM radio station, I hear an ad from the American Legion chiding us about the dangers illegal immigration poses to our

In interpreting the mass murder in Tucson, the chattering classes point us in the wrong direction, as usual.

Legal immigrants in upstate New York taking a class to help them prepare for the test to become U.S. citizens… Senior citizens in rural North Carolina in the middle of an exercise class at a rehab center…   A loving extended

Maybe if the media ignores this survey long enough, the opinions of Americans will just go away.

About six months ago, I defined 15 specific propaganda techniques routinely used by the mainstream news media to distort the coverage of news.  Staring in my face—or perhaps hiding in plain sight is a more appropriate phrase—all this time has

Leftovers from the New Year’s weekend: slipping in the propaganda and guess who turns to pay-for-play?

The New York Times rang in the New Year by trying to connect a few statements in a paragraph and create a greater meaning that runs counter to reality.  It was buried on the page A3 continuation of the first

OpEdge gives out the first (and maybe last) annual Ketchup Awards for misapplication of labels.

Words or phrases often acquire values that most people or a specific group of people find attractive or dislike.  When the word or phrase is associated with a number of sharply distinguishing values it enters the lexicon of labels and