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expatriate's picture
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Media at Work

In he military, there's a term known as "prepping the battlefield." This covers a lot of ground form airstrikes to artillery barrages to reduce the enemy before comitting your main assault.

I smell an effort to build support for more gun control measures. Let me get this article straight -- an Airman is spotted with a shotgun near a dormitory and it makes national news. Did he live in the dorm? Was there any hostile intent? Or was this a legitimate dorm-dwelling shotgun owner that kept his shotgun in his vehicle? No answers. The fact that a guy was seen with a weapon on a military base is apparently cause to freak out. Thanks a lot, Hasan.

I find the comment that the base "wouldn't issue a weapon to an Airman in training" interesting. There's a difference between a government issued weapon and a personally-owned one. And if it's base policy that Airmen in training must surrender personal weapons to the Security Forces armory and won't allow access to them, it's a sure bet that Airmen will keep weapons stashed in their cars or with friends off base -- a classic example of gun control policies creating criminals out of good people, rather than stopping the bad guys.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,588376,00.html?test=latestnews

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Media at Work

Hmmm Think This made national news? Think The media sure has a way of stirring panic. I mean the only info that was reported was that an airman had a shotgun. That's it?? I guess it's a way to get viewers by using the wake of the recent base shooting as bait for news. It used to be that the media reported news, now they just create news. Starting fires just to put them out and look like a hero doing so, that seems to be the way of things in todays media. I don't get it either.

I recall recently after the Deer Creek Middle school shooting that 9news repeatedly showed tickers at the botton of the screen saying "Gunman used restroom before opening fire". Really? He used the restroom eh? Gee can they tell us more? Did he take a leak or a dump? Does anyone care? How was that news when compared to the scope of what really took place? The next day in another part of Littleton two adults were having an argument in the street a couple blocks from a school. The cops were called and all schools within two miles were put on lockdown, and of course the media was there to report it and cause a stir.

bitmasher's picture
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Re: Media at Work

Yeah that is an odd statement. I assume that security is just more jumpy after Hasan.

I'm not sure about the "prepping the battlefield" though. I think the main stream media has always been laying down a blanket of covering fire (to continue the analogy) to suppress resurgent interest in gun rights.

expatriate's picture
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Re: Media at Work

Maybe I'm just sensitive. But over the past 20 year or so it seems that gun control legislation has always been preceded by a rise of sensationalized stories about shootings. And here we sit waiting on SCOTUS to hand down its verdict on McDonald v. Chicago and possibly announce that state an local governments can't violate 2nd Amendment rights. Can it possibly be pure coincidence that the national media is suddenly awash with stories about shootings (or, in this case, something they try to spin into a shooting)? My cynical mind is telling me the media's doing its best to lay the groundwork for expressions of outrage if McDonald goes against the gun control crowd.

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Re: Media at Work

As cynical and paranoid as it sounds I must agree with Expat. Maybe on the other hand if someone smacks whenever you turn your back, not turning around isn't paranoid or cynical at all but wise.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Media at Work

I don't blame anyone for being sensitive or paranoid about the media "prepping the battlefield". The mainstream media does do this and has always done this. The are the only cause of what I call "Moral Panic". The mainstream media has been responsible for the vast majority of legislative action taken on any issue. They make a lot of mountain out of tiney molehills and really have a tendency to terribly mislead people about truth and facts. The worst part is that I can't believe Americans are as gullible as they have proven to be. The only thing that differs in the media today compared to say 30 or 40 years ago is that today there is an amazing number of news networks. Couple that with todays technology and 24hr a day airtime- just about eveyone joe on every corner having some means of being able to record audio or video, and you have anything no matter how insignificant making news. It seems that all someone has to do anymore to make the news is sneeze or trip in public. Expat has more experience in broadcasting than I do, so correct me if I'm wrong. But, from what I've observed it seems In the old days of broadcasting the media had to be more discriminating about what they chose to air as news, not as much airtime.

expatriate's picture
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Re: Media at Work

Actually, a big part of the problem is too much airtime. When you only have a 30 minute broadcast to work with, there's only so much you can say about a criminal case or a girl that disappears in Aruba. But in today's environment, you have to fill 24 hours of coverage, and news media is now a national business on which entire networks are centered. The evening news is no longer one TV show to sell ad space on -- it's the whole network. The business is cutthroat as well, and it's no longer about chasing a story to air at 6 PM -- it's about getting something on the air in the next 15 minutes to beat the competition. It's not about efficiency and depth -- it's meatball surgery. The net effect is that an incredibly fast-paced news cycle has been turbocharged. As a result, it's more prone to sensationalism and error, and stories are more prone to reporters' and editors' personal biases because they have to act so quickly.

One thing I've found interesting is to explore how my teenagers view the world as an indicator of what the media has taught them. For example, I asked my son what percentage of the American population was African American. He said 40 percent. He couldn't believe it when I said it was more like 13. Similarly, teens believe a disproportionately large percentage of the population is gay. Our population bases its views of our society's makeup and values on what the media shows them. So they think the US population has completely different demographics than reality because of the media's presentation of how it wants to portray society.

I've seen the same thing in other cultures around the world. I've known Japanese who had a really fuzzy concept of what happened in WWII because they've suppressed the whole issue in their schools and society. I've known Eastern Europeans who were incredibly racist because all they ever saw of black people was what the communist state media had fed them about race riots and social problems in the US. For the most part, people have no idea how much the media leads them by the nose -- but I believe that in the last 40 years or so, the media has figured it out and is making more of an effort to use it to affect society. I cringe when I hear things like "All the News that's Fit to Print" or TV news advertising that they dont' just report the news, they put it in perspective and tell you what's important. We're becoming increasingly Orwellian -- giving up our ability to reason and waiting around for the telescreen to tell us what to think.

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