Archive for March, 2013

Myth: Vendor Overcharges to Government (Part 1)

Posted on March 23, 2013. Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

5th in the series The Manipulators

Your words for the day:

  • The Great Unwashed = another euphemism for the general public; you know, the masses of political philosophy
  • schtick = that act each of us adopts to get through this brief, but trying, thing called life
  • yellow journalism = lurid, outlandish, and inflammatory “reporting”
  • tabloid tactics = see “yellow journalism”

Who hasn’t heard it?  A high-profile vendor OVERCHARGES some government agency.  A contractor (another word for vendor) submits UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES to the Defense Department.  Big business uses federal BAIL OUT MONEY to give millions IN BONUSES to its top executives.

Who hasn’t agreed with the Media that “this is some bad stuff” costing the taxpayers some serious money?  Such information releases are directed at us, The Great Unwashed, by journalists who adopt the persona of experts-in-all-matters-deemed-beneficial to “public awareness.”  The Press ( with the big P) has only the best interest of the public in mind as it strokes those proven hot buttons of public perception and pockets huge gate receipts as we, the public sheep, ante up for our tickets to their carnival sideshow.

I, like everyone else in this Society of The Great Unwashed, can be as gullible as anyone.  Do you purchase every rag sheet, tabloid, gaudy magazine, and newspaper that your gaze falls upon?  Or, do you simply note and absorb the blaring headline that, in a few words, engraves an impression into your consciousness?  You realize that analysis of the story line may actually say something different from that headline, but few of us have the will to read and analyze every bit of “news” that inundates us daily.  We are content to remember the “knee-jerk” stimulus and to secretly enjoy the “kick” we derived from it.

The good news is that, although gullible, we of the Great Unwashed are not overly stupid (even though, at any given moment, there are enough of us acting stupidly enough to imply an endemic class trait).  That means that all of us, from time to time, get to peek behind the stage curtain and get a glimpse of The Great and Powerful Oz,* and, by golly, realize that ol’ Oz is really just another one of us –The Great Unwashed — wearing the robes of deception…   ah, journalism…   I mean the robes of journalism.

Our “trusted” news sources are nothing more than fellow gullibles who got a paying job just like the rest of us.  Unlike the rest of us, they also got elevated to a higher plane of credibility, adopting the schtick of expert-in-everything (i.e., journalist).  As such, they drag with them the perception-skewing baggage of media-stressed common-knowledge they acquired when rubbing elbows with all of us lesser beings.  They just fatten up their own biases and make a buck out of it.  And, they call it “news.”

As the title of this article implies, my current axe to grind is the media staple of “big business’s gouging of government agencies for taxpayer money.”  I call it a media-perpetuated myth because of several reasons:

  • It takes two to tango
  • You get what you pay for
  • The paper trail
  • Caveat emptor

To perpetuate this myth and stir the media-purchasing public to…   well…   purchase…   media offerings, those realities are ignored by The Big Pee.  Instead, they go for a morality play wherein they decide who will be the villain and who will be the victim, while presenting themselves as the champion of what is right and good.  Basically, it is just yellow journalism and tabloid tactics to turn a buck…   and win some award, maybe.  But, mostly, it is just to make a buck.

Ignorance on the part of both the public and the writers is what gives this story line its perennial appeal.  The expert-in-everything journalist presents his story from the view of someone in the know, and the public (that be us) — freely confessing its ignorance on the matter — sits at the foot of the master, eagerly tossing coins into his tin cup.

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* The Big P

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Next up:  The Myth (Part 2)  The Office Depot gets skewered

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The Truth Is What I Say It Is

Posted on March 12, 2013. Filed under: Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

4th in the series The Manipulators

Your old saw for the day:

  • Don’t do as I do; do as I say.

Your words for the day (according to Dean):

  • truth = an extremely malleable concoction of presumed facts
  • hot button = a topic that elicits a strongly visceral reaction either for or against
  • knee jerk = visceral reaction; no rational thought required
  • jerk = an ignoramus with airs of superiority, adolescent behavior, insulting demeanor
  • The Big P = The Big Pee; all news media (lest you forget)

We revisit that catch-phrase, “The truth is what I say it is.”  I aired it in a previous article regarding the shenanigans of a litigator (Super Dan) and his trusty blogger-minion (Big Foot).  That dynamic duo, like the manipulative Press, also engages* in the business of deceiving the public. (I gave them a 25-article series called “The Great Cluster Fu…”)

In the first three articles of this series I illustrated how the The Big Pee twisted the facts in a US Immigration Department action and glorified criminal activity to illustrate bureaucratic “coldness” and “out-of-touch legislation” that harms “innocent victims.”  The hot buttons exercised were “we-are-so-much-better-than-that” and “being-humanitarian-is-always-the-right-thing-to-do” and “these special people only break the law to do what they have to do to survive.”  While empathizing with non-citizen criminals, that same institutional urinal** offers no ongoing sympathy or efforts to intercede on behalf of US citizens caught in similar plights.  Writers’ motivations?  Anybody’s guess, but, I would hazard (1) politico-socio agendas, (2) filling out that journalistic resume in the “I am so relevant” category, and (3) a journalistic achievement award of some kind at some annual Media pat-each-other-on-the-back Awards Ceremony.

The balance of these postings will highlight certain hot-buttons that have been lit up in the recent past and how that illumination reflects faulty public concepts which, to no surprise, have been cultivated by The Big Pee for decades.  You can think of those concepts as sleeper agents embedded in our social consciousness by that fifth column that bills itself as The Fourth Estate.**

New readers to these ravings…   uh…   insightful observations…   may be dismayed at my apparent distaste of journalistic offerings and skepticism of their authors’ intents.  Getting up to speed on my true feelings regarding that genre, you might click on such categories as piss ants and journalists and read previous postings.  I’ve tried to be very clear on that matter.

Back to the subject at hand.  A popular reference to stored cyber data is “the cloud.”  Earlier, such accessible on-line storage was referred to as a drop-box that allowed one to access personal documents from a variety of digital platforms (e.g., pc’s or mobile devices).  When the big boys started touting it, it had to have a bigger presence:  “the cloud” implies just such a presence.  But, when all is said and done, it is all still just a drop-box.

In the context of social perceptions, each of us keeps our individual views on everything in a personal drop-box that we identify as a “credo.”  The totality of a population’s drop-boxes forms the ethos of that population.  From that, public values — rightly or wrongly — are broadly defined.  The Big P gleefully jumps right into that “cloud” sorting through and identifying perceived popular generalities.  Sort of like a search engine categorizing key words.  To target their agendas of controversy marketing, The Big P is shopping for social hot buttons.  Like an on-line content writer, The Big P sets its desired message in the loom and weaves in those key words in such a way that the public’s emotions over-ride rational consideration of what is ultimately JUST SOME OTHER AVERAGE JOE’S PERSONAL BIASES — and they call it “news.”  The Big Pee is just one big bladder full of personal biases clothed in the guise of “expert authority” championing the “right of the people to know.”

The term “cloud” implies foggy conditions.  That “popular perceptions” cloud mined by The Big P possesses an inherent flaw that distorts reliable conclusions:  individuals, as a rule, do not broadcast the spectrum of their beliefs and conceptions.  Much is held in secrecy, either out of caution or fear of what others might think or do in response to those true feelings.  That vaunted public ethos is liberally laced with disinformation designed to deflect uncomfortable confrontations and characterizations.  Just like that search results page on-line, what you get may be wildly off the intended mark.

Undaunted, the Big Pee strokes its selected hot buttons, often blithely igniting contradictory reactions:  today, it can disparage “same gender” lifestyles and preferences, and tomorrow use that same subject to revile Average Joe as morally deficient for harboring distaste for such goings on (i.e., homophobia).  Each of us perceives self as possessing a moral state that is on a plane just a little higher than everyone else.  The Media plays to all audiences, selling different tickets to the same show by appealing to our varied secret vanities.  And the audience, literally brainwashed by the slow drip-drip-drip of decades of media-fabricated mores, responds on cue to The Big Pee’s current offering of outrage and judgment of…   well...   whatever it is hatcheting or touting as today’s special.

Truth.  What is truth?  It IS what accepted authority SAYS it is.  The Big P, upon whom we all at some time have relied for “truth,” would have you believe it is the ONE unimpeachable accepted authority.

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*On-going pre-trial disinformation campaign that continues today on Big Foot’s blog.

**The Big Pee…   please pay attention.

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Next up:  The Press-perpetuated myth of vendors’ overcharging government agencies

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