The Press and the Elections — both of them

Once again I find myself channeling Ron Cole. This morning, he has an essay comparing press coverage of the elections in South Carolina and Egypt. What he’s talking about is how information is framed, to use a George Lakoff term. In the US, the coverage is all about the candidates, and by the way 65% of the electorate are fundamentalist evangelicals. In Egypt, the coverage is all about the fundamentalist population and the Muslim Brotherhood, and by the way we have no clue as to the real issues. Cole’s arguments are slightly disingenuous. A pick-one primary is different from a country-wide election of representatives. He is making a point, and it’s a good one. Those who frame the news control how their customers view the world. Given the kind of coverage we get today, even from news outlets that are even more fair and balanced than Fox, is it any wonder that we in the US are cowering under the bed, waiting for Muslim terrorists to follow us home?

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5 Responses to “The Press and the Elections — both of them”

  1. Kurt Says:

    There’s a good comment on Cole’s column by a Houqain (currently at the top) that includes references to journalism based on polls predisposed to providing canned responses and out of the box “journalistic” analyses.

    • FoundOnWeb Says:

      Ah, the Houqains. I thought they’d died out. I tend to agree. If you read Nate Silver’s 538 column, you see that a strong predictor is ‘momentum’, meaning, “what’s everyone else doing?” That said, local issues are issues because they are important…er…locally. Religious fundamentalists in SC and EG vote for people they see as being as fundamental as they, and if we got a Pentecostalist President, Senate, and Congress, we’d see new laws that would make Sharia look like Club Med.

      • Kurt Says:

        The Handmaid’s Tale

      • FoundOnWeb Says:

        I haven’t read it yet. There was a posting somewhere just today that said it should be included as the fourth great dystopic novel of the last century, along with Brave New World, 1984, and Darkness at Noon.

        As an aside, the interesting thing about Darkness is that it isn’t Fantasy/SF, the way the others are, it’s a description of the USSR under the Stalin purge trials. Koestler, by the way, was a systems scientist before he started writing.

  2. Kurt Says:

    Haven’t read Darkness at Noon yet, but now it’s on my list. Trade complete.

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