“Ah But they behaved as it were flat”

by Datechguy | February 27th, 2011

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"Ah But they behaved as it were flat"

One of the advan­tages that con­trol of the MSM and the major news­pa­pers gives the media is the abil­ity to con­vince peo­ple who do not reg­u­larly pay atten­tion to cur­rent events beyond Char­lie Sheen, Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber of things that sim­ply aren’t true.

Half of this bat­tle is ignor­ing sto­ries that they don’t want pro­moted (see “The News Hounds that didn’t bark” or this link at Big Gov­ern­ment of yet ANOTHER assault on a tea party mem­ber by a union man”. The other half is manip­u­lat­ing the report­ing on events that are cov­ered. Today’s exam­ple is Move-on’s “50 state rally” attempt to rally non-​union types.

By all accounts the ral­lies didn’t ener­gize much of anyone:

Despite the best efforts of the state-​run media and the far left, pro­test­ers failed to mate­ri­al­ize today at the dozens of ral­lies in sup­port of gov­ern­ment employee unions. Maybe it’s because gov­ern­ment employ­ees make twice as much as the pri­vate sector?

Let’s face it. These were no tea party num­bers despite their best astro­turf­ing efforts.

In Jef­fer­son City, Mis­souri about 200 and around 300 counter tea party pro­test­ers turned out at com­pet­ing ral­lies. The tea party pro­test­ers, of course, showed more energy. In St. Louis only 4050 protested. In Utah maybe a cou­ple hun­dred turned out.
Pos­si­bly 300 in Vir­ginia. Around 500 in Wash­ing­ton DC where a bunch of loosely-​connected left­ist groups took turns com­plain­ing about the usual sus­pects: cor­po­ra­tions, the rich, Speaker Boehner, the Tea Party, and men. Los Ange­les may have had one to two thou­sand in atten­dance – includ­ing self-​avowed socialists.

Over all, it was a com­plete fail­ure. But, don’t tell the state-​run media​.It doesn’t fit their agenda.

So how hor­ri­ble was the turnout? There were more peo­ple at the Recall Wis­con­sin Sen­a­tor Wirch rally today that there were at sev­eral of the MoveOn rallies.

As a reader at Instapun­dit writes:

It seems that unless gov­ern­ment work­ers get a paid day off (from us) they’re not too inter­ested in tak­ing their unpaid days off to protest.’”

Mean­while Pro­fes­sor Jacob­son who has some harder num­bers notes that the media had already decided that Move-on’s protests were suc­cess­ful:

Out­side of Madi­son, there were no reports of siz­able crowds. And if you read the news reports, almost all the pro­test­ers were other union mem­bers. Despite the efforts, the orga­niz­ers failed to moti­vate sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of non-​union mem­bers to come out for protests.

The 50-​state protest was a fail­ure, plain and sim­ple, although the images from Madi­son may cre­ate the false impres­sion of mas­sive nation­wide protests.

Update: As pre­dicted, the main­stream media is paint­ing the nation­wide protest as a suc­cess. The head­lines talk about protests around the coun­try, but the sto­ries talk almost entirely about Madi­son, giv­ing the false impres­sion that there was wide­spread sup­port around the country:

Why is this impor­tant? He explains

Since NYT and AP sto­ries are run at thou­sands of local news­pa­pers around the coun­try who can­not cre­ate their own con­tent, it is likely that most peo­ple in this coun­try never will hear about the dis­mal turnout for these protests. This is your biased MSM in action.

The idea is to go into the fight with a pre-​ordained tem­plate and to find a way to manip­u­late the avail­able infor­ma­tion to make it fit.

The tar­get of this is not those who are involved but those who are not, who don’t check out the cable news (except for dur­ing a huge cri­sis or maybe just before an elec­tion) those who will catch only a glim­mer of what is hap­pen­ing and then when in a posi­tion to make a deci­sion will have only that glim­mer as a ref­er­ence, some­thing that “every­body knows”. It’s play­ing on the nature of belief.

In the 3rd episode of the Doc­tor Who Ser­ial Image of the Fendahl from 1977 there is an exchange between the elderly Mrs. Tyler and her grand­son when she tries to give him a charm and he objects:

Jack Tyler: “You know that I don’t believe in all that.”

Mrs. Tyler: “Most around ‘ere do and when most believe that da make it true.”

Jack Tyler: “Most peo­ple used to believe that the earth was flat, but it was still round,”

Mrs. Tyler: “Ha ha but they behaved as it were flat!”

The exchange begins at 6:51

And that is, as always, the goal of the MSM. To make peo­ple behave “as it were flat!” so that when a per­son on a show says: “the Union pro­test­ers are peace­ful or the Tea Party is vio­lent” that it will be accepted as com­mon knowledge.

Update: Here is a great exam­ple:

Thou­sands of peo­ple ral­lied in cities across the United States on Sat­ur­day against a Wis­con­sin plan to curb the power of pub­lic sec­tor unions that has sparked sim­i­lar gov­ern­ment efforts in other states.

The head­line Labor protests draw thou­sands across United States is telling, 50 states and “thou­sands” how many thou­sands? one thou­sands? two thou­sands? only when you go deep into the story do you see only one rally cited with even 1000 peo­ple out­side of Madison.

Update: Thanks glenn. Just to give you an idea of how many Hits Instapun­dit gives. Glenn’s link to me was the 3rd update on a post put up 12 hours ago. that means the vast major­ity of his read­ers have already read that post, yet it has gen­er­ated 100 hits in 2 hours on a Sun­day morning.

One of the advantages that control of the MSM and the major newspapers gives the media is the ability to convince people who do not regularly pay attention to current events beyond Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber of things that simply aren’t true.

Half of this battle is ignoring stories that they don’t want promoted (see “The News Hounds that didn’t bark” or this link at Big Government of yet ANOTHER assault on a tea party member by a union man“. The other half is manipulating the reporting on events that are covered. Today’s example is Move-on’s “50 state rally” attempt to rally non-union types.

By all accounts the rallies didn’t energize much of anyone:

Despite the best efforts of the state-run media and the far left, protesters failed to materialize today at the dozens of rallies in support of government employee unions. Maybe it’s because government employees make twice as much as the private sector?

Let’s face it. These were no tea party numbers despite their best astroturfing efforts.

In Jefferson City, Missouri about 200 and around 300 counter tea party protesters turned out at competing rallies. The tea party protesters, of course, showed more energy. In St. Louis only 40-50 protested. In Utah maybe a couple hundred turned out.
Possibly 300 in Virginia. Around 500 in Washington DC where a bunch of loosely-connected leftist groups took turns complaining about the usual suspects: corporations, the rich, Speaker Boehner, the Tea Party, and men. Los Angeles may have had one to two thousand in attendance – including self-avowed socialists.

Over all, it was a complete failure. But, don’t tell the state-run media.It doesn’t fit their agenda.

So how horrible was the turnout? There were more people at the Recall Wisconsin Senator Wirch rally today that there were at several of the MoveOn rallies.

As a reader at Instapundit writes:

‘It seems that unless government workers get a paid day off (from us) they’re not too interested in taking their unpaid days off to protest.’”

Meanwhile Professor Jacobson who has some harder numbers notes that the media had already decided that Move-on’s protests were successful:

Outside of Madison, there were no reports of sizable crowds. And if you read the news reports, almost all the protesters were other union members. Despite the efforts, the organizers failed to motivate significant numbers of non-union members to come out for protests.

The 50-state protest was a failure, plain and simple, although the images from Madison may create the false impression of massive nationwide protests.

Update: As predicted, the mainstream media is painting the nationwide protest as a success. The headlines talk about protests around the country, but the stories talk almost entirely about Madison, giving the false impression that there was widespread support around the country:

Why is this important? He explains

Since NYT and AP stories are run at thousands of local newspapers around the country who cannot create their own content, it is likely that most people in this country never will hear about the dismal turnout for these protests. This is your biased MSM in action.

The idea is to go into the fight with a pre-ordained template and to find a way to manipulate the available information to make it fit.

The target of this is not those who are involved but those who are not, who don’t check out the cable news (except for during a huge crisis or maybe just before an election) those who will catch only a glimmer of what is happening and then when in a position to make a decision will have only that glimmer as a reference, something that “everybody knows”. It’s playing on the nature of belief.

In the 3rd episode of the Doctor Who Serial Image of the Fendahl from 1977 there is an exchange between the elderly Mrs. Tyler and her grandson when she tries to give him a charm and he objects:

Jack Tyler: “You know that I don’t believe in all that.”

Mrs. Tyler: “Most around ‘ere do and when most believe that da make it true.”

Jack Tyler: “Most people used to believe that the earth was flat, but it was still round,”

Mrs. Tyler: “Ha ha but they behaved as it were flat!”

The exchange begins at 6:51

And that is, as always, the goal of the MSM. To make people behave “as it were flat!” so that when a person on a show says: “the Union protesters are peaceful or the Tea Party is violent” that it will be accepted as common knowledge.

Update: Here is a great example:

Thousands of people rallied in cities across the United States on Saturday against a Wisconsin plan to curb the power of public sector unions that has sparked similar government efforts in other states.

The headline Labor protests draw thousands across United States is telling, 50 states and “thousands” how many thousands? one thousands? two thousands? only when you go deep into the story do you see only one rally cited with even 1000 people outside of Madison.

Update: Thanks glenn. Just to give you an idea of how many Hits Instapundit gives. Glenn’s link to me was the 3rd update on a post put up 12 hours ago. that means the vast majority of his readers have already read that post, yet it has generated 100 hits in 2 hours on a Sunday morning.

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