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How the Oregonian changes perceptions

Study these things closely
At first glance it seems like just another article about a senate race, not too thrilling really. I wouldn't have read this article at all except I thought it was interesting that Patty Murray might be losing her senate seat next fall. I realized though that the exact opposite is true--in fact, the headline of this article bears no factual resemblance to the actual words in the article.

Here's the headline: GOP leader says Murray may lose senate seat

There's nothing to indicate that Murray might lose her senate seat, and there's nothing to even indicate that the GOP leader in question, Virginia senator George Allen, said that. He's not quoted or even paraphrased as saying that. The article says, "Sen. George Allen, chairman of the U.S. Senate Republicans' campaign drive, on Thursday called George Nethercutt's challenge of incumbent Democrat Patty Murray one of the country's most competitive races."

Thats the extent of Allen's references to the race. He didn't say she "may lose senate seat." The article goes on "Although Murray has a double-digit lead in the polls and most analysts don't think she's in trouble, Allen called Washington one of the seven best prospects for knocking off an incumbent."

In essence, what he's saying is that it would be nice if Murray lost. Nobody's saying that she "may lose senate seat."

This article was in the Clark County section of the Oregonian on Friday. The Oregonian has its own small office up here for that section. This article is so obscure that I couldn't even find it on Google, and I have no idea where the editors of that section found it, although its from the AP.

Oh well, the native paper is beyond unreadable.
I read that article 18.Apr.2004 16:48


And I thought the headline was curious, too. Especially since I had earlier been reading about her very adequat campaign chest. I'm not woried about her losing.

Spin control, for short attention spans 19.Apr.2004 12:40


I've noticed a similar tactic being used on TV and Radio.
When they play the 'coming up' sound-bite, they'll say something almost completely contradictory to the actual story.
An example: lots of news services made it sound like Kerry was proposing a larger US presence in Iraq, with more US troops being called up. This conjures up thoughts of a draft and all the fun things that go along with that.
When I heard the actual story, it was about UN involvement mentioned nothing about an increased call-up.
I think the spin-meisters know that most Americans don't have the time or inclination to watch or read real news, and rely on the sound-bites and headlines (and Leno) to form our opinions.

I agree 21.Apr.2004 03:36

with the whole

thing about not having enough time to even get informed about the issues.
And I think this is a damn serious problem. The lack of time in American's lives especially affects the activist community, as there is never enough time to do all that needs to be done.
In the future, I plan on making this a national issue, and to propose that "time" be considered a basic human right, like food and water. Without it, we are literally slaves and blinded. This is serious as hell.
We need to think about the value of our time. It is worth a lot more than money, and it's probably the critical factor in bringing down the establishment. Just think of how powerful it is to have the time to get together with neighbors to talk about the issues....think about it, don't just glance over this concept (then you could see talking to neighbors as a leisurely activity)--realize that this is where we expand our borders, and what we rely on if all else, even the internet, fails. All of this important work needs time, so please start to think about the powerful impact of time....