Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Culture of Ventriloquism; L.A. Times; Michael Hiltzik; Patterico

Big thumbs up to Patterico for exposing yet another example of ventriloquist journalism.

For those who have not read the story, here is Patterico's summary:
Is an L.A. Times columnist leaving comments on the Internet under assumed “sock puppet” identities — identities which he pretends is someone other than himself?

Read on and judge for yourself. As for me, I’ve made up my mind, and the answer is “yes.”

Read Patterico's post for the details.

Based on the updates to Patterico's post, either more than one L.A. Times' employee has been doing this, or Michael Hiltzik continues to do this even after his suspension.

The Washington Post and Wuzzadem weigh in also.

I have not maintained a list of MSM/DNC lies this year as I did in 2005, but this episode certainly qualifies. As the fictional character was quoted as saying in that post,
we can't be sure of anything we do . . . anything we see.

The Times' columnist's use of alter egos to convey propoganda is standard operating procedure for the MSM/DNC.

Here is entry # 3 from the bias category list:
3. Ventriloquist journalism. A common tactic of the MSM/DNC is to get others to do its dirty work. Let it appear as if someone else is doing the talking so that "media bias" won't be so obvious. [Update] MSM/DNC often uses phrases like "critics say" "some say" "experts say" "sources have told CBS news" . . . .

A previous example of ventriloquist journalism from December 2004 and related commentary:
A good ventriloquist will never let you see his mouth move. But the MSM's ventriloquist act gets more obvious every day.

Usually, ventriloquist journalism takes the form of vague references to "widespread assumptions," "popular beliefs" and "generally recognized" facts:
But as far as good old fashioned MSM/DNC propaganda is concerned, nothing beats Reuters' subtle ventriloquist journalism and well poisoning technique:
Ratzinger, the strict defender of Catholic orthodoxy for the past 23 years, was elected Pope on Tuesday despite a widespread assumption he was too old and divisive to win election.

Ventriloquist journalism is category # 3 on the bias list. Referring to a "widespread assumption" is an MSM/DNC commonly used technique that allows MSM/DNC to hide behind unnamed "others" as it spreads its propaganda.
emphasis added

That story, from April 2005, reveals the ease to which the MSM/DNC attributes its own biases and venom to the general public. In this atmosphere of widespread ventriloquism, it was too easy for Michael Hiltzik to make the transition from reliance on invented "widespread assumptions" to posting comments on others' blogs under assumed identities.

And don't forget ventriloquism's twin, the poll:
4. Polls. An offshoot of ventriloquist journalism is the MSM/DNC's reliance upon polls. The polls that the MSM/DNC uses are either (1) unreliable or blatantly false and/or (2) self-fulfilling prophecies. It is a common tendency among humans (especially those who have been softened by 70 years of the welfare state) to want to be on the winning side. When the MSM/DNC releases its polls showing some Democrat with a lead or that the "public" thinks that Social Security is just fine, those who might otherwise harbor doubts are intimidated into going along with the majority. I am sure that the MSM/DNC will continue their efforts to bully the public into acquiescing in the status quo on social security with just this tactic.

[Also - I hate polls.]

I think it is incorrect for bloggers to focus mainly on Michael Hiltzik. The fault lies in the culture of ventriloquism that pervades the MSM/DNC. If the MSM/DNC expressed its opinions in its own name instead of hiding behind contrived polls or vox populi, it never would have obtained the power that now slips further away with each passing day. We can hardly blame individual employees when they follow the pattern set by the establishment for which they toil.

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