Michael Stuart Kelly

The Story Wars of Hot Political Issues

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Here is a wonderful story wars technique used by President Trump and analyzed by a disgruntled former Ted Cruz campaign employee, Amanda Carpenter. She is being interviewed by S. E. Cupp (who has become quite the elitist babe compared to her Glenn Beck days.)

This interview was absolutely fascinating to me because of the way Amanda dissected what she calls "gaslighting." She wrote an entire book about it: Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us.

I disagree with much she said about politics (oddly enough, she seems to be brainwashed in her own right), and Cupp for that matter, but her formulation of how President Trump frames an issue and hogs the media is extremely clever. She calls it his form of gaslighting. But I don't agree with her that President Trump has brainwashed America. I do agree that the procedure of his media campaigns are most likely the way she said. That's why this interview was so fascinating.

For someone like me, it's hard to see two women who obviously believe they belong to the superior upper class far above the average hoi polloi schlubs. I usually call these people elitists, but I don't believe either is evil in the manner the nasty powerful elitists are. I think they are mostly the sheep of the elitists. They like belonging to the elitist insider group, they love the perks, they adore the feeling of being superior to the rest of mankind, but I don't sense power-lust in them. Just the vanity elitists tend to have.

Before I quote from the book, let me register my disagreement with Carpenter over the term "gaslighting." This term comes from an old 1930's play by Patrick Hamilton's which was later made into a movie (starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotten). In the story, a man murdered an opera singer to get her jewels, but he had to escape without them. Years later he finds and marries the niece of the opera singer. He is certain she knows where the jewels are. But he doesn't want to kill her. So he decides to try to make her go insane. He moves her to a secluded house and, among other dastardly acts, rearranges the furniture when she leaves the room, but when she returns and asks about it, he denies anyone moved anything. He constantly has the lights dimmed or brightened, then denies this is happening when she mentions it. (The lights were gas lights in the story, which is where the title and the term came from.) And so on. She begins to doubt her own mind and actually starts to go insane, but in a passive way. The story goes from there.

Cults like to gaslight their members, but by isolating them and controlling information, not furniture. This is generally the way the term is used these days.

Carpenter uses it in a different, but similar manner. She even mentions the movie. But ehe means that Trump presents an issue in an irrational way, his followers accept it, and he does it in such a manipulative manner it becomes frustrating and maddening--so much so that people's heads explode and they get sucked into constant outrage in the media. Notice that people never doubt their own minds in this form of gaslighting. They merely become duped (according to her) or outraged. If she wants to call this gaslighting, OK. Just so we know what she means in contrast to the normal meaning.

Now here is the process. Propagandists, please pay attention. This is great stuff and easy to do. From the book:

Quote

... the term didn’t go mainstream until 2016 when so many people began grasping for ways to explain the maddening effect Trump was having on them.
I experienced the phenomenon personally from my perch as a CNN commentator who followed every minute of the 2016 primary and general election campaigns, going head-to-head against Trump’s most fervent surrogates in a high-stakes media atmosphere for hours on end. But I wasn’t alone. Trump was gaslighting America. He still is.

Of course, we are all familiar with politicians who lie, break promises, or obfuscate the truth. President George H. W. Bush’s “Read my lips” promise not to raise taxes went bust. President George W. Bush’s weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were never found. President Barack Obama’s “If you like it, you can keep it” vow about Americans being able to keep the doctors and health insurance plans they liked never held up. Each of these presidents made statements they knew might not prove to be true.

Gaslighting is far more aggressive than any of these misguided lies. It’s an elaborate scheme undertaken with the goal of gaining control over people. Trump is an expert gaslighter and what I want you to understand is that there is a very specific method to his madness.

I showed you how Trump worked through the steps when he was gaslighting people about Obama’s birth certificate. Those very same steps are almost always present in his political attacks. Here they are:

STAKE A CLAIM: Trump finds a political issue or action that competitors are unwilling to adopt and that will ensure a media frenzy. Such as: “President Obama is not a U.S. citizen.”
ADVANCE AND DENY: Trump casts the issue into the public realm without taking direct responsibility. He does this by raising questions about or discussing what other people are saying, reporting, or thinking. Tabloids, YouTube videos, tweets from unknown origins, and unverifiable Internet news stories are often used as sources.
CREATE SUSPENSE: He says evidence is forthcoming that will soon get to the truth of the matter. Trump can remain in this mode for weeks, months, or even years.
DISCREDIT THE OPPONENT: If critics gain traction, Trump attacks their motives and personal character.
WIN: Trump declares victory, no matter the circumstances. This step usually takes a long time to reveal itself, and Trump will often engage it when he is ready to drop the matter.

There it is, Trump’s gaslighting method, which he has used time and again. This is how he achieves the true goal of every megamanipulator: attaining complete control over his environment and the people in it. It’s enough to drive sane people mad if they don’t understand how it works and why he uses it.

Is that method cool or is that cool? To my mind, it is accurate. But instead of being used to gain control over people, President Trump uses it to gain control over the media. Other than that (and a few other less essential things) Carpenter explains it much better in the video. But this gives you the gist.

I find it totally odd a lady who can see this misses the nonstop propaganda deceit of CNN (and so many other things), but there it is.

This process is not a story per se for the theme of this thread, story wars. But it is a strong effective template on which stories are attached to effect a political outcome. So, in my mind, it qualifies. It's definitely a first rate propaganda technique for moving the Overton Window (which is a sliding scale of topic extremes permitted to be discussed in a culture).

Michael

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On 7/18/2018 at 7:42 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

... if you want to use humor as a story war tool, you fizzle when you tell the same joke over and over. People already know the punchline from acclimation so there effectively is no punchline qua punchline any longer.

. . .

... The same joke can work when it's appearance is unexpected. But when it is presented in a pattern of regularity, it gets old real fast. That doesn't work for comedians and it doesn't work for propagandists.

Wanna see a great example?

Look what just happened to Michelle Wolf now that the shock of her depraved grimy humor at the  White House Correspondents' Association dinner wore off.

No audience.

And no audience means no persuasion... no story war.

Like Jack Posobiec said:

Womp womp.

:) 

Michael

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All stories need a theme based on some truth, and all truths in stories need a form of gauging them for accuracy. I'm talking about stories that move minds and hearts and persuade people. Non-effective stories are not worth looking at in terms of the story wars except, maybe, as examples of what not to do.

Scott Adams just presented a proposition that I find brilliant. He claims factual accuracy is a way to connect a truth proposition to validity (in other words, its alignment with reality), but direction, not accuracy, is the best way to present the truth in terms of persuasion.

This is critical in storytelling. I will elaborate later, but right now, this is light-bulb-going-off-in-brain important.

Let's hear from Scott. He discussed this after he talks about the MAD thing (which is interesting in itself--he says if the Deep State ever managed to take out President Trump for real, during the months of processing, Trump, or any Republican who followed him, would guarantee that Hillary Clinton would go to jail).

But that's not nearly as interesting from a philosophical point of view as what follows.

When you think about this idea of direction being vastly more important than factual accuracy for persuading about the truth, you get at the crux of Ayn Rand's entire aesthetics.

Her purpose of writing was to present the ideal human being. This character then be a model for readers to aim at with their own lives. Seeing the model in reality, even if only a projection, would give them what she called "emotional fuel" or "spiritual fuel" to keep going.

Were the heroes she created factually accurate? No. They were romantic projections. Were they in the right direction? Yes.

Ayn Rand's fiction still sells today and the only reason her nonfiction is on the shelves is because they promise to explain the ideas in her fiction (and by consequence, her philosophy) to the vast public of book buyers.

Had Rand presented factually accurate heroes, she and her influence would have faded down the memory hole. In fact, Rand ranted and railed for a good part of her life against presenting factually accurate characters in fiction as priority and she called the school of literature based on that "Naturalism."

Lots to think about here...

Michael

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Here is story war based on an Alinsky tactic. And President Trump just out Alinksied Alinsky.

From Rule 5 of Rules for Radicals:

Quote

... the fifth rule: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.

Now that's not a story war tactic per se. That's just a propaganda tactic.

You get into the story wars when you deal with the heroes of the core stories in society. It's wicked hard to ridicule a cultural hero and make it stick. Ridicule can take out a man, but not the core story. For instance, how often is Jesus Christ ridiculed? All the time and it's nonstop. But no about of ridicule seems to have worked to diminish his influence. That's because he is the hero in the Christian core story and that core story resonates with a lot of people. Ditto for the heroes all kinds of influential core stories, Marx and Rand to name just two.

And, more importantly for my point, this applies to secondary heroes in these core stories if they stay true to their calling, especially heroes still living. 

But if you can ever have the good fortune of watching such a living hero step on his dong in something that diminishes the nature of his heroism (using the nature of his heroism, not the truth, as the standard), you can ridicule that hero, then watch as his cultural influence as a magnet for attracting and unifying new adherents to the core story goes bye-bye.

That just happened with Carl Bernstein. He was one of the two guys who took down Nixon. A hero to the left if there was ever one. A fearless journalist of integrity who got the truth out about a lying politician and thus destroyed a presidency.

Well, Bernstein didn't just step on his dong, he stomped all over it. He signed a fake news story about President Trump and Michael Cohen that was so fake, his source (Lanny Davis) even said in public that he lied. CNN, in shock, knows what's at stake, so it is not backing down even as the rest of the fake news media is livid and making corrections.

(Notice that they all said they independently verified the story, but they all used the same source, Bernstein's source, Lanny Davis. However, that's just gravy for the real damage.)

So CNN is stonewalling, but its efforts are way too little way too late.

Right on cue, President Trump pounced with killer instinct. He called Carl Bernstein "sloppy," and "a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story." And to make sure his intention is ridicule and signal that his supporters are to continue ridiculing Bernstein, Trump said Bernstein "is being laughed at all over the country!"

With a tradition-laden leftie hero of this magnitude, and a public dong-stomping of the magnitude Bernstein did, and with President Trump's comment to millions of people in one whack, we will witness something we don't see very often. We will witness Alinsky's fifth rule of ridicule used against a long-standing cultural hero and taking him out.

Story wars-wise, that's a big deal. 

Michael

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Sifting, identifying, premise-checking ... dong-stomping.

16 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Well, Bernstein didn't just step on his dong, he stomped all over it. He signed a fake news story about President Trump and Michael Cohen that was so fake, his source (Lanny Davis) even said in public that he lied. CNN, in shock, knows what's at stake, so it is not backing down even as the rest of the fake news media is livid and making corrections.

Just adding some links.  First, the 'fake news story about President Trump and Michael Cohen' ... Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting, written by Jim Sciutto, Carl Bernstein and Marshall Cohen. [Updated 9:47 AM ET, Fri July 27, 2018]

So, the Sciutto, Bernstein, Cohen piece was 'so fake, his source (Lanny Davis) even said in public that he lied'? Source? 'Sources said'?  Well, I don't know, it's a claim that could easily be demonstrated with a link and/or quote were it true.

However, Lanny Davis did update his earlier let's-call-them-errors in a subsequent story, published two days ago, written by Sciutto and Bernstein: Attorney for Michael Cohen keeps changing his story on Trump Tower meeting

"I should have done a much better job of speaking with more suspicion than certainty, and I regret my mistake," Davis told CNN.

Bernstein stomping on somebody's dong?  Not so much to date.

Quote

(Notice that they all said they independently verified the story, but they all used the same source, Bernstein's source, Lanny Davis. However, that's just gravy for the real damage.) 

So CNN is stonewalling, but its efforts are way too little way too late.

Right on cue, President Trump pounced with killer instinct. He called Carl Bernstein "sloppy," and "a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story."

That sounds like a zany bulletin from the DPRK news service (or its parody) -- "Thinks like a degenerate fool!"

But story wars, yeah.  This is part two ...

The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross has been reporting on the dongery-pokery of Lanny Davis. This is a section from Memeorandum's dated archive from two days ago:

Quote

 

Edited by william.scherk
Added Chuck Ross headline etc from Memeorandum.org

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7 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Bernstein stomping on somebody's dong?  Not so much to date.

William,

I must not have been clear.

Bernstein didn't step on somebody's dong. He stomped all over his own dong.

He signed a fake news article that he knew was fake.

And he got busted.

Michael

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A plot point in re Butina versus the Deep?

On 7/18/2018 at 10:37 AM, william.scherk said:

A story war set off by an indictment and arrest. 

A recent headline gives us what storytellers need to seed a 'turning point' in the war story...  "what were 'They' trying to do to 'Us'?"

Butina set to plead guilty to conspiring to act as agent of Kremlin, documents show

2015:  "The whole world hates us ... everybody hates us ... I know Putin ..."

Edited by william.scherk
2015, Butina asks Donald Trump a question about Russia policy

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... and there you have it. Butina pleads guilty.

Document: Maria Butina Plea Agreement

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William,

In terms of keeping this on topic with the thread, prosecutorial abuse can be a component of the story wars. The abuse tries to beef up the credibility of the propagandists.

I have a feeling this crop prosecutorial abusers will not work out according to the normal plot-line, though. I predict a plot twist near the end. :) 

Michael

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What did Maria Butina do in the suggested candidates-for-stories?  On the one hand ...

29 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

In terms of keeping this on topic with the thread, prosecutorial abuse can be a component of the story wars. The abuse tries to beef up the credibility of the propagandists.

Yeahbut. My editor insists on details of the "prosecutorial abuse" of (presumably) Butina. And she also demands an ID for "the propagandists" -- by name.  Next thing you know she'll be telling us there needs to be a narrative, not a fairy tail.  I am tempted to tell her off:  "Fact check by 'feels.'" 

I hold out for her reading the actual plead.  Like, "hey bitch, here is what Butina agreed to. Spin that!"

Quote

I have a feeling this crop prosecutorial abusers will not work out according to the normal plot-line, though. I predict a plot twist near the end.

Don't let the editor get wind of this. The "'feeling' for facts" is a good way to get out of a dark tunnel or cave.  Especially if there is abuse in there somewhere. Putting names and faces and actions to all the darkness is going to be the hard part for me and the LSG.

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6 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Yeahbut. My editor insists on...

"Yeahbut. My editor insists on..." not giving a fuck about the reader and this being an education thread on how story relates to propaganda as a technique.

I want to try to score political points to show how Orange Man Bad. Waaaah... 

12.12.2018-22.15.png

With "my editor," all roads on all issues lead to Orange Man Bad...

How's my impersonation through your real subtext?

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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12 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

How's my impersonation through your real subtext?

Pretty bad.  My 'real subtext' here is that a Butina Story War cannot be won by ignoring details of the story. 

"[T]his being an education thread on how story relates to propaganda" ... the Butina 'cover story' is no longer operative. 

Should we reduce the war-story to the official Russian take on the guilty plea (it involves the Kremlin charging she was tortured) and to the official American take (she was caught out doing undeclared 'statecraft')?

More seriously, the Butina 'story' is fairly complex, with lots of folks involved.  If I was "not giving a fuck about the reader," I'd just suggest the reader go back to sleep under the covers of 'nothing to see here.'  Since I posted the original note about her arrest and charge, I thought to update the topic.  If I hadn't noted that she pleaded guilty, who would have?

I believe the plea agreement tells a story.  Maybe it's not a story everyone wants to hear ...

Edited by william.scherk

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25 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

My 'real subtext' here is that a Butina Story War cannot be won by ignoring details of the story. 

William,

This shows you have no clue--not a smidgen of an inkling--of what a cultural story war is. Hell, let's throw propaganda in, too.

No wonder you are not contributing anything of substance to this thread. 

Michael

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On Facebook, George Smith posted a link to an article I found super interesting (see here for the original post).

George made the following comment to the link:

Quote

I am a fan of Harold Ramis films, and I found this article interesting. I am not a big fan a Trump, but this article makes some good points.

And I thought, "There it is. The Overton Window is moving in a pro-Trump direction among the ideological."

I'm not going to accuse George of suddenly becoming a Trump supporter :) , but now that he has read the article, there is no way he can "not see" what normal Trump supporters have seen all along. And I see the signal in his mention of "good points."

I don't want to channel George and make personal presuppositions, so let me talk in general terms. Many people who are anti-Trump--and have been anti-Trump as a result of cultural story wars--are going to see what he just saw when they read this article (or other commentary like it, which will now start). I believe their reaction will be similar to George's. Essentially, "Hmmm... I never thought of that. But I still can't stand Trump." What they never thought of is exactly what Trump stands for: the producer against the parasites. That is only a crack, but that inconsistency crack (what they believe versus what they see) will ultimately split the dam open and the water of awareness will come gushing through.

Just because a producer may be vulgar and a parasite may be sophisticated, that doesn't make the person any less a producer or parasite. (I use vulgarity here in the normal sense, but also to include inconsistency in how one uses words when throwing them around. The "do" versus "say" thing.) 

Vulgarity is merely a lens, an external form, not an essence. Since vulgarity is baked into the producer side of American culture (after all, America is where common people in general got their shot to become rich and/or achieve great things), the archetype of the vulgar but good-hearted producer is a staple in the psyches of vast quantities of the American population. I know it's in mine. That's why I resonated so strongly with Trump the moment I thought he had a chance at becoming President.

I don't blame people for not seeing this, though. Remember the psychological experiment where a gorilla passes through the middle of basketball players, waves at the camera and walks off? Most subjects who were counting the number of basketball passes among the players didn't see the gorilla. This experiment has been repeated many times. How does that happen? Well, it turns out that such "blocking out" is a characteristic of human perception, not a moral failing. I believe it comes from our brains having evolved in a modular manner, but regardless, this perception versus focus glitch, this framing that blinds, is how the brain is wired, how the brain works. And, on a higher level, this is exactly how ideologies and religions work. People who carry deep convictions on how life should be don't see a lot of things re how life is. Wisdom comes in trying to see what one has missed on a perception level. (This cuts to my "cognitive before normative" process I go on about at times.)

And how do ideologies--whether good, bad, benign or dangerous--propagate in a society? You guessed it. Story wars. Cultural story wars. That's what this whole thread is about.

Now on to the article by Titus Techera:

Harold Ramis, Unlikely Prophet of Trump

One beef about the headline. Harold Ramis was not predicting Trump. He was reflecting where Trump came from. If he wasn't, his films would not have been so popular. But headlines are the marketing part of an article. Fundamentally, they exist not to inform, but to get you to read the first paragraph. So I forgive Techera. :)

Back to point, here's a quote from the article about Ramis's film, Back To School.

Quote

... Dangerfield ends up leading a populist revolt at a university. He’s an all-American self-made millionaire who earned his fortune selling clothes to fat people. He has a humorous manner and accommodates the people as they are, without requiring much of them. Nevertheless, he wants the best for his son and so he enrolls—to prove college education is worthwhile. But he quickly learns that the place is run by snobs who blithely foment revolt. As the conflict grows, more students, and even some faculty, take Dangerfield’s side and want to see him succeed against the self-appointed aristocracy of the mind.

Again, his insulting manner goes a long way to show up the snobs. The university’s president allows him to enroll because his money will buy a building, but the academic dean decides to find a way to throw him out. Although they take his money, he’s not good enough to be among them. His vulgarity is ideal for bringing out this hypocrisy, as well as criticizing the underlying injustice. 

Moreover, the very things the snobs reject endear Dangerfield to many of the students. First, and most importantly, the students are fine with how he made his money. Like Trump, he’s a successful businessman, which matters more to his supporters than lessons on economics from professors. Like Trump, he’s realistic about corruption in America and is proud of dealing with it to get things done. This contrasts sharply with an institutional piety based on denying any immorality or illegalities among its own membership, which therefore can’t stand having these ugly realities pointed out.

Yup.

If that isn't the Trump I saw in the beginning, I don't know what is.

So here's the sad news for anti-Trumpers: He is not a brand new phenomenon, a plague on them who just now emerged out of nowhere. He has been here all along.

When I kept telling anti-Trumpers they didn't see people like me and other Trump supporters, this is exactly what I was talking about. Except now, I understand this is due--at least in the beginning--to the way the brain works. The moral ickiness of vanity, snobbery, etc. (when they are present), gets piled on top of that. Ditto for these folks excusing the parasitical nature and incompetence of the ruling class snoots. It's not that they like parasites and incompetents. It's that their story war focus on vulgarity, on counting the basketballs being passed back and forth so to speak, don't allow them to see the big ugly-ass gorilla right in the middle of what they are looking at. Even when it waves at them.

For those who want more, here is the podcast from which the article emerged.

The podcast is a bit irritating because Pete Spiliakos, the one being interviewed, is obviously a ruling class snoot. Except he's seeing it, so he has his insights. He can't fully accept what he's seeing, but he sees it and, at least, is honest enough to admit it. But his snide comments like only conmen come from the Trump side, the way he dismisses Trump's real-world achievements (albeit he recognizes there are lots of real-world indications of something Trump all over the place), etc., shows he hasn't seen it all. Like I said, it's a crack in the dam, not a rupture.

As a bow-tie to the story wars theme, a story war is fought for persuasion. I think ruling class elitists can't stand it when the people they look down on and consider their intellectual inferiors, common people who are trying to work their way up, become competent at marketing, advertising and persuasion. I often get the impression that ruling class elitists think they have a corner on that skill and don't want it sullied by their inferiors. 

Which goes to show that they are losing the story wars big time. One becomes better by being better, not by shutting down others. One does not--and cannot--own a story for persuading. One wields it effectively or not. I hate to say it to the snoots, but all people are created equal in having the possibility to pick up a story and tell it. Skills may vary, but this opportunity is open to all people everywhere. This is a skill where they are losing their edge while those they look down on are becoming experts.

(Actually, I don't hate to say it. I like it. :) )

Michael

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The following video is not about the story war technique per se, but it shows very clearly what the result of a well-fought story war looks like.

If you do a story war right, you literally implant false memories in the heads of the people susceptible to that particular story.

I like Scott's deprogramming at an individual level with specific individuals, but it doesn't seem to work on a broad scale. How many times are facts clearly demonstrated, yet people still cling to the story in their heads that tells them the contrary?

Still, this video is well worth watching. Watching this with real people live is interesting, especially the part where the deprogrammed person pauses to reboot his or her brain.

Michael

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On 12/13/2018 at 11:27 AM, william.scherk said:

... and there you have it. Butina pleads guilty.

And the story-arc nears the pot of gold.

 

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6 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

From Zero Hedge:

The Brainwashing Of A Nation

I just read it, but want to reread it before I comment. It's a great essay.

But first some housecleaning. This first appeared in David Horowitz's Frontpage Magazine:

THE BRAINWASHING OF A NATION

More comments coming.

Michael

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Don't have time to comment right now, but this article needs to be in this thread:

The media tries to change your language to manipulate you

They tell their stories with specific language to ramp up story elements in the audience, especially story emotions of impending doom and outrage at not being believed.

Michael

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Here's an interesting aspect of story wars when on defense. It's in a transcript of a Rush Limbaugh segment on his radio show.

We Need to Call Out Journalistic Malpractice — And Name Names

There is stuff in this transcript that deals with the news of the day, but the gist of the story wars part is that blatantly fake news stories that attack individuals in the culture--when busted--mostly get pegged to their platforms, not to the lying authors who do the attacking.

In other words, say someone at CNN attacks a blogger with a stupid story that was made up. After being busted, the news in the culture will say that "CNN" attacked the blogger. It will not mention (or barely mention) the author. What will happen to CNN after it apologizes, if it does? Not much. CNN will always be there until it does this crap so many times it destroys its credibility to the extent it is no longer viable as a business. But that number is huge and CNN backers have deep pockets.

Now look at the blogger who gets slimed. What happens to the blogger? Well, if the story involves a hot button issue, the CNN fake story will spread like wildfire and the blogger will be damaged through degraded reputation, death threats and the like. These effects do not go away after "CNN" makes a retraction.

In sum, nothing much happens to CNN for putting out a fake story, but the blogger gets destroyed or greatly damaged no matter the remedy. From that angle, why wouldn't CNN abuse that power to promote its agendas? With rare exceptions (like President Trump :) ), this form of dishonesty is extremely effective against individuals and the cost is extremely low for getting busted.

So Rush's advice is that when you oppose a fake news story, do not just mention the platform. Mention the author of the fake information and, if you can, mention the person at CNN (or communications company) who approved this garbage. Pin it on the individual or individuals, not just the company.

Obviously, this applies to any news or communications organization that spreads fake news or propaganda.

There is one caveat, though. At MSNBC, there is a talking head host named Lawrence O'Donnell who attacks individuals regularly on gotcha stories. His credibility is awful since he puts out so much fake news, but when he is right, he turns his report into a nonstop harangue against the individual who was wrong and/or dishonest. He drones on and on and on forever and repeats his gotcha ad nauseam, each time in a melodramatic and overly accusatory manner. I believe his way of reporting on an individual who promotes fake information is not effective (except for hardcore fanatics) because the viewer experience of receiving this information is stomp down awful and painful. So that way is an exception. 

But in general, name the names of the phony-baloney fabricators. That stings on their hides whereas bashing a company does not. It's far easier for a collective like a company to defend the malpractice of one of its employees than it is for an individual to defend his or her own malpractice. This works well when said busted individual has a good reputation and prominence.

This is great advice from Rush when doing battle in the story wars theater. Nail the lying SOB, not just the company where the lying SOB works.

Michael

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When I originally set this thread up, I was impressed by the way Jonah Sachs was able to come up with a formula for embedding a political agenda into story. (btw - Ayn Rand was really good at that, too. :) )

The stories Sachs was concerned with did not go on bookshelves in books, though. These stories were for preaching, propaganda, advertising, speeches, YouTube videos and the like.

I just came across another way to present these kinds of "vision message" stories, but using reverse psychology. Here is the formula.

1. You identify your audience. In this case, this means you profile a political enemy. Then you focus on the loudmouths and outspoken intellectuals among them.

2. You identify their victimization stories, and identify the sore points when they present these stories. You focus even more on how these stories are injected into the culture. 

3. Since you and your kind are obviously the villain to them, you make up a victimization story (or several) about how you (and your kind) are being oppressed in much the same ways they are. You also include hard pokes at their sore points, but in a non-aggressive manner.

4. You inject such a story into the culture using the exact way they do. (Like a parade or rally or some kind of entertainment or whatever.)

5. You make a point of not saying anything bad about them (and their victims) in your story.

6. You watch the loudmouths go apeshit and totally discredit their agenda with unbelievably noisy and ineffective manifestations of irrational hatred and spittle-popping spite--that is, ineffective for persuading nonpartisans of their message. The haters will look like frothing-at-the-mouth wackos to the average person.

:) 

For a great example of this process, Tim Pool discusses the Straight Pride parade in the video below. He has been trained in activist propaganda (and, I submit, how to do story wars effectively--his "vision message" right now is freedom of speech) and he is frustrated to no extent by how easily this process is working against the leftie activists. He knows elections are coming and that these lefties are committing persuasion suicide by walking into that trap, yet walk they walk. 

:) 

As I write this, I recall someone on the right who fell for this process big-time. Do you remember Rush Limbaugh going overboard with Sandra Fluke. This lady is the malignant dingbat who went to Congress and said she was oppressed and suffering psychological damage because the government did not provide her with free contraception. Rush fell for it, called her a slut during his ranting and railing, and the left went after his advertisers. Rush was resilient enough to beat back that attack, but he did catch a painful metaphorical bullet or two at the time--all because he fell for this process. He took the story bait.

This particular form of publicly manipulating story works on everyone who has strong beliefs. Alex Jones called this process "triggering" and this term entered the mainstream because Alex did it and used that term so much.

Note, this is not just disagreeing with the other side. This is using the other side's core story frames against them. 

Michael

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