Nevertheless, the local paper shows some excellent examples illustrating the value of our LIttle School's section on lies and lying. Just on July 28, 2011, for example, the lead article starts off with an excellent example of the misleading technique of framing. It's about the so-called "debt crisis" and it adds a lot of emotion to the argument between "liberals" and "conservatives" over how much to cut the working class and its natural allies. The issue is framed so that the only argument is how many billions to take away from us. The arguments for taking nothing from us or of actually using more government spending to resolve the jobs crisis aren't even mentioned. They are "framed" out of the picture!
On the front of the Business section, retiree adviser Scott Burns tells a reader what it would take to live in retirement without Social Security. Burns has written before in support of President Bush's scheme to privatize the nation's number one program for the aged. The July 28 column is an example of the "big lie" technique which consists of telling something over and over so many times that it begins to sound so familiar that people start believing it. Are Americans really condemned to losing this important retirement program? If you read it enough times, will you start believing it?
The best examples of distortions are usually on the editorial and op-ed pages. July 28th finds right-wing State Representative Lois Kolkhorst "explaining" why everybody would be better off without national health care. It seems that "we" don't want the federal government to deal with health care questions, but "we" want "Texans" to make those decisions. Who's "we?" Who are "Texans?" She means the insurance companies, of course, but she doesn't say that!
Even though the lies are prevalent in capitalist "news," it's pretty hard to catch them in an outright lie or contradiction. Lenin said something to the effect that, "The capitalist newspeople scrupulously avoid lying on all the little things -- the better to lie to us on the big ones!" The biggest falsehood in our media, and I'm including TV and radio especially here, isn't what they say, but what they don't say. For example, I just received e-mail from the Association of Flight Attendants reporting that Congress is putting 100,000 people out of work because they won't re-authorize the Federal Aviation Administration. Why not?
The flight attendants write; "At issue is the fact that House Republicans like John Mica (R-FL) are refusing to advance the beneficial, multi-year FAA Reauthorization bill in the conference committee process unless it includes an unrelated union-busting provision that they inserted into the House version of the bill. For air/rail union elections overseen by the National Mediation Board (NMB), the House version of the FAA legislation would change the rules to count eligible voters who did not participate in the election the same as actually having voted "No."
That's big news that working people need to know, but it's not in the paper!