Part II: Speaking their language to fix the system

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If you're tired of feeling like only one side of the story is being told in mainstream media, here's my idea on how we can effect change, taking a page from the winning side's playbook.

Continued from Part I - What's wrong with society & the media.

As I previously mentioned, I believe the media can no longer be trusted to give people both sides of most stories, especially when one side might not benefit their corporate benefactors. The consequences of the dissolution of the Fairness Doctrine continues to undermine the value of the mainstream media and its ability to report fairly on issues.

This is one of the ways in which people like Bob Novak can walk around free even though he contributed to the act of Treason by outing a CIA agent, yet more politically-vulnerable people like Susan McDougal got nailed for 18 months in prison for contempt of court over an innocuous civil case related to the Clinton whitewater witch hunt conducted by rabid republicans.

How can there be such obnoxious inequity among the way such transgressions are dealt with? The key is the media. If the media chooses to make an issue out of a story, it can turn an otherwise minor issue into something huge, even capable of presidential impeachment. Likewise, if they want to not call attention to another official's grevious crime that would otherwise spark public outrage and demand for justice, they can downplay the scandal.

One president can lie about the threat of a sovereign nation and engage the country in war and get off scott free; another can be caught lying about a blowjob and be impeached. It's the media. The media shapes public opinion, and left unfettered, with no competent opposing viewpoint, they arbitrarily decide which issues are minor and which deserve a full public crucifiction.

The Fairness Doctrine is the best tool we have to curtail this activity by giving people and groups the ability to petition for equal time. We need to get this enacted into law.

But how do we do this? How can you pass a law that is overwhelmingly opposed by the government in power, and the media that serves them?

The only other force are the people, but if they are at the mercy of the media, isn't it a catch-22?

Yes. However, we can take a page from the Republican play book and deal with this.

One thing that bothers me is how wonderfully idealistic many liberals are. They have so much faith in the populace and believe that if only they can get some attention, they can reach people. It sounds so noble in theory but they've been so incredibly ineffective at doing so when are they going to try something different?

If you ask someone to tell you about Kerry, they run off into a half-hour diatribe about his qualities, or an hour-rant about how bad Bush is.

That's all fine and dandy but the reality is, if I'm like your average American, my attention span maxes out at approximately 78 seconds into any conversation that doesn't contain at least one mention of Brittney Spears, Dale Earnhardt or someone eating live worms.

I swear to God, I think half the people that voted for Arnold Schwartzeneger were waiting for a futuristic firefight to break out at his inaguration.

I hate to say it, but this is what we're dealing with people.

This is where the GOP rules. They are the masters of one-liners. They recognize the public is essentially tuned out and know how to reach them.

Kerry got beat because of one line:

"I voted for the war before I voted against it."

That's the crux of what a huge chunk of Bush voters immediately think when his name comes up. The GOP very effectively used elevator pitches to encapsulate everything that they wanted the public to feel was important -- regardless of whether it was important or even true. The GOP calls them "Talking Points." They are basically one-liners that should be repeated over-and-over-and-over.

The poor Democrats. They so desperately want people to understand, but it's like talking to a two-year-old about Individual Retirement Accounts.

STEP ONE: You need a simple one-liner which sums up your entire agenda.

This is heresy to the liberals. They relish in their understanding of complex issues and they rebel against resolving things down into shallow superficialities, but the reality is this is what needs to be done.

If I ask someone what comes to mind when they hear George H. Bush. Most of them immediately say, "No New Taxes!" His mantra, however unrealistic to the more-informed, was an eloquent one-liner which mainstream America could easily get behind.

GW Bush did the same thing: "Stay the Course", "Fight Terrorists on their Own Ground".

People think that GW's success was due to his stubbornness. No. It was due to the fact that he bombarded people with a small set of one-liners and they "stuck", while the Kerry camp changed their tune each day.... or maybe they didn't.. maybe the media changed Kerry's tune each day, but the bottom line is that when you think of Kerry, you don't have a one-liner which epitomizes what he stands for, and it was his undoing.

As much as we all hate to look at things like this, until we have more substantive discourse, political battles are going to be fought according the same rules that motivate people to eat Chicken Nuggets or buy tennis shoes.

STEP TWO: Our one-liner must be a non-issue that nobody can disagree with.

A brilliant example: "Support Our Troops"

Who's going to argue with that? Nobody doesn't want to support our troops. It's a great, catchy slogan, and it diverts peoples attention away from inquiring why the hell the troops are there in the first place. Again, the GOP employed genius in heavily promoting this concept as a giant smokescreen to surreptitiously promote Bush's aggressive agenda.

We need to do the same. We need a simple one-liner that nobody could argue with, that is the shoehorn for our agenda.

For example: "Your Voice Should Be Heard."

The idea is to encapsulate our idea of promoting the Fairness Doctrine by wrapping it up into a simple, unarguable one-liner that even the most obsessed World Wrestling Fan can appreciate and understand.

In a perfect world, we would aspire to explain what's so important about ones' voice being heard, and how it's stifled under the current system, but like I said... no Brittney Spears, no mention of Tiger Woods in a bar fight and we lose people after a few seconds.

So we speak only in one-liners... Political Haiku if you will. We learn from those who have kicked our asses.

STEP THREE: Repeat, repeat, REPEAT!

Advertising studies have shown that repetition and simplicity are the constructs upon which information can be conveyed and retained by people. Here's an excerpt from technical studies:

For a marketing message to be retained in the long-term memory, the message must:
  • start with the the message to be retained
  • be repeated to be stored
  • have meaning
  • be related to memorized items
  • be classifiable
  • be associable to stored concepts
  • be abstracted from prior experience with the information
  • be scripted and organize the knowledge about common things or activities.


The republicans know this and this affects the way in which they get their messages across.

My advice is that for the next four years, the opponents of the president inject these "Talking Points" into every speech they make, over and over, like a bad television commercial that keeps running, until the American people can't get it out of their head.

Your Voice Should Be Heard
Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine
Your Voice Should Be Heard
Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine
Your Voice Should Be Heard
Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine
Your Voice Should Be Heard
Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine
Your Voice Should Be Heard
Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine
Your Voice Should Be Heard
Bring Back The Fairness Doctrine


 

You've missed one thing
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-11-11 10:17:42
I wouldn't argue with your points for all the world...but I think you've left something out. The one-liner has to be supported by a 25-words-or-less explanation, probably one that hints at a conspiracy theory. This behavior is total anathema to most of us, but if you talk to "informed" conservatives, it's what you often get from them if you press them beyond their slogans.
a side note
Posted by wizeGurl on 2004-11-11 12:02:09
It's sad, but your discussion makes me think Kerry should have tried this: "I'm John Kerry. I'd make a good President. Now, watch me eat this worm. [CHOMP.] Remember, John Kerry for President!" It might have worked, except that Bush with his frat background would probably be eating horse rectums within a day.

I think your strategy is a good one, though. We need to start using it. It wouldn't hurt, either, if a rich liberal or two--maybe George Soros--would quietly buy up some media outlets, and subtly use the same techniques that the right has used to get its issues discussed by all the networks.
What's the dif?
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-11-26 06:10:37
Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine is a good idea, but should the Dems ape the Republican's appeal to the lowest common denominator or should they take a good look at their own policies?

I voted for Kerry, but in the area of foreign policy, there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between him and Bush. The Democrats need to dump Hollywood, Springsteen, More, etc. and get back to the more progressive ideas that do exist (in both parties) or 2008 will just be more of the same.
Hi
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-11-29 11:03:40
I'm working on a solution.

Thanks for being patient.
Posted by Pile on 2004-12-06 14:00:30
I think at the present time, the only way to beat them is by playing by their rules. When the media controls access to key information by the public, it's difficult to get your message across unless you copy the presentation methods used by your opponents.

A good analogy on why this works can be found by examining the current state of political campaigns. A candidate taking the "high road" and not attacking his opponent will often get decimated by a candidate who launches a smear campaign. This is because of the inherent nature of the communications medium, which tends to favor, short, concise, preferably negative and slanderous soundbytes that are easy to grasp and remember.
Great Ideas!
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-01-03 13:26:33
If we had run the Kerry campaign in this manner we might have had a different (better) result.
pass it on post it everwhere the truth will set us free
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-01-03 17:21:56
Hero's died, Bush lied,
Saudi's flew, Bush knew,
He robbed the Tresury and the election too
all of you GET A LIFE!
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-01-04 02:19:14
GET A LIFE!!!!
Posted by Demosthenes on 2005-01-08 22:55:48
dude this site is great, it shows us jsut how stupid America is. Intelligent people come here to learn, and if u think that by saying get a life will piss us off, ur just kidding urself and all your stupid little stoner buds
Posted by Pile on 2005-01-09 13:38:50
Imagine a yellow ribbon on your car that says:

"SUPPORT OUR IGNORANCE"

(by trivializing complex issues with meaningless mottos)
Sorry, it just wont work.
Posted by Super Stevens on 2005-04-13 01:17:19
This will not work. No matter how catchy your one liner is; it wont mean shit if the media doesn't hype it up for you. And they wont do that. The best you could hope for is that the media went after your one liner making ridicule of it. In which case it would back fire.

I like your idea but in reality it wont do jack shit. No matter how good your talking points or your one-liner - they wont accomplish shit unless they get air time. and you know this. Now lets focus on the most imp. issue here. We must buy back the media - one area at a time.
Ideas
Posted by Demosthenes on 2005-04-14 20:54:22
EXACTLY the media controls the goverment (however indirectly)

Maybe we can think of a way to WIN back the media without having millions of dollars.

Were not all totally retarded, maybe we can think of something.
Ideas eh?
Posted by erg on 2005-04-20 02:43:34
I know! I know!

You can all shower me with duh's if you like, but how about if we all stopped watching TV.

It worked for me.

Spread the message - remember, there are only 6 degrees of separation.
Posted by Demosthenes on 2005-04-21 20:39:58
Sorry im retarded, what are the six degrees of seperation?
Posted by Cthulhu on 2005-07-24 00:17:38
How about
"They're a pack of cowardly child-rapists."

Remember, it's always more effective to say something negative about your opponent then, well, pretty much anything else.

When asked for explanation as to who "they" are, immediately attack the questioner as being one of "them", and ask how many children he raped, the coward.
I've got your slogan
Posted by SteveT on 2005-09-23 06:50:09
"Stop Child Pornography, Vote for CANDIDATE"
exactly
Posted by JBL on 2007-01-02 00:39:36
Pile, you nailed it. The dems want so hard to believe people care enough to hear long complex arguments and the truth is, most don't. It's not saying that people are stupid, it's that they're busy with their lives and anyway, they think most politicians are all the same. It's time to take a page out of the repub playbook.

Also love the idea of "trivializing complex issues with meaningless mottos" whoever said that.

The weird thing, is that I have mentioned these exact same ideas, and was promptly blown off. Must have been my delivery. :/ Anyway, for what's it worth I agree with you.
Ur joking, right?
Posted by raymond on 2007-01-17 17:38:00
Media bias leans republican? You are a lunatic. Listen to any TV media (outside of fox news) and possibly 4/5 of the printed press in this nation and tell me republicans get a fair shake. You have lost ur liberal mind if you HONESTLY think the media is responsible for Kerrys inconsistency. Im an independent and I voted against Kerry, because he was saying something different about Iraq EVERY DAY pending on what network he was on!

Whereas you point at Clinton getting OMG DRILLED for a blowjob, Bush is let OFF because of the media? You have lost ur liberal mind! YOU GUYS WON THE ELECTION IN 08 BECAUSE MOST PPL ARE DRONES AND SIT IN FRONT OF TV ALL DAY, GETTING THEIR 30 MINS OF DAILY "3 dead in Iraq" ("Bush is Hitler" from anyone besides Fox) FROM THERE!

Rant aside, the idea that the FCC can regulate how a free market company can opinionate is just disgusting. Can't wait to see the ACLUs reaction when a Republican president goes after CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC etc for pounding on him. Oh wait, yalls extreme side supports Hugo Chavez, same leader which regulates his media; its all making sense now!

Heres an idea: embrace ideas which aren't yours, and do a decent bit of research (which takes bias on BOTH sides) before formulating an opinion. Afterall, thats why this "American Revolution" thing worked for us.

Media bias leans republican - hahaha maybe a homeless dude who found a radio in a trashcan in a conservative city. Give me a damn break. People have other views other than "Kill a baby save a criminal", get over it.
Posted by Rozmeister on 2007-04-02 12:24:34
Raymond obviously doesn't own an AM radio. If the media was liberal, conservatives would be clamoring to get the Fairness Doctrine back. Even the so-called liberals in the media are usually centrists. Good luck finding Bill Moyers or Noam Chomsky on commercial TV. As for the "3 dead in Iraq" reference, when did truth become liberal bias. I didn't hear you guys complaining when the "liberal media" (which is mostly owned by Viacom, Disney, Newscorp, Time Warner and GE) was beating the war drums to get us into this mess. Someone should propose that media literacy be taught in America's schools so the next generations understand how corporate propagandists get their message out. See if conservatives don't fight that tooth and nail.
Typical ignorant analysis from an uninformed observer.
Posted by TheSimulacra on 2007-12-27 10:58:23
"the idea that the FCC can regulate how a free market company can opinionate is just disgusting"

I'm sorry have you ever taken a class on communications law in your life? No? Have you ever even read a book about it? No? Then please, for the sake of intelligent discussion, turn off your computer and throw it out of the window, or restrict your surfing to porn and ordering cheez-whiz by the pallet. You have absolutely no understand of law and rights, and have no reason to be in this conversation at all.

The FCC regulates the public domain of communications. What this means is, anything that is transmitted over the airwaves is subject to the authority of the people via the government. It is not a "free market" because they are literally leasing their airwaves FROM US, the people of the United States of America, in order to conduct their business. As such, they are subject to the will of the people.

It's ironic that it's ignorant, half-assed analyses like the one raymond just subjected us to that are exactly what is destroying public discourse in America thanks to the aforementioned talk radio poopsmiths, made possible thanks to Ronnie Reagan and his de-regulation "ideals before common sense" policies.

It's also worth mentioning that Ronald's FCC also deregulated the rules that said that one news organization can't own more than one media outlet in the same town, which was a check that Rupert Murdoch went ahead and cashed right away, vaulting him into a position of wealth and power which (along with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine just years later) made Fox News possible.

Then, since monkeys love scratching each others backs, Murdoch went ahead and put up Roger Ailes (former chief advisor to Reagan) as CEO of Fox News, and gave the channel a bias which would support the Republican party, since that was the party that made Murdoch a billionaire in the first place.

But go ahead, raymonds of the world, continue spewing your non-sensical, uninformed opinions on things you have no understanding of. What could it hurt?
Bring back the Fairness Doctine
Posted by Cal Ray on 2008-09-15 20:15:04
When did THEY start listening to the little people? Who do you really think they are listening to? If you have the money you have a voice. The sad truth is that conservatism is what is selling. The chance of an opposing view getting heard is getting smaller and smaller. AM radio talk shows and some so called news shows are nothing more than conservative political propaganda. This is great for the Republican Party but not necessarily for America.
History has shown us what a press that promotes a single political cause has done in the past. Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

What is happening in our country since the repeal of the fairness doctrine is shameful. I am fearful for this country and its future. Thomas Jefferson must be turning in his grave.
MAD AS HELL
Posted by SUSAN on 2009-03-18 21:53:10
IS THERE ANYONE THAT WILL STAND WITH ME TO FIGHT
FOX NEWS AND WHAT IT STANDS FOR. WE NEED A NEWS
AGENCY THAT BRINGS BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUES. I NEVER BEEN INVOLVED IN POLITICS BEFORE, BUT AFTER
THE DESPECABLE WAY PRESIDENT OBAMA IS BEING TREATED BY THE MAINSTREET MEDIA I CANNOT BE SILENT ANYMORE. CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW TO GET A PETITION FOR THE REINSTATEMENT OF THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
ITS A 24/7 NON STOP BASHING AND THE REAL CRIMINALS ARE THE BUSH/CHENEY ADMINISTRATION, AND
IT WASN'T REALLY BUSH WAS CHENEY'S PUPPET, AND KARL ROVE WAS THE MASTERMIND OF ALL THEIR PLOTS.
MAD AS HELL
Posted by SUSAN on 2009-03-18 22:53:39
CARL RAY YOU ARE SO RIGHT. THE REPUBLICANS LOST AND YET THEY ARE STILL PULLING THE STINGS, THANKS
TO THE FOX NEWS WENT OFF THE DEEP END WITH THEIR
VERSION THAT PORTRAYS THE END OF AMERICA AS WE NO
IT WITH OBAMA. THEY SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT
WERE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE BUSH YEARS THAT HAVE
LEFT THE COUNTRY AND PRESIDENT OBAMA NO CHOICE BUT
TO ACT SWIFTLY TO TRY AND TURN THE TIDE OF DEVASTATION IN THEIR WAKE. THIS IS NOT WHAT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED FOR THIS GREAT COUNTRY.
Cry Babies
Posted by An Adult on 2009-08-14 09:14:47
As a conservative (to the right of Bush), I must say, quit your whining.

You act as if we are living in the 40's and the only source of information are the town paper and the radio.

So leave the 1940s and join the 21st century. If you read the Supreme Court
One Thing
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-07 02:09:52
You only forgot one thing: you should also regulate the Internet. Oh and burn conservative books. That way no one will have to be exposed to conservative thought ever again. Liberals will no longer have to compete in the market place of ideas. It's just as well because your ideology is bankrupt in so many ways.
 

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