Media Manipulation

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Misleading the Public: A New Kind of Public Relation

“It’s all, you know…thinking ahead. Thinking ahead. That’s what producing is. It’s like being a plumber. You do your job right, nobody should notice.” These words are script from the movie ‘Wag the Dog’ which directed by Barry Levinson. Have you ever thought that your beliefs are manipulated? The movie ‘Wag the Dog’ is about the U.S. president’s story which has an election in a few days and causes sex scandal with a high school girl who visited White House for school’s field trip. The U.S. mass media starts blaming and criticizing the U.S. President. Thus, the President’s administration hires a famous Hollywood producer secretly to manipulate the U.S. mass media. By making a faked War with computer graphic technologies and broadcasting war scenes on television, Americans’ concern about the President’s scandal move to war. Then, the scandal issue becomes raging out and the President’s approval rating increases radically. People are easy to forget what happened before when they meet new issues that more affect their life such as poisoned foods, nature disasters and War. Mass media sometimes use these people’s characteristics to change people’s concern and interest and get more attention and support. However, it is difficult for people to aware of the manipulation of mass media. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (United States of America). This is text from the first amendment of the U.S. constitution. In this paper, I will discuss how mass media plays a role of manipulating truth and cheating people who are not aware of these manipulations in giving example of Iraq War and CIA. Then, I will analyze how people’s freedom of speech and press is threatened by the U.S. mass media. One side, Iraq war was manipulated by mass media and the Bush administration used to mass media to justify the invasion of Iraq. There were many antiwar movements against the Bush administration’s decision that responds of September 11 attacks of Iraq War. Protests against Iraq War asserted that Iraq War basically violates international law and human rights. “International ANSWER which is organized the first post-September 11th national anti-war demonstration on September 29, 2001, drawing over 25,000 protesters to Washington, D.C. to protest and “warn that the Bush Administration’s war policies were a risk to world peace” (Simonson 7). However, the bush administration and the U.S. mass media kept asserting that the purpose of Iraq war is the regime change that gives Iraq people freedom and liberty and the country would be signal of one of freedom countries in the Middle East. However, according to the top Bush officials, “the invasion of Iraq even before Bush took office, but waited until September 2002 to inform the public, through what the White House termed a product launch” (Rampton and Stauber). In addition, in justifying the invasion of Iraq War to Americans including Protestants against Iraq War, the U.S. mass media coverage reported wrong information repeatedly. For example, Washington Post publicized the headline of “Iraqis Celebrate in Baghdad” instead of giving truth that Iraq people think about American as their liberator, not their enemy and Muslim Cleric were friendly to the Americans. The U.S mass media continued describing Iraq people as aggressive and dangerous. Moreover, the U.S. mass media broadcasted that the 20,000 Iraqi people rallied to oppose the U.S. military presence which is not true (Rampton and Stauber). By covering mass media’s intention to lie, how would Americans know what is real happening? Iraq War is one of representative examples of people’s freedom of press and speech is violated. In the case of Iraq War, mass media...
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