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This place matters

Thursday, November 18, 2010

So there

So I was reading this exceptionally idiotic book at the library at lunch today that you can rest assured I'll be ranting about in a future post.
The author introduced a term I'd never heard before, though, sneer quotes. That's when you dismiss a concept by placing it in quotes. The author gives for an example, folks dismissing the war on terror by calling it "the war on terror." Until very recently, a major paper (I think the Washington Post?) referred to gay marriage as homosexual "marriage." Holy bitchy.
Anyway, that got me to thinking about ways a news organization can sneak in bias. Although, these days, news organizations don't so much seem to bother with hiding their bias :(.
This inspired me to coin my own term, the snide [sic]. That's when you try to make the person you're quoting look dumb by reprinting a mistake, and then pointing said mistake out. That's a great way of calling the person you're quoting an idiot without calling her an idiot. Very underhanded.
Then, there's taking things out of context. It's not just the big Shirley Sherrod things. It's the little things news organizations pick out. For instance, dude, Sarah Palin was speaking ironically when she said she didn't know what the vice president did. Of course she knows what the VP does. She was not, however, speaking entirely ironically about seeing Russia from her house.
Also, Dan Quayle misspelled potato, sure. But there were mitigating circumstances. Plus, I'm a pretty good writer, and I spell definitely wrong every single time I write it.
Also, Al Gore didn't claim to invent the Internet. He didn't even say "I invented the Internet." 
On TV, there's also the extreme close-up. Think of the Barbara Walters interview with Monica Lewinsky back in the day, for example. The whole interview, they shot Lewinsky way up in her face and from below. Like they really needed to make her less attractive.

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