Does Media Manipulation Exist?
I must admit that I’m naive when it comes to believing all the information I hear (including medical) when reading, searching, watching, or listening to the media.
Are you naïve, as well?
My inspiration for writing this article is a post by Dr. J. Mercola entitled, “How Astroturfing and Other Media Manipulation Compromise Your Ability to Get Truthful Information” (2017) (https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/10/28/astroturfing-media-).
As a professional medical biochemist since 1977, I’ve been trained, like other medical professionals, to assist patients in maintaining good health.
I’m shocked to see the ways in which some medical/pharmaceutical professionals are now.
Where did these professionals get their training? Have they forgotten that sacred line in medical ethics, Primum non nocere (first do no harm)?
We’re trained not to manipulate facts, not to fabricate results, not to lie, not to give wrong information, and definitely not to make any kind of extra profit for our professional services.
After so many years, do the same ethical standards still exist in the field of medicine?
Not really, according to Dr. Mercola’s article:
· Ninety percent of news media are controlled by six corporations. As a result, the vast majority of what you read, see and hear is part of a carefully orchestrated narrative created and controlled by special interest groups
· “Astroturf” is the effort on the part of large corporate special interests to surreptitiously sway public opinion by making it appear as though it’s a grassroots effort for or against a particular agenda
· Wikipedia is astroturf’s dream come true. Many pages are controlled by anonymous Wikipedia editors on behalf of special interests who forbid and reverse edits that go against their agenda (2017)
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, in her TEDx talk, “Astroturf and Manipulation of Media Messages” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=37&v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU), said the following:
Astroturf is when political, corporate or other special interests disguise themselves and publish blogs, start Facebook and Twitter accounts, publish ads and letters to the editor, or simply post comments online, to try to fool you into thinking an independent or grassroots movement is speaking. (2015)
After reading these facts, I’m not sure, anymore, where to go for important (and accurate) information.
Is it true that media outlets change the facts and encourage us to believe that 2 + 2 sometimes = 5? Can we believe in any of today’s news—be it information, commentary, or the end result of investigative journalism?
I don’t know anymore.
If you know, help me to regain my trust in the media. When will the media tell the truth, and nothing but the truth when providing any kind of information, including medical reports?
I’m still learning today, and I still need to rely on certain sources more than others when it comes to information.
What about you? Do you think that media manipulation exists?