Opinions - Understanding the media re drugs

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by MrG, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. MrG

    MrG Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Now I know that the majority of you are pretty clued up when it comes to being able to spot when the media manipulate drug stories for their own ends, but I thought a quick reference to an old movie might put it into context.

    The movie itself is "How to get ahead in advertising" starring Richard E. Grant as the main protagonist Denis Dimbleby Bagley who works in advertising and marketing.

    The scene is set with three men sitting in a train carriage:

    Businessman on Train: [reading a newspaper] I see the police have made another lightning raid.
    Priest on Train: I suppose young girls was involved?
    Businessman on Train: One found naked in the bathroom. "Breasts smeared with peanut butter. The police also found a bag containing 15 ounces of cannabis resin. The bag may also have contained a small quantity of heroin."
    Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Or a porkpie. The bag may also have contained a porkpie.
    Businessman on Train: I hardly see what a porkpie's got to do with it.
    Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Then how about a turnip? The bag may also have contained a large turnip.
    Priest on Train: The bag was full of drugs. It says so!
    Denis Dimbleby Bagley: It's the oldest trick in the book.
    Priest on Train: Book? What book?
    Denis Dimbleby Bagley: The distortion of truth by association book. You all believe heroin was in the bag because cannabis resin was in the bag, but the chances of it actually being there are certainly 100 to 1.
    Businessman on Train: A lot more likely than what you say.
    Denis Dimbleby Bagley: About as likely as the tits smeared with peanut butter.
    Priest on Train: The tits were spread with peanut butter! It says so! Who's a man you are to think you know more about it than the press?
    Denis Dimbleby Bagley: I'm an expert on tits. Tits and peanut butter. I'm also an expert drug pusher. I've been pushing drugs for 20 years, and I can tell you a pusher always protects his pitch. We want to sell them cigarettes, and we don't like competition, see? So we associate a relatively innocuous drug with one that is more deadly, and the rags go along with it because they adore the dough from the ads!

    ----------------------------------


    The key phrase here is:

    "distortion of truth by association "

    It is used every day in every news article you read, see or hear. It is a favourite trick of the wily politician and propagandist and you need to be able to spot it in your sleep.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2017
    1. 5/5,
      highly entertaining and instructive piece if satire
      Apr 26, 2012
  2. Allez

    Allez Newbie

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    That was a section of a film specifically written to display the media bias. While I don't argue that such bias does exist, can someone give a real-life example of such?
     
  3. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Easy. The one most commonly used is drugs and little children. Even when a drug related topic has nothing to do with children you will see them thrown into the story to get sensation and horror levels up.
    Another one is when the UK and other countries wanted to ban psilocybe mushrooms the governements released lies about psilocybe mushrooms, by attributing toxic qualities which belong to amanita mushrooms. From the details of these press articles and government statements you could see that they have been doing their research on amanita and psilocybe mushrooms.
     
    1. 5/5,
      good answer on how governments and media deliberately misinform
      Apr 26, 2012
  4. MrG

    MrG Platinum Member & Advisor

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  5. Allez

    Allez Newbie

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    Meh, it was sensationalist, no doubt, but what would you expect from a newspaper called The Vindicator? I'm not shocked or appalled at their tone. "Pharm parties" exist, even if to a tiny extent. Regardless, parties where white suburban kids take a mix of perscription drugs is going to be sensationalised.


    ....... what is The Vindicator by the way? I'm jumping to the wild conclusion that's in a tabloid of some sort. If that article was in The Times I'd treat it differently.
     
  6. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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  7. Allez

    Allez Newbie

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    Point taken.

    Now, how to deal with this "Grainne Kenny" question......