Friday, 17 April 2020

Corporate media lie about dolphins, and everything else

It is strange how people “read” the news media. Any scientist reading a corporate media news report about something in their field knows just how terrible the corporate media is. Yet the same person will generally assume that in other areas media coverage is accurate. During the miners’ strike of 1984, I met many miners who could see how terrible the media’s coverage of the strike was, but they (with very few exceptions) still took all other areas at face value. Unfortunately, most people, most of the time, consume “news” in a passive, acritical manner, simply accepting the narrative frame and assuming the facts must be accurate and the judgements authoritative. The corporate media know this and so know they can get away with virtually any lie.
I selected it because it was a global story, covered by all the mainstream outlets and everything about it was false. Everything. The story was allegedly a report of scientific research. But it seems a journalist (at Discovery.com) fixated on the term “bisexual philopatry” (apparently having no idea of what it meant) and decided to make up a story of sex and violence, and the rest of the corporate media regurgitated the narrative.
What the study was actually about was a test of two hypotheses concerning pod formation. The study found that neither of the hypotheses was supported. The study had nothing to do with sexual or violent behaviour, as can be readily seen by just reading the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22456886 Yet either none of these journalists had bothered to read the study or they did read it and decided to go with the rapist, bisexual, violent dolphins story instead.
Now I picked the dolphin example because it is relatively trivial – it does not involve global politics, the economy, human rights and liberties, the wealth, power and influence of the elites, etc. So, if the corporate media are prepared to lie for nothing more that clickbait, how much more motivated to lie will they be when the vital interests of the corporate, financial, political elite is at stake?

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