Media Views

Media Views

The news video, Celebrities Draw Attention to Ferguson   is presented by Joy Reid, a Harvard graduate, Journalist, and news anchor for MSNBC. The video shows an interview with actor Jesse Williams and rapper Talib Kareli on the first week of her new show, The Reid Report, with MSNBC.  MSNBC is an independent programming station of NBC which is a well-known and long time news source.  It is however, not without bias controversies that are well documented.  The bias of this video/news report was only in the lack of “the other side of the story.”  While there are first hand facts stated by Talib Kareli on his experience being in Ferguson as an activist, the fallacy of “burden of proof” would come into play as he indicates the news media was banned from further filming at the direction of the police.

Both Jesse Williams and Talib Kareli claim several rhetorical devices used by authorities and the media.  Talib is adamant on “false cause”, “quilt by association”, and “post hoc ergo propter hoc.”  His claims are,  1) Mr. Brown was assumed guilty and targeted because of his skin color, 2) Mr. Brown’s character was attacked and became the focus of the news to redirect the attention from the actual shooting of Mr. Brown, and 3) the police are trying to justify their action by indicating a previous incident “shoving a store clerk” is directly related to the causation of the shooting.

Jesse Williams made an interesting comment “history has always been told by the victors” indicating the “appeal to emotions” or the consequences of our beliefs.  Do we really think the police could shoot an innocent person?  Is there bias and targeting between white authority and black society?  Are authorities dictating and controlling the media outlets by launching a pursuit of showing the violence in Ferguson opposed to concentrating on and following the investigation of a fatal shooting?

Media control is a thing of the past as social media has taken over society.  Television, newspaper, and radio can still choose to report according to their liking, but the “new” social media brings a plethora of information to a story.  If the responsibility is left to the reader/viewer to form their own opinion based on the information and facts they receive, are we creating pandemonium from our opinions or from our sources?

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4 thoughts on “Media Views

  1. I like that you did so much research on the author and where the video came from. It shows that you really know how to dig deeper and decide what is a good source or not. Just one tip of advice: when quoting in your third paragraph, I was unclear about where to pause when reading the quote. Maybe try using commas next time? You’re doing everything great! Keep up the good work!

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  2. If I’m understanding your second paragraph as you intended, it sounds like you’re saying “Mr. Brown was assumed guilty and targeted because of his skin color” is an example of the false cause fallacy. I’d argue that is more of an accusation, but we don’t know yet whether that is a false cause. If evidence comes out that the officer involved had a history of responding differently to similar behaviors from people of different races, then there would be reason to believe that was an actual cause not a false cause. Though that brings us back to the burden of proof – how would one prove he was not a racist, but then it’s also hard to prove if he is because of problems in that police department’s record keeping practices.

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  3. “Media control is a thing of the past as social media has taken over society. Television, newspaper, and radio can still choose to report according to their liking, but the “new” social media brings a plethora of information to a story. If the responsibility is left to the reader/viewer to form their own opinion based on the information and facts they receive, are we creating pandemonium from our opinions or from our sources?”

    Good point. Unfortunately, because there are few controls on social media, there is nothing to stop erroneous information from mixing with the truth. Remember that game we’d play as kids, where you sent a whisper down a line to see what it turned into at the end? We can do that with the internet now.

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