Mail Bag

Media manipulation


To the Editor:

I’m going back a few weeks but I finally had time to comment. I was shocked at what seemed to be blatant manipulation by Mr. Brooks. The “simple question” was essentially, “Governor, we in the media feel like you reopened the state too early. Do you feel responsible for the people you caused to die by doing so?” Mr. Brooks sounded shocked that Governor Parson attacked his younger colleague for such a “simple question.” Oh heaven’s, what reasonable person would be upset about being accused of causing others to die? Mr. Brooks was upset listening to the Governor’s hostile response to this younger colleague but was impressed with her journalistic courage. Personally, I think it was a disgraceful and completely unprofessional way to ask a question and reflects poorly on both the reporter and the journalism school she attended. If a journalism professor finds that to be a perfectly legitimate question then it’s easy to see why trust in the media is at an all time low.

Another manipulation trick, compliment the person you’re attacking. “I’ve always found him to be a polite and respectful person. It made me wonder if his response reflected his frustrations, which I fully understand.” Thank you for your enlightenment Mr. Brooks. Many of us may have thought the Governor was just ticked off at the insanely unfair question but you have certainly set us simpletons straight.

I appreciate the humor you were able to inject as well. Your quote, “journalists always feel responsible to assure accurate stories with enough depth and context as possible.” and “we admit our mistakes, promptly correct them and try to learn from our errors to avoid repetition.” Great stuff, truly hilarious. On a serious note though, if you’re looking for less bias, there is an independent investigative journalist, Sharyl Attkisson worth checking out. She was with CBS, CNN and PBS. If you search, “Sharyl Attkisson media mistakes” you will get results showing her articles, videos, podcasts, as well her weekly tv broadcast. . She covers a wide range of topics, including how many ways we are being manipulated and seems to truly care about the truth. I wish more journalists would strive to be like Sharyl Attkisson because if they did, we would all be much better off.

Thank you.

Bob Mahacek, part owner of property in Gasconade County, Mo.


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