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Manipulation Of The Truth By The Powerful

1038 words - 5 pages

Our awareness and understanding of the world's occurrences is reliant upon the media, including television, radio, newspaper and the internet. This media is owned and organised by some of the world's most wealthy and powerful people. This means that our perception of the truth is governed by those who control the media. In this way, the world's access to the truth may be hindered by the powerful, should they chose to manipulate or distort the 'truth'. This facet of the media is exposed in a number of texts including Frontline, Wag The Dog, a 60 Minutes story entitled Moonstruck, and an article published at The Guardian. Each of these texts purport that our 'truths' are shaped by the ...view middle of the document...

In this episode, the Frontline team is forbidden from airing a story which exposes the incompetence of a merchant bank. Again, the hierarchical power structure of the media is apparent, when the managing director flies in and blackmail's Mike to silence him. Geoff's comment "A lot of people are going to be unhappy about this" is ironic. Geoff is referring to the banks, when in reality the network and Mike himself are the ones who will be unhappy, as a result of the control exerted by the powerful. While Mike maintains that the truth will not be controlled by the powerful ("Either this story goes public, or I go public"), through the use of dramatic irony, we learn that he submits, and decides not to air the story. Thus, by the will of the powerful, the truth goes untold.Misrepresentation of the truth by the powerful is also explored in the feature film Wag the Dog. When the president is alleged to have committed sexual misconduct 14 days before the election, a spin doctor (Brean) is called in to distract the media. To do this, a war is created with Albania. Albania is chosen because of the public's inattentiveness toward it ("Why Albania" asks an associate, to which Brean responds "Why not? What do you know about Albania?"). One technique used throughout the film is the use of a quick, slightly out of focus zoom on a character. This is used to give the sense of a documentary, to make it seem like this could all be happening in real life. The real world (i.e. behind the scenes) is often juxtaposed with the world presented to the public through the use of monitors/TVs which the spindoctors are watching as they 'create the truth'. This is effective because it presents both worlds in the same scene, and it shows the powerful at work, as they control the 'truth'.In the 60 Minutes story...

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