Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

False Leveling 101

My thanks go to StumbleUpon member purplegem for supplying me with yet another example of the techniques used by the five corporations that control America’s not-so-liberal media to exonerate their benefactors in the minds of an inattentive audience, in this case by creating a false equivalency between congressional Republicans who extorted concessions (coincidentally beneficial to the media conglomerates) by threatening to suspend government and the Democrats, whom they then accused of brinksmanship for daring to resist.

Misleading cartoon on government shutdown.

The “reality gap” problem: Blame for shutting down the government simply does not fall equally on both parties...
[ Image Source ]

In cases like this, when one party is objectively the aggressor, the response of the media is instructive. If the less corporation-friendly party is — or appears to be — at fault, the press and airwaves remain full of “updates” designed to keep that “fact” in the eyes, ears and minds of the public as long as possible. If, however, the favored party is responsible, the media will do one of two things: If they can, they will simply “move along” and distract people with other stories as fast as possible. If, on the other hand, the issue at hand is too momentous, too prominent or too persistent to “go away” so easily, they will trot out the world-weary false objectivity that says, with a conspiratorial wink, “See? They’re just the same. Whatever happens, they’re both equally wrong.”

And since most people try to be impartial when possible, and assume that “the truth lies somewhere in the middle,” the media deftly exploit this “weakness” to diffuse anger that rightly should focus a laser beam of hostile scrutiny on the malefactor.

Originally published as an adverse review of a cartoon found on

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