Think television, newspapers, public speeches, movies, sport, news, advertising, entertainment, radio and above all, politics. Think about what you see, read and hear. Now think about the word “exaggeration.”
We have the best firefighters in the world, the best law enforcement agencies, the best health experts. We have “the best” of so many and so much it’s a wonder we aren’t the best in the world. Whoops, I’m sorry, we are the best in the world.
“We have the best people in the world looking at these issues,” said Scott Morrison on ABC Insiders last Sunday. He was referring to the problem of obtaining vaccines.
For me, l must say that l find all the exaggeration rather appalling and unnecessary. It is lying dressed in the clothes of fools.
It means an overstatement of the truth, stating something out of proportion to the facts. To embellish or guild the lily.
The temptation in death is to make someone out to be someone they were not, for example, “The duke was an exceptional human being.”
It is said of pornography (and I am not an expert in this field) that in order to maintain the viewers or readers interest, it needs to progressively become more outlandish – more tantalising – more seductive-more flirtatious-more provocative – more stunning -more enticing- more exaggerated.
And in their desire to maintain some dominance, that’s precisely what Murdoch media does. It has chosen to prostitute itself in the forlorn hope of remaining relevant.
And the weapon of choice is exaggeration.
The pedlars of verbal violence and dishonesty are the most vigorous defenders of free speech because it gives their vitriolic nonsense legitimacy. With free speech, the bigots and hate-mongers seek to influence those in the susceptible or like-minded community.
The original intent of free speech was to give the oppressed a voice and keep governments honest. However, in Australia, exaggeration is used to incite racism, validate hatred, and promote religious and political bigotry.
Nowhere do you find a greater use of exaggeration than in Murdoch’s media.
We can start with Andrew Bolt:
“Sky News host Andrew Bolt said Australian politicians simply ‘don’t have the courage’ to admit the ‘coronavirus crisis was exaggerated’ in the country. “
Andrew Markus in The Conversation rightly pointed out that:
“A feature of far-right movements was characterised in the 1960s by the American political scientist Richard Hofstadter as the “paranoid style“: a style of mind that … evokes a sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy.”
And an example of the media masters from Lenore Taylor in The Guardian:
“Abbott government’s zeal for political hyperbole (exaggeration) makes facts dispensable.”
Therefore, if a newspaper article is written in a manner to suggest objectivity, but subjective words are scattered throughout it together with carefully phrased unsupported statements, then dismiss the article as having no cogency.
Lying in the media is wrong at any time; however, it is even more so when they deliberately exaggerate. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.
I believed that Americans were the only people in the world who thought their bullshit didn’t stink, but we are now their equal.
Sometimes it is good to stop, think, evaluate and formulate one’s own opinion instead of being influenced by the Murdoch press.
“… incite discontent and xenophobia… it has shown contempt for concepts such as truth, morality and ethics – they have been replaced by religiosity and ideology; hypocrisy in personal lives, masked by the propaganda of ‘family values’ and ‘traditional marriage.’ Just how has Australia benefited from so many lies, lies and more lies.”
My thought for the day
It is a pity that fact in journalism cannot be made compulsory and decency legislated.
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