Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The importance of context

First of all, here's your headline:

Jon Stewart Was Right About Fox 'News' Viewers Being the Most Misinformed Citizens

Next, I want to offer a comment that was made to the article:

My father used to tell me this story: A group of visitors to the Museum of Natural History were shown a triptych painting of a caveman, covered by a curtain. As the curtain was opened, with the left and right of the canvas still covered, it revealed a hostile, slathering savage with fire in his eyes and a stone spear extending menacingly from his hairy hands. The crowd gasped and later reported having feelings of being threatened by the man. The curtain, however continued to open revealing a raging sabretooth cat on the left and a frightened woman and child cowering behind the caveman on the right. That story stuck with me because it was my father's way, a liberal civil liberties lawyer from the Eisenhower 50s, of explaining to look closely and then look again even closer to find the truth. I don't need to tell you how Fox News would manipulate this same "picture"---in fact, they give the news this type of short shrift everyday and anyone can observe it happening a dozen times an hour on their "fair and balanced" network..

What a vivid and effective illustration.

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