Media Distortion



Some of the things we see in the microscope are not a part of the original structure of the living specimen but are artifacts. An artifact is a product of man’s workmanship. Workmanship may bring to mind the craftsmanship of the Eskimo’s polar bear carved out of walrus tusk or the graceful gazelle of African ebony. Man’s workmanship also includes the embedding, sectioning, and staining of tissues for microscope observations. The effects of these manipulations often produce distortions and color changes which are not characteristic of the tissues when alive. In order to interpret what we see and to understand the structure of living tissues, we need to know what artifacts are and what makes them.



The ‘reactive howls of ‘outrage’ from some politicians and commentators.’

The Media, and not just the BBC, by its very fact of observing, for example, politicians in action, can introduce ‘artifacts’ into events as said politicians react not only to those events but react in a way that is influenced by them trying to either generate favourable comment or avoid unfavourable comment in the Media…..either way they act in a manner that they wouldn’t naturally do if they were unobserved…for better or worse.


Recent events have given us some perfect illustrations of this.

MP’s pay is one such example….all three leaders of the main political parties have been trying to out compete each other to make it quite clear that ‘in the present economic climate‘ such a  pay rise is ‘inappropriate’…….

That is despite it being made quite clear that the plan is ‘cost neutral’ and will cost the tax payer nothing.

Why do the politicians all posture and  prostrate themselves before the Media?  Because they believe they will be torn apart if they so much as suggest that perhaps the cost neutral ‘payrise’ is in fact appropriate.

The irony is that the BBC has been very even handed, if possibly more inclined towards the payrise…giving a lot of coverage to explanation of the ins and outs of this.



Another example is this:

Lack of a proper national policy to get UK children to do more exercise amounts to mass “child neglect”, the British Journal of Sports Medicine says.

Charities and other august bodies know that they have a ready audience in the Media for any sensationalist claims…the more sensationalist the better….and this distorts the news agenda which favours such tripe.

And yet only a day or so later we hear that 1.5 million more people are taking part in sport as a result of the ‘Olympic legacy’…no doubt many of them children.

Not only that but obesity is actually going down.

And apart from that I don’t think sport in school has anything to do with obesity or fitness…or it is marginal…..these doctors are demanding 1 hour a day of sport in school….I must have had at most 2 hours a week…and yet managed to be more Laurel than Hardy.

[And..if fat is genetic the spooks would have whisked some of these miraculously fat people off to Area 51 for examination…because if you can get fat on a Ryvita then your genes will save the world from starvation as you can convert minute amounts of food into large amounts of stored energy in the shape of fat. Ab Flab!]



The last example of how the presence of the Media distorts reactions is again genetics…but not concerning fat…concerning IQ.

Boris Johnson was monstered last week when he suggested that a high IQ gave you an advantage in life:

“I am afraid that violent economic centrifuge is operating on human beings who are already very far from equal in raw ability, if not spiritual worth.”


Naturally the usual suspects all came out against such apparent ‘elitism’…Clegg saying it was ‘unpleasant, careless elitism….that treated people as if they were dogs’.  Even Cameron had to distance himself from Boris….Labour MPs also clamoured to denounce him…saying it was an insult and shameful.


However today we have this:

Exam grades ‘more nature than nurture’

Genetic influence explains almost 60% of the variation in GCSE exam results, twin studies suggest.

Scientists studied academic performance in more than 11,000 identical and non-identical 16-year-old twins in the UK.

The team from King’s College London found that on average, genes explained 58% of differences between GCSE scores in core subjects such as maths.

Differences in grades due to environment, such as schools and families, accounted for about 36%.

The remaining differences in GCSE scores in maths, English and science are explained by environmental factors unique to each person, say the researchers.




So….what Boris said was in fact the case….as most people probably believe…..which is the point of this post…the politicians react in a way that is more tuned to how the Media will react than to what the Public actually thinks…..the Tory Party famously changing its core beliefs and values  under Cameron in the hope that the BBC will stop calling them the ‘Nasty Party’.

The public, as the head of IPSA said, are quite capable of thinking for themselves:

“This shows us something important: this is an issue where the public has a more nuanced, and split, opinion than the reactive howls of ‘outrage’ from some commentators and politicians.”

So when will politicians get brave enough to say what they really think rather than shaping it to fit in with the Media’s values and let the Public judge?


What is also amusing is Richard Bacon’s reaction along with that of his guests (9 mins in )..including a teacher, to this story.

We were told that genetics played a ‘huge part’ in how pupils performed academically in school.

Bacon said ‘Brass tacks…if your parents are stupid then you will be stupid..that’s what it is saying.’

He said this was ‘Really interesting stuff.’

He brought on a teacher who said that this was only ’emphasisng what teachers knew already….every pupil is different…it is a very interesting piece of research.’


What a remarkably different reaction to that given to Boris….could it be that, regardless of the truth of Boris’ statement,  because he is firstly a Tory and secondly an Old Etonian, the Media, commentators and craven fellow politicians, either saying what they believe is ‘acceptable’ to the Media or taking an opportunistic chance to attack Boris, all denounce Boris and thereby distort not only perceptions of reality but the political process as a whole.

Paxman recently complained about politics and its apparent detachment from ordinary life….well who creates that detachment?…the Media which forces politicians to react in an artificial and absurd manner saying things that bare little relation to life or indeed what the majority of the Public probably think…Boris accepted….all to please that very same Media which is in fact the most out of touch group of people in the country…and yet who are setting the political agenda more often than not.


‘Do you find our industry slightly ludicrous?’




Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Media Distortion

  1. Guest Who says:

    ‘There’s a lot of time to fill’

    Sadly, if there’s nothing worth filling it with, those who boast 8,000 ‘journalists’ on their roster should not be surprised if what they come up with to justify their existence makes this fact abundantly clear.


  2. Mark II says:

    Of course the artifact is in the eye of the beholder – over on planet Guardian the BBC have a horrible right-wing bias according to the saintly George Monbiot

    The BBC seems happy to be used as a covert propaganda outlet by tobacco, fossil fuel and other controversial companies

    Original here.
    I love the obsequious comments – e.g.

    No contributor is ever described as “right wing”, yet you will hear the term “left-wing” regularly used.

    It is like they are on a parallel universe.


    • Chris says:

      Now they can claim they are attacked from the left wing, and are this is proof they are not biased.
      F*cking left wing marxist socialist b*stards.
      Who the f*ck proposes a economic and social system modeled on a f*cking ant farm.


  3. Chris says:

    Couldn’t agree more. The media are THREAT to democracy. They funnel what is seen, how it is seen, and when it is seen.
    The BBC are key to this. They reach 70% of adults. 70%. Their constant drum beat of equality, “anti-racism”, PC marxism and stunning blatant bias distorts our world view.
    Even more, I am finding that other media sources in the UK are being dragged in by the shear weight of the BBC, in a similar way a sinking ship drags all around it down. The telegraph, the Mail, the sun and all other supposed “right wing” media outlets use PC marxist phrase with abandon, as they feel they have to keep within spitting distance of the mass of people and the mass of the UK audience. Only the Express and the Spectator have made a stand, and they are labeled “extremist” or “off their meds”.
    But this is all false, as like a feedback loop, the journalists are believing their own nonsense. People don’t really buy this left wing crap. The other media outlets think that people do, because of the loud shrill screeching of Twiteri mobs and knee jerk protests from the “class warrior protectors” of minorities. There is also an element of fear of being ridiculed and isolated. UKIP have broken the spell. They are a banner behind which people have been able to regroup and rearm against this left wing assault, and the BBC hate them. What greater confirmation of the justice of your views.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      There is a cartoon film called “Animal Farm” on tomorrow.
      It’s a film that mocks the lefties and their equality bullshit.
      It will embarrass BBC/Guardianista types because it has a very pro-UKIP sentiment.


  4. David Brims says:

    If the parents are musically inclined, or good at sports or academic, there’s a good chance that the child will be.

    If the parents are a couple of donuts, I don’t think their kid will grow up to be Beethoven.

    The media and politicians drone on how bad elitism is, but they seem to forget that the Olympics is elitist. They have defined elitism as exclusive when it really means the very best.


    • Richard Pinder says:

      The Olympics are sexist as well as elitist, but then if women had equality, they would not get many medals, if any?


  5. AngusPangus says:

    An issue here is the now-ubiquitous framing of questions by interviewers, amounting to what is effectively neuro-linguistic programming of the interviewee.

    It goes like this:

    “How [X] are you by [the issue]?”

    Where X may typically be “upset”, “angry”, “worried” or “disappointed” or whatever. It’s not an open question. It pre-supposes and invites – nay, EXPECTS – a certain response from the interviewee. The interviewee, in Pavlovian fashion, will usually provide the expected response: “Very”and, voila, the interviewer has created their story.

    Listen out for it, and you will hear this sort of thing all day long and across all platforms on the BBC. It’s clearly something they’re taught to do.

    It’s a trick. It creates and moulds stories. It drives the story in a certain direction and according to a certain pre-conceived world-view.

    It is thoroughly corrupting.


    • Guest Who says:

      Spot on.
      It’s a no lose.
      Get the wrong answer, the edit suite is there to ensure it’s deep-sixed.
      Live is trickier, but rephrasing can see a save, or better yet just turn away to one prepared to catch the rebound and put it away… ‘Ed, Labour says people are furious about this… Just how furious are we?’
      And then back to the edit for the appropriate archive keeper that preserves the correct message for posterity.
      By way of balance, I will confer on Kay Burley of Sky the ultimate comeback, which was to tell a witness what they can’t say and did see. That was class.


      • David Brims says:

        The infamous Kaye Burley interview. No this is not North Korea or East Germany or the old Soviet Union, it’s Britain in 2013, where you can’t say what you see.


        • johnnythefish says:

          Even though you’re 100% sure of what you’ve seen, you are obliged to erase your memory and re-build it to fit the anti-stereotyping PC agenda, even when there is no stereotyping involved.

          Orwell is whirling in his grave.


    • David Brims says:

      it’s Gotcha questions, Michael Crick screamed at Nigel Farage ” Why isn’t there any BLACK people on the front cover of your manifesto brochure” ???? !!!!!! the inference is Farage is one of ‘dem’ nasty ‘waaycists’. Cue mock outrage.

      There wasn’t any Eskimo’s on the front cover either, I suppose from Cricks logic, Farage is anti Eskimo then.


      • Mark II says:

        It was Godfrey Bloom that Crick was asking about the UKIP manifesto cover – but the point stands.
        Amusingly Bloom turned the tables on Crick pointing out that he was a racist for looking for black faces in the first place…


      • Richard Pinder says:

        If Crick had looked inside the brochure, he would have had a pleasant surprise, if he gets his kicks from that sort of thing.

        But the idea of Crick or a BBC moron interviewing an ethnic member of UKIP is as unlikely as interviewing a Labour euroskeptic, or interviewing Labour MP Graham Stringer about the calibration of carbon dioxide warming.

        Such interviews with these types of people would be way beyond the intellectual ability of these journalists.

        Journalists who would only ask questions such as, “Is there a Black in you euroskeptic brochure?” or “Is there a Black in your Climate Change brochure?”


    • Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

      This was the subject of my very first complaint to the bBBC, many years ago, when the catch-all word ‘devastated’ came into fashion to describe being upset at everything from a bad hair-day to World War III. A local bBBC reporter asked a woman with a brain-damaged baby “How devastated were you?”.
      I don’t think the bBBC even got the point, and basically told me that I didn’t understand how journalism worked, or at least their version where they decide the story before getting the facts.


      • David Brims says:

        I love the media uses certain key words or phrases which I never hear anywhere but from journalists. ‘Shock ‘ is one such word, another is ‘outraged’, for example.

        ” People are ‘SHOCKED’ to hear the news that a packet of crisps has gone up by tuppence.”

        ”There was ‘OUTRAGE’ when D list celebrity was voted off Strictly Come Dancing. ”

        Nah, not really.


      • David Brims says:

        A local bBBC reporter asked a woman with a brain-damaged baby “How devastated were you?”.

        What a dumb question, as if the mother is going to say ” I feel like a million dollars.”


        • Arthur Penney says:

          A BBC reporter asked Jackie Kennedy if she could ‘speak about her unspeakable loss’.


      • 1327 says:

        The word “passion” is an odd one which has moved into the news world and the cr*p business world also. All of a sudden everyone is expected to be “passionate” about something or another. I was at a meeting the other week were a speaker told us all just how passionate he was about a type of enterprise* computing. It was hard not to laugh.

        *enterprise is another cr*p business term mainly used by public sector types to define something they are pretending to be but aren’t.


        • 1327 says:

          Sorry just one further. My brother in law the lecturer was telling me how he is being sent to endless meetings my the University he works with to discuss “enterprise”. Some politician has decided that all Universities be enterprising. This has been written into some half arsed rule by a civil servant who doesn’t understand it. His University has then decided to redefine what they do to call it “enterprising”. Thus assorted non job managers have been called “enterprise managers” and so on. Now they have decided they are one of the most “enterprising” Universities in Britain and everyone is happy yet in reality nothing has changed.


    • Span Ows says:

      Exactly right Angus, anyone with half a brain knows that if you want info you don’t ask closed questions: never ask a question that can be answered with one word: yes, no, very, etc. To illicit information you must ask open questions: using how, what, why, when, where etc so information is forthcoming…unless you don’t really want or care for information, unless you want a set reply.


  6. JimS says:

    I think these attitudes have conditioned ‘ordinary*’ people too. Ask a mother with a pram outside a school where the crossing patrol is under threat of removal and like as not she will say something like, “It’s the old people I worry about” as she doesn’t want to be seen as uncaring.
    Similarly the senior police officer talking about an ‘incident’ feels compelled to offer ‘condolences’ etc. rather than get to the professional point.
    Like politics, we get the journalism that we deserve.

    Note: * I would like to say that the use of the word ‘ordinary’ is in no way intended to downplay the importance, status, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, immigration or financial status of the respondent. I most sincerely apolgise for any offence that I may have caused.


    • John Standley says:

      “Ordinary people” drives me mad – the journos using the term clearly exclude themselves from this definition. It is patronising in the extreme.


  7. samfromgib says:

    The BBC website, in News from Elsewhere, gives a dozen examples of altered photos from the media, but not a single Pallywood blockbuster!


  8. pleasingcare says:

    It is not a good reason that all the shit put to china.
    BBC is a shit ..