Media 101: How to distort news in 5 easy steps

Distorting the news is child’s play. Here’s how it’s done…

1. Take a quote from a well-know authority figure, such as Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker, one of the authors of the GOP’s Contract With America and frequent guest on cable news programs where he comments on all matters political. This one from Gingrich’s appearance on today’s edition of “Face the Nation” on CBS will do nicely:

“I think that she is going to be a significant player, but she’s going to be one of 20 or 30 significant players. She’s not going to be the de facto leader.”

2. Wrap it up in a story which, by itself, is more or less straightforward.

3. Copy a part of the quote intact. In this case:

“She’s not going to be the de facto leader.”

4. Remove a key word or phrase will will change the meaning of the quote entirely and rephrase. In this case, delete “de facto

5. Voila! Now you have a headline which distorts what the direct quote said and gives a whole new meaning to the story:

Gingrich says Palin will not be the future GOP leader

Congratulations, you now have a headline which distorts the meaning of the quote. You will have readers believing that Gingrich said Palin will not be the leader of her party in the future, when what he actually said is she will not be the de facto leader, i.e., she won’t automatically just be handed the leadership. He never said that she could not work for it and earn it.

You’re now qualified to be part of the anti-Palin, drive-by media. How does it feel to be a liar for the Democrats and Vichy Republicans?

– JP

Cross-posted at Gov. Sarah Palin for President