How to Use the Power of the Media to Subtly Manipulate People (Pt. 2)

So let’s go ahead take a look at that Guardian piece we mentioned in Part 1 of our series on Using the Power of the Media to Subtly Manipulate People, the full text of which you can find at the Guardian website right here.

Now this is a prime example of the type of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism we’ve come to expect from the Guardian‘s corporatist-friendly US Elections team, and particularly from Lauren Gambino, who has not missed an opportunity to either fawn all over Secretary Clinton or take a cheap shot at Senator Sanders. As we outlined in Part 1 of our series, Ms Gambino uses two basic but extremely effective manipulation techniques — narrative reinforcement and lexical bombing — to convey the sense that the Sanders campaign is a masturbatory and disruptive exercise being perpetrated by some bitter old socialist geezer and his throngs of ignorant and childish pothead supporters in order to waste Mrs Clinton and everyone else’s time.

I’ll just run through the piece quickly, top to bottom, translating for anyone who hasn’t worked in public relations. (NR = narrative reinforcement; LB = lexical bombing)

(NR, LB) Here’s the sub-headline, believe it or not … “Estimated 27,000 people in Greenwich Village hear Democratic insurgent and celebrity peakers deliver fusillade against his despised ‘billionaire class’” (transl. hatred of the rich and envy of their success is driving the Sanders campaign.)

(NR, LB) Ms Gambino describes Sanders as “the 72-year-old socialist Democrat from Vermont, whose rabble-rousing campaign has unexpectedly complicated Hillary Clinton’s path to the party’s nomination” (transl. Sanders is an old demagogue who is interfering with Secretary Clinton’s inevitable coronation … amazing that the Guardian actually printed the phrase “rabble-rousing.”)

(NR) Further down … “[f]rom his perch in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, a liberal neighborhood filled with college students … ” (transl. Sanders supporters are all hacky sack-playing college kids who live down there in “the Village,” where somehow they are able to afford apartments that rent for over $3,000 a month on average.)

(NR) Next Gambino avers that “[a] blowout here would cripple his chances of catching up to Clinton’s more than 200-delegate lead, and even a win may not be enough.” (transl. even if Sanders wins, he loses … so why doesn’t he just give up?)

(NR) She goes on to note that “[t]he rally had the ambience of a 1960s anti-war protest” and that “[p]ockets of the crowd smelled unmistakably of marijuana.” (transl. Sanders supporters need to grow up and stop trying to relive the 1960s.)

(NR) She then informs us that “[Sanders’] campaign message has resonated with millions of young activists, especially those who came of age during the Occupy movement.” (transl. we all recall how annoying, childish and indecorous that Occupy Wall Street movement was, don’t we?)

Finally, Ms Gambino, unable to locate any Sanders supporters over the age of 20 in a crowd of thousands, wraps up with a quick interview with one Oscar Salazar … a “Bernie Boy.” And if all that wasn’t enough to take the wind out of any potential Sanders voters’ sails, the Guardian editors run a beautifully manipulative “Why-I-feel-betrayed-by-Sanders” opinion piece by Lucia Graves in the sidebar, where you can’t miss it.

The whole piece is right on script, perfectly reinforcing the Clinton campaign’s PR firm’s narrative, and is chock full of subtle manipulative tactics aimed at making Sanders and his supporters appear to be a bunch of childish, pretentious fools. To experience the full effect of this, go back and read the Guardian piece again, and see how it all works together.

Oh, and do stay tuned for Part 3, where we’ll take a look at that insidiously manipulative opinion piece by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman …

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