I was raised that way. My dad was a union leader. I grew up learning protest songs. By 10 or 11 I could sing Joe Hill and We Shall Overcome and I'd Rather Be an Engineer, among others. I went to union meetings, union picnics, union softball games, and, every two years, the big NALC convention in some big city. This was really exciting because it meant we got to travel (dad was a delegate and so I think a lot of the expenses were paid for, or else we would have been at the Jersey Shore for vacation). It also meant I got to run around some HUGE fancy hotel for a week with the other union brats. It was the 70's, so as long as you didn't do any damage or get the police involved, yes, your mother would let you explore the farthest reaches of the Chicago Hilton. It is quite grand and I was dually impressed when my father told me about the riots that took place out front the year I was born.
So this is my filter, it's my experience. When I say I believe that protest is vital to democracy, or that corporate money disproportionately influence American politics, I am arguing through that filter. I may be biased, but I am NOT lying.
|Mom told us it tasted just like butter. THAT was a lie.|
This past weekend, if you've been living under a rock, a woman was killed and dozens injured when a car plowed into a group of people walking away from a protest. Heather Heyer was in Charlottesville, VA to counter-protest the white supremacist rally in her town. I'm not going into all the details, you can find plenty of that online. But lets take two disparate responses to Heather Heyer's death:
From the Alt-Right (original site has been removed)
I'm not sure that Heather Heyer thought of herself as a comrade, although maybe she did. I am 100% certain she didn't think of herself as “A 32-year-old woman without children... a burden on society and has no value.”
Those are both biased views of a woman unknown to the writers. The basic facts of the story are true; Heather Heyer was a 32 year old woman, she died at a protest, she was childless. Calling her either "comrade" or "fat slut" (yes they did) is putting a biased slant on it to evoke an emotional reaction. That is propaganda.
There is another bias that appears in news articles that's not propaganda but it does, intentionally or not, set a tone that can impact the reader's perception of what's happening. A well-known story bias came out of the reporting on Hurricane Katrina:
|Looting or Finding?|