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Subliminal (but Friendly) Persuasion

By       Message Bob Patterson       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Regular visitors to this site who want accuracy in their political punditry might do well to flip through some travel magazines while keeping in mind the old axiom: accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

Here's an example: when this columnist first arrived in Sydney Australia, one thing which caught our attention was that country's biggest bookstore. While chatting with a clerk at the bookstore, we got a surprise because she was enthusiastic about travel and specifically mentioned her hopes for visiting a museum located in the Los Angeles neighborhood we had just left.

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If (subjunctive mood) we had any knowledge of factors which might lessen her enthusiasm to visit that tourist attraction should we/must we inform her about that? We had visited that museum on a spur-of-the-moment impulse and had gotten some good material for a column and relayed that information to her. What if our assessment had been that she wouldn't like it?

Would "throwing cold water" on her intention to go see it for herself have served any worthy journalistic goal? Would it have been sufficient to encourage her to read all she could about it before she spent money for an airplane ticket?

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Travel writers have to be like cheerleaders. Spend the money! Go see it!

How often do you see an article in a travel magazine that advises the reader to save some money and skip some exotic destination?

The guys who get assignments from travel publications don't usually travel incognito so that they can give "fair and balanced" assessments of their impressions gathered at the place they visited. They may get comped meals. Often they get a public relations specialist to personally escort them and make sure they don't get snarled in such mundane activities as waiting in line. They usually get good seats at the theater and when they give enthusiastic reports about their subjective reaction to the change in geography, they are essentially selling the idea of traveling there and they usually want to, in salesmanship terms, sell the sizzle and not the steak.

With that in mind, try gathering some current political punditry and see if there is any similarities to travel writing in the political journalist's methodology.

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Does one media outlet consistently give reports that favor one political party and denigrate the efforts of the other? Is that what America's founding fathers had in mind when they extolled the value of a free press?

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)

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