Alternative news media host Alex Jones, appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight show what has been generally reported as an one sided debate over Gun Control and the 2nd Amendment Rights. Character Assassination is one of the frequent ultimate forms of mainstream news manipulation that labels specific people as "lunatics," and "tin foil hat wearers."
First of all, we can all agree that any discussion about gun control in the US will spark an emotional response, especially when prisonplanet.com host Alex Jones is a staunch supporter of the US Constitution, particularly the 2nd Amendment - the right to bare arms. Jones is well known by the mainstream media about his controversial alternative news media interpretations. Although others may not agree with his opinions and views, Jones does frequently provide facts and encourage others to do their own research. Secondly, CNN's host Piers Morgan is a well trained mainstream news journalist and was no doubt well prepared beforehand to debate over gun control under the CNN procedures and guidelines.
Without going into the subject matter details because this article would turn into a book, lets take a look at how news corporations such as CNN most likely censors news. In the booklet "Banned," produced by Channel 4 (1990) a published article "A-Z of Censorship" breaks down how the mass news media manipulates the target audience. We will look at a combination form of censorship called, Jargon and Message Manipulation by applying this interpretation to Piers Morgan vs. Alex Jones debate.
According to the Newstatesman, carefully selected words can hide or confuse meaning.
"Wars are always a fruitful source of jargon, the Gulf War being no exception - witness "human pouches", "NBC suits", "soft kill", "credible force posture","circular error probability" and "minimized collateral damage," quotes the article.
In order to analyze manipulation messages lets refer to CNN's article "Social media abuzz over Piers Morgan vs. Alex Jones," that details a mainstream media interpretation the day after the debate.
The article refers to Morgan's response saying. "I can't think of a better advertisement for gun control than Alex Jones' interview last night," on CNN's Newsroom. "It was startling, it was terrifying in parts. It was completely deluded. It was based on a premise of making Americans so fearful that they all rush out to buy even more guns," explains Morgan.
The key use of manipulation words are "terrifying," "deluded," and "fearful" - all the ingredients of implying terrorism. Although, Alex Jones did dominate the entire debate by avoiding open dialog, Morgan is acting as a victim. Morgan openly admits that from his point of view, "Alex Jones dug himself an ever bigger hole." adding that Jones "spouts dangerous nonsense." Again, we see the words "dangerous nonsense." What this implies is that Alex Jones is unstable, dangerous, and delusional. Careful selected vocabulary clearly manipulates the reader/viewer by simply targeting habitual related interpretations to make all other modes of thought impossible.
Notice that Morgan's first debate question was "Why do you want to deport me?" What this does is to make the debate very personal and sets up Morgan's role up as a victim of circumstance, rather than focusing on his opinion about the subject matter "gun control." Everything said after this question can be seen as a personal attack. By saying "Are you finished?" and "Do you understand the difference," Morgan attempted to take the upper hand by implying that Jones is a naive child and he is the controlling adult. Notice how Alex Jones was not allowed to ask questions back. Morgan purposely asks several loaded questions because it gives him control. When someone asks a question and knows the answer, it is done to ridicule the other person.
Normally in a debate situation there is a mediator, therefore we must question what was the real purpose of the televised meeting. It is very difficult for someone like Alex Jones who has done intensive research to answer with short statements because in order to get where he is coming from there is a sequence of thought processes derived from many interlocking mini-narratives researched over many years. For example, it is like asking someone how did you finish the complicated jig-saw puzzle. Obviously, we can easily refer to piecing the border together,but completing the middle demands more time and detailed explanation.
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