Monday, October 12, 2009

Follow the Crowd and Praise Obama's Nobel Prize

This article on the MSNBC website is a good example of what I like to call the "Follow the Crowd" tactic.

The article quotes a variety people from around the world on their opinion of President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The things to notice about this article are the number of people quoted in relation to their opinions, the ordering of the quotes, and who's quoted. The first quote is from RNC chairman Michael Steele, giving a negative opinion on the event. This is then followed by a large number of quotes made mostly by people on the left, including Al Gore and Jimmy Carter, giving a very positive opinion. Finally the article ends with quotes from leaders of Hamas and the Taliban giving a very negative opinion. This does a few things to create a distortion.

First, the positive quotes make up the majority of the article, and they are grouped together in one lump. This give the subconscious impression that they are the majority and that all others are some strange outsiders.

Second, even though there are a wide range of people questioning what exactly Obama has done to deserve the prize, the only negative quotes given are from the RNC chairman, Hamas, and the Taliban. This is a blatant attempt to try to link the two together, as if the republican party and possibly conservatives in general are of one mind.

Over all this gives the reader the idea that any attempt to question why Obama deserves the prize is not only a weird, abnormal thing to do, but that it is in fact anti-american. In my opinion, the opposite is closer to the truth.


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