The truth hurts

Posted on March 15, 2010

When looking at information, it’s not always the truth that gets noticed. It’s the perception of the information that sticks around. Take this sentence, “While Joe Bloe vehemently denies any involvement, rumors of  explicit sexual misconduct continue to haunt him.”  The truth in that sentence is the person stating his innocence, nothing more. The perception is of guilt. In any media venue, once an accusation has been made, it’s hard to overcome the perception of wrong-doing, no matter how innocent one is.

With tabloid journalism and less-than-scrupulous writing all around, be critical of your judgments based on media accounts. Look for potential agendas behind the message. The goal of the media outlet is to sell copy. The goal of a politician is to get elected. The goal of a lobbyist is to promote the client’s product/service. The goal of a retail outlet is to sell inventory.  What better way to reach that goal than to cast suspicion on the competition.  And what better way to sell a story than allude to some juicy dirt.

Take the same information framed in a different light and you get,  “No evidence of misconduct has been linked to Joe Bloe, who has consistently denied any wrong-doing.”  Big difference in perception, but both sentences are true.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.