Agenda-Setting In Action: OBAMA’S TALE

Sometimes, the media strike me as an adulterous lover. One minute our hips sway to the left, the next we are swinging to the right, grinding on another side of the same story. Suffice to say, milking it dry for all it’s worth.

I have a friend who always jokes that one should never offend a particular global channel, because they would report (rotate your story on the news line) until it ran out of juice.

Do not perceive this post as a criticism of the global media; I know it’s just how the game is played. However, knowledge of a newsman’s modus operandi has not deprived me my amusement at the turn of events on how Obama was and is being reported. I am referring to the Birth Certificate vs Late Osama stories.

This post is inspired by a tweet I read sometime this morning:

Dust has always been raised on Obama’s U.S citizenship and his run for presidency over the same country from as far back as 2008 and 2009. The media did not relent in 2010, and in this 2011 it’s been a frenzy. Even after Obama offered up his long form birth certificate, there were those who still questioned its legitimacy.

The negative press that has been trailing Obama’s Birth-Certificate made me once again appreciate the state of America’s democracy and her practice of freedom of speech. A freedom which the President himself was quick  to utilize in a witty come-back at his attackers. Take a second to watch this video, have a good laugh – and I’ll be back!

Obama’s COME-BACK Video

If this video did not trump (pun intended) all the bad press on Obama’s certificate issue, his latest announcement on the death of Osama Bin Laden (America’s enemy) was the almighty check-up card (WHOT players do you feel me?)

This news now has the media full of high praises with all old things passed away. There goes my adulterous lover analogy. But like I said, that is the rule of engagement when dealing with the media. You could be a sweet heart one second and shortly after, there is a caricature of  you with sharp horns wielding a fork.

Based on the theory of news values … the birth certificate news is stale gist, Osama Bin Laden’s death (under Obama’s leadership, a feat not attained by Bush) is the new topic upon which agenda has to be set. Do check out Galtung and Ruge’s research (an old research though) on the Structure of Foreign News. They explain in details how events become news.

I am just an amused spectator… standing by for what the next agenda is going to be.

Recommended books in order to understand the relationship between the media and politics are:

Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman

Neccesary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies by Noam Chomsky

Soundbites and Spin Doctors: How Politicians Manipulate the Media and Vice Versa by Nicholas Jones


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