The First Phase:
- Get a media channel. This is usually a columnist in a large newspaper. Might also be a web news site reporter. Or a celebrity. Call this person X.
- X writes or says something completely false, basing it on misquotes or completely unreliable sources, or just claims the opposite of what the sources say
The second phase:
- When outrage ensues (usually from experts), get other people to pronounce the following things:
- The outrage is proof of a church or orthodoxy surrounding the issue
- The people complaining about the lies are against free speech
The third phase:
- Get some people to act as “the sensible middle” . They might be well-meaning suckers and actually believe they are this themselves. Usually they are naive journalists who lack actual expertise, intelligence or inquisitive capabilities. This is a voluntary uncoordinated corps operating for you for free. They operate by way of saying a mix of the following arguments.
- Both sides are exaggerating
- Both sides are lying
- Both sides are partly right
- This all means nothing
You have now achieved to drag the original position into the mud, by arguing against it as dishonestly as possible.
If all of the above is exposed, just continue to fight from the second phase, recursively. In the end, you can take your hands off and the confusion generator continues to spin on its own.
This is much of what the blogs have been about lately.
In one line, it boils to journalists versus experts.
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I think I have here a case where the roles are sort of different: the reporter from Big Media happen to be in some sort of weird middle, while the far-right noise outlets lambast him for not being, um, ‘middle’ enough.
Frank, you bring the much needed humor to the depressing world that is ours…
Maybe I should have a short vacation from the media versus science issues…
Thanks for your comment. I’m heartened. 🙂
I understand this is ancient by Internet standards, but I figure I should probably link this. The ‘truth assassination’ method appears to have been hijacked from somewhere else.
It’s interesting to note that the scenario described in the link is often resolved in the courts as opposed to through scientific procedure. Maybe this explains the heavy focus on ‘debate’ (essentially less-empowered court) that inactivists show? It could be due more to memetic inheritance than to their PR/lobby background.
The comic could be modified so that after the second screen the press should come out and pretend to be a independent third party saying “ok, make it even, 500” and then when the guy would be angry the press guy would be “You’re against freedom of speech!”
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