Another Quote Bites the Dust

Politicians, celebrities, and regular people have all been victims of the quote taken out of context.  Everyday a newspaper, magazine, or TV show uses a sound bite to be the most sensational or controversial media outlet.  Politicians use them in their advertisements to make their opponents sound like they hate America.  E! News uses them to make it seem like celebrities are always drinking, doing drugs and fighting with one another.  The news channels use them to make small events seem like a catastrophe.  Out of all of this, who are the people who have to suffer?  You and I.Quotes can, in all honesty, be extremely funny.  However, most of the time they take a turn for the worst.  Take for example, the most recent controversy over a quote at the newly opened Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C.  Time Magazine’s article states that Maya Angelou believes the paraphrased quote makes King sound egoistical.  The memorial quote goes, “I was  a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” while the actual statement was, “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”.

The most common quoting out of context examples that I hear are from politicians. During election time, you can’t watch TV without seeing an add that blasts the other candidate.  Frustrating as it might be, it works.  People believed that Obama wasn’t an American citizen even though he was born in Hawaii.  People also believed that George W. Bush was a military deserted when he actually served in the Air National Guard.  If this quoting out of context is so awful, then why is it still happening?  Because people believe it.

In order to stop the insanity, there are many things for people to do.  Fact Check.  Take everything you hear with a grain of salt.  Think about what people are saying.  If Fox, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, E! News, US Weekly, OMG or any other media outlet says something that sounds insane, listen to it, read up on it, then form your own opinion about it.  Then, we can finally stop listening to insane quotes and hear the real truth.

This is happening all the time.



About mprice1

A student at Trinity University
This entry was posted in Blog #2. Manipulative media techniques and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Another Quote Bites the Dust

  1. Ajay Kaul says:

    Glad to see this issue being discussed. I do think though that people have little time to do fact checks. What would be interesting though is if parties are penalized for incorrect quotes. But I guess, since both sides enjoy the game, none of them wants to step up to the plate. Because of the quote game, the focus shifts from key issues. It is amazing to see how little is talked about ways to fix the economy and how much is talked about failures of the current administration. As you rightly point out, there is more focus on dis-proving the credibility of the opposition than proving your own credibility.

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