Sunday, September 20, 2015

State-run News Media and Solicitation of Opinion

It's taken a fair amount of pondering and looking at the German state-run TV news empire....to come to this conclusion....they have become this remarkable tool for solicitation of opinion.

Normally, solicitation means that you needed an opinion and you went to someone (hopefully a trusted source) to ask some questions.

Examples: You want a new car, so you ask your cousin who bought a new French-made car about his experience with it and he gives you a twenty-minute intellectual argument about the remarkable features and they artistically blend into the car.  You desire a movie selection this weekend, so you talk to your neighbor who always up on the new movies coming out.  You want a remarkable lusty evening and go out to solicit a hooker who dresses up as the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz and can recite French poetry.

Solicitation simply is an open-door where you've determined a area of expertise is lacking and there must be an exchange of information....mostly going from one to another....not a fifty-fifty exchange of information.

I sat yesterday and watched a non state-run news piece (from a commercial network in Germany).  It was a curious and different type of newscast.  The moderator?  Some young guy in jeans and a flannel-shirt.  The state-run networks (ARD and ZDF) here in Germany....require a suit and tie....nothing on the cheap side either.

The introduction from the non state-run news guy quickly wen to the refugee crisis, but only consumed three minutes of the fifteen minute news period.  It was mostly a neutral piece....just plain raw news and the events of today.  Nothing more.  Then they went onto a dozen odd stories which had to deal with a baby tiger, Lady GaGa, the Pope and wrapped it up with weather.  Nothing really serious.....nothing in great detail.....just simple formatted news.  More or less the opposite of the state-run nightly news.  Frankly, it was refreshing.

Most Germans will say that they use the state-run news episode instead of the non state-run news episode.  The reason?  The solicitation of opinion and the belief that the state-run news folks are giving you the full dose of whatever you should get.

This 'dose'?   Well.....you could stand there and spend a fair amount of time trying to grasp the slant, the angle, the direction of the state-run folks, and even the intended consequence of accepting what the state-run news guy says.

There's this general comment now on a fairly continual basis....that the state-run news apparatus in Germany has become one-sided on the refugee crisis.  By emphasizing their opinion and their view....they've attempted a significant role in downplaying any comment or observation from the opposite side.  In essence, it's a left-wing versus right-wing playing field now......as silly as it sounds.  People actually are beginning to believe that.

Where this goes?  Unknown.

Someone might stand up one evening on some political chat show and finally whip the viewing audience enough that that they ask some really stupid questions, which can't be answered.  Oddly, you can't predict the influence of this whole argument on national or state elections in Germany.  People might be peeved enough to just find anyone who is opposite the current position and vote for them.   It's not a smart move, but this is the mess that has developed in a modern society....solicitation leading to chaos.

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