Why The Sudden Change In Media Spin

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It seems curious that the media has suddenly awakened to the fact that there might be more investigation to be done regarding the possible severity of the y2k situation.

It always seems strange how, like a school of fish, they all suddenly change course. It's always possible that they actually decided to do their job but then again one has to wonder if this is being promoted behind the scenes but for what purpose?

If denial was the government's answer to the crisis why the change an, more importantly, what does it mean?

-- EC (JHnck1776@aol.com), May 21, 1999


I think some are jumping the gun a bit. It remains to be seen what kind of treatment 60 Minutes gives this. Y2K has been on the periphery for months now, with occasionaly mentions in all the media. A raised eyebrow, a significant pause ... these can--and do--alter the message and gently prod the reader, listener, watcher in the desired direction. I think we should wait and see what is reported--and how it is reported. Supposing that the mainstream media are going to suddenly jump into the middle of honest, unbiased reporting is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

-- Vic (Rdrunneris@compliant.com), May 21, 1999.

Crazy old Mike Adams of Y2Knewswire.com just posted another "Special Report" on this subject. Interesting reading, but limited links to the resource material.

P.S. Does anyone know if Adams' Arial Software, LLC product e-mail product Campaign is Y2K compliant. I hope it is...

-- newlurker (no@no.com), May 21, 1999.

while one hesitates to speculate in advance concerning what 60 Minutes may or may not report, Senator Bennett's column on the y2ktoday site also has taken a distinctly warning perspective week - see link below.

Actually all of the see-sawing on y2k related issues by the government and the media reminds me of the jerky manner in which a teenager learns to drive - lacking self-control and small motor coordination...Government and the media realize what a mess there will be if no one prepares, and yet at the same time there is the constant desire by power mongers to maintain and increase their own control of the situation, thus the rather bi-polar approach to the entire issue.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), May 21, 1999.

It may be simpler than all this conspiracy theory - though I will not categorically say these are false, nor may they all be true:

1) the media is being manipulated by the fed's - that is, they are repeating what the fed's say, rather than independently reporting "facts." Okay - so this is definitely true, but the media was also complaining (as heard many times in transcripts, but not ever in the final stories) that the federal government is not "speaking with one voice" - that different things were being said and predicted." So if they (the media) are not getting (for a change) a single story - and the versions of different stories are changing, maybe they are beginning to understand this is NOT a political "advertising" campaign. IT is live, like a war or tornado or hurricane, that cannot be specifcally "predicted" in advance.

But they aren't used to those stories - are they?

2) the spin from the fed's (and overseas) is beginning to sink in; plus from other English language sources (from Canada and UK/NZ/OZ that are "equally well-prepared, equally advanced technically, equally computerized, and equally threatened) sources; the message may be coming across: if they are doing this much contingency planning, why are we not?

3) the media is strongly prejudiced, but they may be understanding that the 'spin" of the government may not be true - and that the "spin" will be exposed as true or false - to different degrees - regardless of what the government "says" now.

It would be like the press getting word that the Space Shuttel were going to blow up if the temperature were too low - but getting this word from Congress, some engineers, and some astronauts in MARCH. The Fed's are of course denying this story, and pulling out their own experts from under any academic tree thay care to pay.

So if temperatures get low in December, and if the Challenger does blow up, who will point at the media for not publicizing the story when it had the chance.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), May 21, 1999.

I've been wondering if Y2K is a good, solid backup story, that if launched at the right time, is worth 4-5 solid months of coverage.

I mean, really, if you tell most Americans that your remediation will be done Dec 15, 1999, well, that's still done, isn't it? The position "there's still plenty of time to fix it" won't be ditched until September, IMO. For the joe six-pack, that is.

Another thing I'm pondering is that a) we're about to end the Kosovo operation completely and b) the news industry senses they won't get any more mileage out of ChinaNukeGate, or any other ClintonGate, for that matter.

Or, as another poster mentioned, it is sweeps month and somebody's gotta get in a good Y2K segment?

What is important is the rumblings that Koskinen may extend the 3-day recommendation to 14 days. If this actually happens, expect the herd to start moving.

Or maybe not. Here's a new poll (not posted yet on Gallup's site) that shows Americans growing lackadaisical regarding Y2K. Perhaps the CBS coverage this Sunday will plunge mr. six-pack back into confusion.

-- Lisa (lisa@work.now), May 21, 1999.

* * * 19990521 Friday

Funny you should ask, EC ...

Yesterday, I had an e-mail inquiry from a reporter in (Brrrrr... NORTHERN) Wisconsin re the utility "stockpiling" item.

He had the gall to ask if there had been any published news accounts I could refer him to for verification. These reperter folks are real dolts!

I informed him that there were NO REPORTERS OR MEDIA in attendance at this well publicized MONTHLY meeting. I never had any at the 5 public awareness forums I presented in 1998--although they were notified and all promises were broken.

I told him that he could settle for an eye/ear-witness to the procedings.

What a bunch of morons these media types are. They must get lobotomies upon graduation from Journalism schools.

Regards, Bob Mangus * * *

-- Robert Mangus (rmangus@hotmail.com), May 21, 1999.

As with Clinton's popularlity - the media (spurred by the fed's, or the fed's - using the media's complacency and cooperation) has created itself that lackadasical attitude.

Just as the media has created Clinton's popularity, and destroyed Nixon's previous approval ratings in 72-73.

So - now that they have everybody "turned off" - can they re-propagandize it - my feeling is "yes" - if they want too.

Clinton - for example - had a series of closed door, off-the-record meetings with the media in February - immediately before the media began publicizing the Kosovo refugees and the two or three hundred murders occurring there. Immediately thereafter - this publicity began the label of "Crisis in Kosovo" and the "NEED" for air power and an immediate war to resolve the problem. All this from a media and a Democratic Party and a Democratic administration formerly totally and completely anti-war, anti-military and anti-action.

That all changed in one week after these meetings.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), May 21, 1999.

Statistics of small numbers. Some weeks seem negative, some seem positive. Just when they seem like they don't get it, the mood changes. At some point the swing may become more permanent and directional.


-- Dave (aaa@aa.com), May 21, 1999.

Here's a perspective I got from a news media veteran back in October of 1998. When attending a local Y2k community group meeting this gentleman was asked why we had not had more news coverage on Y2k. He explained that he and many of his colleagues were very interested in presenting more coverage but their viewing audience was not interested because the event was too far off. His projection was that the coverage would begin to heat up when we got within six months of the event and he felt that by July of 1999 it would be widely and regularly reported. Have any of you other media professionals been holding back Y2k stories because they simply are not what your customers want at this time?

-- Woe Is Me (wim@doom.gloom), May 21, 1999.

Excellent point, Woe. Welcome back, BTW.

WE have established as axiomatic that the "media" in general is out to sell itself and its medium so as to sell ads and make money. One doesn't try to sell overcoats in early July, nor bikini's in early January. well, one COULD but it's a rough way to go out of business.

The MAJOR problem is that what was needed was the perception that preparations were needed, in the Corporate, Community, and Personal Arenas, startiung last year. The .gov dropped the ball by spinning it the other way.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), May 22, 1999.

"He explained that he and many of his colleagues were very interested in presenting more coverage but their viewing audience was not interested because the event was too far off."

I wonder how these media folks discovered that lack of interest? Perhaps by a city-wide telephone survey?

Something of a Catch-22 here. Those who haven't heard about Y2K aren't likely to show much interest in it until they do hear about it. But they're not interested, so we won't tell them about it. Duh.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), May 22, 1999.

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