So It Matters (Third Clarification Example)

But before we tear the good Father down . . . let’s build him up to ludicrous levels.

Father Bartholomew, beloved by all those faithful and loyal to the cause of good for his continued championing on behalf of the meek unable to help themselves, continued his crusade in Washington today despite the ineffectual mewlings of the pawns of the forces of evil that would steal food from the mouths of starving children.  His words were seen by all right thinking peoples as being full of wisdom, and no doubt profoundly changed more than a few sinner’s lives today for the better. 

More than a bit over the top, isn’t it?  To disagree with Father Bartholomew in the slightest is CLEARLY not only against simple morality, but against righteousness itself!  OBVIOUSLY all right thinking people agree with him, and YOU are a right thinking person, aren’t you?

Fortunately, this sort of obvious manipulation is usually restricted to press releases from the worst (and clumsiest) of totalitarian governments and fringe groups so far out there that even most extremist groups in this day and age recognize them as putting the “lunatic” into “lunatic fringe.”  For this type of manipulation to be effective, the audience generally has to be have been indoctrinated from birth AND sufficiently insulated from other opinions enough to accept it without question, and that’s becoming harder and harder to pull off in the Information Age.  Still . . . I suppose it’s unlikely this style of “reporting” will ever fully die off so long as there are isolated pockets for that sort of thinking to hide in.

Unfortunately, there is another case where this sort of manipulation is effective . . . and that is when people are flat out DESPERATE enough to accept it (the Nazi propaganda machine used this approach with great effectiveness, for instance).  Its only positive trait is that it’s pretty easy to recognize, but, obvious and clumsy though it may be, never bet your life on the belief that EVERYONE will be able to see through it.  If this approach didn’t work at least SOME of the time, it wouldn’t be used . . . and should you ever see TOO many of your neighbors nodding in agreement to a report like this, well . . .

Just do yourself a favor and run like the wind and never look back.


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