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framing versus spin

 
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KimCooper



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: framing versus spin Reply with quote

i have an online friend who maintains that framing is the same as spin, and that Democrats lie just as much as Republicans. She claims to be liberal, but she is also very very logical, and not really all that savvy about human beings and their interactions.
How can I answer her? What is the difference between framing and spin? Are liberals more honest? she keeps using Michael Moore as her prime example of lying liberals -- is he a liar? How important are his lies? How unique is he if he is lying? (She has other examples too.)
I have told her I think liberals are more honest, not completely faultless -- it's a matter of degree: fewer lies and less drastic lies. Am I correct?


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Tom Canfield
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Factually true Reply with quote

Michael Moore had twenty fact checkers go over all of the information presented in "Farenheit 9/11." I think he was well aware that the right-wing would sue if there were any falsehoods. However, there is a controversy over the way he has "framed" things. One of the most moving scenes in the film was a veteran who had lost his hands in Iraq, and he was complaining about the pain. This shot came just after Congressman Jim McDermott complained that a lot of guys were being left behind in Iraq. Anyway, the handless veteran is now suing Michael Moore, claiming the juxtaposition of the shots makes it look like he is anti-Bush and anti-war. The handless guy claims he is a Bush supporter, and does not want to appear unpatriotic by being seen in Michael Moore's film.
The case will probably be thrown out, because Michael Moore bought the film footage from a Tv network and he probably has all of the proper release forms.
Another complaint about Michael Moore's "framing" was in "Bowling for Columbine." He showed a film clip of Charlton Heston, saying that Heston and the NRA came to Denver just after the Columbine tragedy.
The clip had Heston giving his mantra line, "From my cold, dead fingers" as he waved a rifle over his head. NRA supporters claim that film clip was not from Heston's Denver appearance. Michael Moore justified the clip by saying that the phrase was Heston's mantra, and it doesn't matter where he said it because he is infamously known for it.
So, what Michael Moore presents is factually true, but the presentation does have some shock value, which seems to to fit in with his gonzo documentary style. If he had just a boring recitation of facts and statistics, his films would not be so interesting.


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jbartas
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 133
Location: Cupertino, California, U.S. of A!

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:58 am    Post subject: Framing and spin Reply with quote

Framing and spin may not be exactly the same, but they are certainly related. Wikipedia defines "spin" as (excerpt) "...a heavily biased portrayal in one's own favor of an event or situation". Isn't this what Fascists (and more recently progressives) are trying to do with framing? My non-expert viewpoint is that framing seems to be a subset of spin.

However, frames are very different than your other topic - lies. While lies can still be "spin", they are, in a sense, the opposite of framing. Lakoff says "Know your values and frame the debate". In this context, framing is about identifying the truth, and doing so in a way that helps others to see your point. GOP spin-Meister Turdblossom Rove uses both lies and framing with effectiveness, for example:

    Frame: John Kerry is too rich to understand Nascar fans.
    Lie: John Kerry chickened out on the swift boat in Viet Nam.

The first uses tries to turn a known fact (Kerry has money) into a negative, The second makes up a complete fabrication. Both memes are spin, and both hurt Kerry in the race. And in true Turdblossom fashion, both distracted from Dubya's more serious spin problems - his family had made money helping the Nazis, and he used his connections to get out of even going to Viet Nam.

WRT Michael Moore, I've never heard of him being caught in a lie. I HAVE heard the GOP noise machine claim he is "discredited" without quite saying how. They also claim he's "spinning" the truth (true) and fat (true) and even unpatriotic (false, but subjective). They make enough noises like this, and pretty soon anyone not wise to how memes work is thinking Moore must be a pretty bad person. Maybe even a liar.

I think your friend is just responding to one of the GOPs main principles in public discourse - tell a big lie often enough, and loud enough, and people will believe it's true. Being intelligent and logical does not make one immune to this principle.

Invite her over - I'd love to see some current assertions that Michael Moore is lying, so we can dig into them and see if there is really evidence, or if someone just has a lot of media access and is promoting a false meme.


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