Below you will hear a short speech by a media insider given at the TEDx University of Nevada, where we learn that the majority of what we see and hear in the news is not real anymore due to a high level of paid for manipulation not only being reported on but found in comment sections and forums across the Internet.
The media insiders name is Sharyl Attkisson, who was an investigative correspondent in the Washington bureau for CBS News, spending 21 years with the media outlet. Attkisson's credentials include an Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) Finalist award, an Investigative Emmy Award nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, an Emmy Award for her Investigative Journalism about the American Red Cross, was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2008 for Overall Excellence, an Investigative Emmy Award for Business and Financial Reporting, an Emmy Award nomination for her investigations into members of Congress, and she also received a 2010 Emmy Award nomination for her investigation into waste of tax dollars, was nominated for an Emmy Award for her Follow the Money investigations into Congressional travel to the Copenhagen climate summit, and problems with aid to Haiti earthquake victims.
In 2012, CBS News accepted an Investigative Reporting Award given to Attkisson's reporting on ATF's Fast and Furious gunwalker controversy. The award was from Accuracy in Media, a non-profit news media watchdog group, and was presented at a Conservative Political Action Conference.
In June 2012, Attkisson's investigative reporting for the Gunwalker story also won the CBS Evening News the Radio and Television News Directors Association's National Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video Investigative Reporting. The award was presented October 8, 2012 in New York City. In July 2012, Attkisson's Gunwalker: Fast and Furious reporting received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.
On March 10, 2014, Attkisson resigned from CBS News. She stated that the parting was "amicable". Politico reported that according to sources within CBS there had been tensions leading to "months of hard-fought negotiations" – that Attkisson had been frustrated over what she perceived to be the network's liberal bias and lack of dedication to investigative reporting, as well as issues she had with the network’s corporate partners, while some within the network saw her reporting as agenda-driven and doubted her impartiality.
Later that year came the release of her book, Stonewalled: One Reporter's Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington (Harpers), in which she accused CBS of running advertorials and of protecting the Obama administration by not giving enough coverage to such stories as the 2012 Benghazi attack and slow initial enrollments under Obamacare.
The reason for providing background on Attkisson is to show her vast experience, and that ultimately she parted with CBS over biased reporting, specifically geared to manipulate the masses, which is part of the topics included in her short speech where she not only shows how the manipulation occurs, but at the 8:55 mark, teaches those listening how to spot the signs of propaganda and Astroturfing, telling us what key words to look for to know whether a news article or someone commenting on an article or forum is actually bought and paid for.
Astroturfing is described by Source Watch as an "apparently grassroots-based citizen groups or coalitions that are primarily conceived, created and/or funded by corporations, industry trade associations, political interests or public relations firms."
Attkisson explains how journalists are influenced in what they write, how they present their "news" and sometimes even taken in by Astroturfing. She states that "Hallmarks of astroturf and propaganda include use of inflammatory language such as quack, crank, nutty, pseudo, paranoid and conspiracy."
"Astroturf seeks to manipulate you into changing your opinion by making it seem as if you’re an outlier–when you’re not."
"Beware when an interest addresses an issue by controversializing or attacking the people, personalities and organizations surrounding the issue rather than the facts. That could be astroturf."
Including in those warnings are other signs such as people claiming to "debunk myths" that are not myths at all, using the popular myth debunking site "Snopes" as an example.
The original speech at the TEDx conference was given in February 2015, but was highlighted by videographer The Vigilant Christian on October 23, 2015, which is shown below.
Quite often we see here at ANP those that appear incapable of debate and disagreement without resorting to outright attacks on other commenters or Alternative Media personalities and in some cases there is no doubt that some individuals simply are incapable of having a civil debate or disagreement because they have either forgotten the manners they were taught when young or never learned to have any to begin with, but as Attkisson points out, many times it is the result of those bought and paid for that are deliberately trying to distract and confuse in order to negate the truth and using inflammatory language is one of their hallmarks.
Not all those that disagree with a particular opinion are trolls or Astroturfers, we are all individuals and each is entitled to their own opinion, but many that appear to be incapable of any type of civil conversation or are unable to debate a topic or stick to the original issue while debating a topic, or resort to attacks and name-calling or threats..... are, indeed trolls, whether paid or not.